Amelia Farrar, Co-Chair
The outdoors have always been and always will be a part of my life. Growing up my brother and I spent our weekends fishing Lake Martin or hiking Red Mountain in Alabama, but it wasn’t until college that I began utilizing public lands to hunt. I now primarily hunt and fish on public land in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia but I’m eager to venture westward. Most weekends you can find me chasing native brook trout in the Shenandoah or the George Washington National Forest. Utilizing public land and seeing the value in keeping it public is what drove me to join Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. BHA is the center stone of all things that matter to me in the outdoors. I am fully committed to preserving our wild public lands and waters so that one day our son and future generations can access them and enjoy the same irreplaceable opportunities that we have had.
My love for the outdoors had a profound effect on my education and led me to receive a B.S. in Organismal Biology and Integrative Biology from Auburn University with a senior focus on the effects of crayfish on stream ecology. I’m currently living in a town nestled against the muddy James River in central Virginia with my husband and our son while working as a Histology Supervisor for Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital.
Samantha Flowers, Co-Chair
Being a volunteer naturalist in the Patuxent Corridor of the Chesapeake Bay, a developing herbalist, and with my love for bowhunting, I spend much of my time in the great outdoors. Over the years my roles and hats have changed from career woman to wife and mother, but one constant that runs synonymous with my faith has remained; my love for the natural world. When I am not indulging in outdoor pursuits I am homeschooling my three adventurous children and working on our family farm. I am happily married to my own Idaho mountain man, who provides meat for the table both literally and metaphorically through his career as an active duty Naval Aviator and an avid bowhunter. While hunting and fishing has been infused into my DNA through my upbringing in rural Oklahoma, I learned the beauty of the public lands chase when I met my husband. We have since furthered our passion for food, fishing, and hunting by becoming dependent on wild game to sustain our family. When I discovered Backcountry Hunters and Anglers I immediately identified with the mission and cause behind the organization, and wanted to get my hands dirty and help any way I could. Unlike many conservation organizations, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers gives me, and all of us, a place to really put our noses to the grindstone to protect and preserve the public lands and waters that belong to us. The most satisfying feeling is given when I realize that this fight isn’t just for me and my access to beautiful and healthy public lands, but instead for our children and grandchildren, so that someday they may discover the beauty of “the chase" for themselves.
Cory Dukehart, Treasurer
Born and raised in Maryland to a deer hunting family, I grew up following my father and grandfather around the 44,000 acres of Green Ridge State Forest. Since then I have continued to use Maryland’s public land systems for anything with fur, feathers or fins. I am married with 2 kids (a son and a daughter) and we now reside in Westminster, MD. More recently I have been branching out to the Rockies for a do it yourself, over the counter backcountry elk and mule deer hunt, a tradition running just two years strong at this point, but god willing I don't see that tradition stopping anytime soon. My first trip to Idaho inspired me increase my annual membership with BHA to a Life Membership. Spending a week in the mountains of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest was a life changing challenge and adventure. It was during this time that I recognized just how important and potentially fragile our public lands are. I truly look forward to working with the rest of the BHA Capital Region Chapter to continue to advocate for these wild places all over the country so that my children can experience the same adventures I have.
Born and raised in the Leatherstocking Region of upstate New York, I cut my teeth on both private and public lands hunting and fishing. My favorite is, and was, running dogs after upland game birds. I entered the military and spent most of my tenure serving overseas in Europe and did multiple tours in the Middle East. Traditional hunting opportunities were a little more challenging to come by in those places. Growing up, paying for the opportunity to hunt or fish was not something we thought about. Abroad was the first time I experienced regions of the world with limited or nonexistent public lands/access, an aspect I had taken for granted and fills me with immense pride along with the realization of the significance that our public lands help to define our country’s identity as well as furthering the American persona globally.
After the military and college, I relocated to Northern Virginia in 2009 where I currently reside with my wife and two children. I’ve been able to take advantage of Virginia’s generous hunting seasons in the pursuit of both big and small game. I also like to take DIY hunting and fishing trips each year outside of VA to further fill the freezer and experience the adventure and serenity that our diverse regions have to offer. One of my favorite aspects of the overall process is the processing of the harvest, breaking something down into recognizable and manageable pieces. Coincidentally, I am the cook of the family and tend to favor Belgian or French Country inspired preparations. Despite the preparations and due more than likely to my military background, I have a strong urge to turn everything into a soup/stew or sandwich for quicker consumption.
In addition, I’m also a certified SCUBA diver and as the children have grown, we’ve started to dabble into spelunking.
On a daily basis I reminisce about past hunting and fishing experiences or dream of my next outdoor activity while I am working as a Contracting Officer for the Department of Defense. My first memory of hunting is lumbering through knee-deep snow with my father in Green Ridge State Forest during late muzzleloader season when I was 4 years old. A majority of my hunting experience has been chasing whitetails and small game in the mountains of Western Maryland or through the dense thickets of the Eastern Shore. However, a public land backcountry elk hunt in Idaho changed my outlook on hunting forever. Although I was “unsuccessful” in a traditional sense, it opened my eyes to how privileged we are to have access to such a diverse network of public lands. I can say that I have spent almost my entire life hunting and fishing. My passion for hunting and fishing come from the connection those activities provide to the natural world and the friendships that are created through shared experience. The reason I decided to join the BHA movement is to help preserve the lands that have provided some of my most treasured experiences in life.
When the season opener of deer season is treated like a holiday—with schools and businesses shut down for the day—as it was when Josh was growing up in rural Northwestern Pennsylvania, it’s no wonder that he was instilled with a passion for hunting from an early age. Political aspirations drew Josh to pursue his undergraduate degree at the American University in Washington, DC, where the hunting, camping and outdoor opportunities were a far cry from the game rich shores of Pymatuning Lake. A lack of opportunity, however, could not deter a lifelong pursuit. Moving from the only frat house at American with a deer head on the wall to the Northern Virginia suburbs did not bring immediate hunting success, but it did bring an introduction into the hunting traditions and public land opportunities of Virginia.
15 years later Josh still works in Northern Virginia as a lobbyist in the real estate industry. The call of the wild, though, could not be silenced, and with his wife and two young boys Josh moved to the Shenandoah Valley. A two-hour commute (each way) is a small price to pay to be able to call the forests, mountains and 1.6 million acres of George Washington and Jefferson National Forests—his backyard. Josh is active in the Boy Scouts of America and is a Virginia Hunter Education instructor.
Hunting and fishing have always been a vital part of Daniel’s life. Daniel joined the hunting community at such an early age, it would be difficult to recall his first time tagging along with his dad. Growing up in South Alabama, Daniel chased everything from squirrels to whitetail deer. Daniel learned a ton growing up hunting the way he did, but it was not until he found himself living out state without the luxury of the family farm, that he grew into the outdoorsman and public land advocate he is today. With the aid of public land, he was able to pursue his passions without skipping a beat. Today, you are most likely to find him in the backcountry chasing whitetails in the mountains of Virginia on large tracts of public land. It is here that he has become enamored with the opportunities public land provides for all. During the off season you will find him on long trout hikes with his wife and young son chasing native brook trout in the Shenandoahs. Daniel whole heartedly believes this land holds its value with the opportunity it provides for all and the wild nature it beholds. Due to his love and passion for these lands, Daniel vows to stand up and protect this amazing gift that was once fought for and conserved by the ones who came before him.
Roth was born and raised in Central Virginia, and now lives in the Richmond area with his fiancee´ Laura. In between daydreaming about hunting, fishing, and being outdoors, he is part of the Commercial Banking Group for Virginia Commonwealth Bank, a Richmond-based community bank. Growing up hunting deer with his family in Virginia, learning to fish on annual summer trips to Lake Gaston, and growing up in a waterfowl hunting household all instilled in Roth a deep love of the outdoors and pursuit of wild game.
As for giving back, his father got him started in conservation organizations at a young age and he became involved in issues concerning the outdoors. He is a strong advocate of getting people back outside and educating youth and new outdoorsmen and women. Because, of this he found his way to Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, which has core values and initiatives that align with his own.
His outdoor fishing and hunting pursuits have taken him to many places across the United States, but today you are likely to find him hunting waterfowl and fishing on the Chesapeake Bay in his home state of Virginia. With his experience in the outdoors and conservation, he wants to give his knowledge back and help grow the Capital Region BHA Chapter.