The following is the first in a series of posts which highlight the lives of the boots-on-the-ground members that make-up Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.
Brad Brooks, Age 30, Boise, ID
What’s your favorite style of hunting or fishing?
Style to me is a question of how you approach hunting, not necessarily the type of weapon one chooses, which is typically how hunters define themselves. My style of hunting combines my passion for climbing, adventure and exploration. I seek out the places where other people cannot or do not want to go. As an alpine climber, I bring the mountaineering principle of light and fast to my hunting so I can cover as much ground as possible without being weighed down. I only carry the bare essentials, and sometimes less. I love seeing new places and not knowing what I will find around the corner. I enjoy pushing my limits physically in big wild country, both because that is usually how you get away from other hunters, but also because hunting for me is about the journey and the reward that comes from hard work. If I just wanted to shoot an elk I would go to a game farm.
What do you do for a living?
I am the Deputy Regional Director of The Wilderness Society in Idaho, and I work to protect Idaho’s public lands and water. I also have a start-up company that makes technical outdoor hunting gear, called Argali Outdoors. I am fortunate to do what I love and what I am passionate about, and I do not take it for granted.
Why did you join BHA?
There are two types of sportsmen: hunters and shooters. There are plenty of groups dedicated to the latter, but none that shared my values as a hunter. As a sportsman that was interested in protecting wildlife habitat, wild places and the backcountry hunting experience, there simply wasn’t any existing group that represented my values. Yeah, I like shooting big bulls and bucks, but I’m not a trophy hunter. I’m interested in protecting the hunting experience for myself and future generations, and BHA gives a voice to a group of like-minded sportsmen and women that value wildlife and our incredible public lands.
In what ways do you support BHA?
I support BHA’s effort to protect the interest of us hunters who are holding on to the last remaining wild hunting experiences left. The amount of unspoiled land available for backcountry hunting and fishing will not increase from the present day, it will only decrease, so we had better do what we can to protect what we have.
What’s your most memorable backcountry hunting or fishing experience?
I enjoy sharing places I love with the ones I love. For my first anniversary my wife and I went backpacking into the Sawtooth Mountains, which I would argue are some of the most beautiful mountains anywhere, and it just so happened to be the worst year for mosquito’s I had ever experienced. The mosquito’s were atrocious, and we weren’t prepared. I tried to fish, but quickly had to put the rod away. We ended up drinking wine in our tiny tent, afraid to go outside. It was miserable, fun and I will never forget the experience.
What do you love most about the backcountry?
I believe there is something innate in all of us, and particularly in me, that yearns to be immersed in wild places. When I am in the backcountry I feel like I am where I belong, and it brings a sense of calm that I cannot find anywhere else. You have nothing to think or worry about other than enjoying the present moment, which is such a rare occurrence for me today, especially since my iphone never lets me forget about my responsibilities.
What friends and family members do you enjoy the outdoors with?
My dad, two brothers, my wife and my dog Tica are who I spend the most time with outdoors. There aren’t many people willing to hunt in the same “style” as me, but my friends Jesse and Charlie are rare exceptions outside of my family, and I hold them in equal regard as family.
Do you share a passion for backcountry hunting and angling? Do you have an interest in ensuring future generations may have the same opportunities that we've enjoyed? Become a BHA member or supporter today!