Dave Johnson, Chair of the Chapter
Dave grew up fishing and hunting in Seward, Alaska. Some of his earliest memories are of catching sockeye salmon on the Russian River with his father. He joined the Coast Guard and after a career flying helicopters throughout the Northwest including two tours in Kodiak he has since retired from service and lives in Kodiak with his wife and two young children, McKinley and Elias. He is an Alaska Fish and Game volunteer bow hunter and basic hunter safety instructor and a volunteer National Archery in Schools Program archery instructor. In their free time, he and his family spend as much time hiking, camping, fishing and hunting as possible and are currently training their first bird dog together.
Barry Whitehill, Vice Chair
Growing up in eastern Washington I was fortunate to have public lands close at hand. Starting with my first elk at age 14, it became obvious to me that deep, dark holes on public lands were places to be consistently successful as a hunter. Also they were a place where I could rejuvenate my soul. That has been repeatedly validated when I lived in Idaho, northern Nevada, and, since 1992, in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Jason Croft, Treasurer
Jason discovered his passion for food working different jobs such as, line cook, bread baker, fish cutter, coffee roaster, and sales and restaurant manager. Today, he is able to combine his passion for food with his love of hunting and the outdoors. Jason works as the Sales and Marketing manager at Arctic Harvest in Anchorage and splits his free time between training his hunting dog and several volunteer efforts. Along with being a proud member of the Alaska BHA Board, Jason is the Alaska State Director for the First Hunt Foundation. Jason also runs his own start-up business, The Alaska Hunting Collective. Through his business and volunteer efforts, Jason works as an R3 advocate to provide fresh, engaging and potent educational opportunities for new hunters in Alaska.
Michael Willis, Secretary
Michael was born and raised on the eastern shore of rural Maryland. While not from a hunting family, he grew up spending time outside fishing and exploring the woods and waters and frequenting the Appalachians of western Maryland. Those experiences and a hankering for wilder country prompted his move to Fairbanks when he turned 19, where he obtained a degree in Environmental Science. Michael learned to hunt from friends he made that harvested big game for their freezers. Along with pursuing big game, Michael enjoys chasing upland birds with his wife Rachel and their GSP dog. He is always searching for new opportunities to learn how to become a better hunter, informed citizen, and conservationist.
Dan Kirkwood, Policy Chair
Dan lives in southeast Alaska. He grew up in western Pennsylvania, dreaming of exploring the wilderness up North. Since moving to Juneau, putting wild meat on the table has become become a priority and a passion, particularly blacktail deer. Dan also recently started moose hunting, which he says has been awesome. His main interest in working with BHA is working on conserving wild places, maintaining our close contact with the land and having prosperous communities.
JC Croft, Southcentral Representative
Born and raised in east Anchorage, JC spent a lot of time outside with his family when he was a kid. As with many Alaskans, this was at least partially sparked by the desire to eat wild things. In college and law school in Oregon, he kept up with the outdoors way of life. He also became committed to preserving wilderness and the unique experience and opportunity it holds for everyone. Now that he's back in Alaska, JC lives in the same neighborhood he grew up in and spends much of his free time hunting, hiking, fishing, boating, biking, backpacking and doing anything else outside.
Sarah Matula, Southeast Representative
Sarah grew up on the south side of Chicago. As life took her from sub-saharan Africa to nursing school to western Washington, the appreciation of the outdoors and public land grew. Moving to Juneau, Alaska in 2013 to take a job as a Medevac Flight Nurse was life changing in all the ways. The community of southeast Alaska was key in teaching and developing hunting skill sets and led her to the streams where fish and bears are wild. The big, wild beauty of the Tongass is now an integral part of Sarah's everyday life. It is amazing to live and be a part of the community of Southeast AK- a community that wants to share the beauty, wonder, and the skills needed to appreciate and protect this land.
Kevin Fraley, Interior Representative
Kevin grew up fishing, hunting, and hiking with his family in Northwest Montana. Spending much of his formative years exploring the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wilderness Areas fostered his love for wild public lands and solitude. He moved to Fairbanks, Alaska in 2008 and completed degrees in fisheries science. Alaska quickly became home thanks to the unparalleled fishing, hunting, and adventure opportunities that the state offers. Kevin was drawn to Alaska's Interior Region due to its wide expanses of undeveloped land, delightfully quirky yet friendly people, and as a gateway to adventures in the Arctic. When not dodging mosquitoes and bears, while conducting remote fisheries fieldwork, he is usually found chasing after Chinook salmon or sheefish with a fly rod. Kevin is particularly interesting in liaising with other members of the outdoor recreation community on conservation issues that affect Alaska's natural resources.
Dave May, Armed Forces Initiative Liaison
Dave is the proud father of three daughters and devoted husband to his wife, Marissa. He was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania where he learned to hunt and fish on PA’s public Game Lands. His adventurous spirit led him into an Enlistment with the U.S. Navy at the early age of 18, where he has served for 20 years. His worldly travel finally deposited him in Eagle River, AK in 2017, where he was introduced to BHA. Throughout his travel, it became apparent to Dave just how special public land is and just how critical preserving its existence is to both the present and future generations of outdoor enthusiast. Dave is a dedicated woodsman and committed servant to BHA’s mission as the Alaska Chapter, Armed Forces Initiative Liaison.
Rory O'hanrahan, Social Media Manager
Rory Grew up in Kona, Hawai'i and moved to Alaska for the variety of seasons and incredible fly fishing. When the weather gets colder, he follows his dogs chasing upland birds in the mountains around Anchorage. Rory is a self-described adult onset hunter but what he lacks in experience, he makes up for in enthusiasm. He is always striving to learn something new, most recently, archery. Rarely without his family in tow, Rory sees all of his time spent outside as an opportunity to learn and share new life lessons. Exploring and promoting public lands is something Rory plans on doing for a very long time.
Savannah Hess, Communications
Born and raised in the suburban midwest, Savannah always found herself drawn to the outdoors to explore, wander, and discover anything she could find that wasn't paved. She's an adult-onset angler and aspiring hunter with a wide array of interests also including foraging, writing, yoga, backpacking, and camping. She and her family find themselves on public lands as often as possible, making the protection and enjoyment of these beautiful places a personal mission--and one that drives Savannah to be a committed member of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.
Brad Hurd, Board Member at Large
Brad grew up in small-town Craig, Colorado. As a child, he could often be found at Fortification Creek with a fishing rod and pack of bacon in hand-- ready to catch a haul of crawfish. Throughout his upbringing, he was fortunate to be included in many hunting and fishing trips with his father, which would go on to influence his life like he never imagined. Today, he still enjoys fishing, hunting, rock climbing, backpacking and other outdoor recreation on public lands. Embracing the outdoor lifestyle, Brad works alongside his partner at Heather's Choice-- a company that creates and sells dehydrated meals and snacks for outdoor adventures. One of Brad's most memorable experiences to date was a 100-mile sea kayaking excursion from Whittier, AK to Valdez, AK over eight days.
Larry Landry, Board Member at Large
Larry pursues a semi-subsistence life in the rural community of Gustavus in Southeast Alaska. He and his wife run a market garden from which they sell vegetables, root crops, preserves and medicinal and culinary herbs. They eat fish and game from public lands, 365 days a year.
Click here to contact the Alaska Chapter Board