Monday, April 16, 2018

HHA Board Member Casey Hackathorn      

Occupation: Conservation Project Manager

How long have you been a member of Hellgate Hunters & Anglers? 10 years

How did your passion for wildlife, wild places, and fair chase hunting and fishing blossom?  
I lived on a farm as a kid with a creek out my backdoor and I’ve been captivated by all things wild for as long as I can remember. There weren’t many days that my brother and I weren’t fishing or wandering that creek looking for critters or bait. It didn’t hurt to have a family that had me in a boat before I could hold a pole and in the field before I could carry a shotgun. It wasn’t until I settled in Montana though, in my late twenties that both my career and personal pursuits aligned with the mountains, rivers, and the critters that hold me captive today. I have every bit the adventure out my backdoor today that I had as a barefoot kid blasting through the screen door on my way to the creek.

Favorite/most memorable hunting/fishing story?  I was lucky enough to harvest an archery bull early last season and was relieved to be back in camp before midnight with four hanging elk quarters after a typically-exhausting day of hunting. Unfortunately, it was an unusually warm night for southwestern Montana and I had to break camp to get the meat on ice. I must have pulled into the Town Pump in Dillon just after last call because the place was packed with bleary-eyed revelers. I quickly paid for half of a dozen bags of ice and slipped outside to the freezer only to find a small pile of bags locked in a frozen mound from a water leak.  Faced with lining back up behind a horde of drunks clutching bags of Cheetos and cups of F’Real, I retreated to the truck for ice-chipping tools. The only useful thing I could find under my pile of gear in the back was a splitting maul. Heading back across the dimly-lit parking lot hefting a maul, I became acutely aware that I hadn’t bothered to change out of my bloody hunting gear before coming to town. Fortunately for me, I guess a bloody guy with an axe doesn’t look out of place at 2am in Dillon, MT and I was back home in Missoula in time for breakfast with some well-cooled meat in tow.

Have you ever been lost? Yes, but I’ve always found my way home eventually.

Favorite River/Hunting snack? Snickers

Have you ever given away your Honey Hole? Not really but I’m pretty open with my hunting and fishing partners

Choose your weapon:  fly rod, rifle, or bow? I’m an opportunist so I’d say all the above plus a shotgun, spinning rod, and my bare hands.

What is your advice for younger generations? Get involved and don’t take the places you care about for granted.

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