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.
Austin lives with his wonderful wife, Jordan, on a mountain in the Blue Ridge outside of Roanoke, Virginia. Born and raised in the area, he spent his childhood tromping through the woods of the Jefferson National Forest, mimicking his father’s habits and learning to appreciate all that nature has to offer. He spent many days and nights learning the ways of the woods at his family’s hunting cabin along the banks of a mountain stream, surrounded by National Forest. Following high school, he went on to play football at Marshall University before transferring to the University of Montana where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Forest Resource Management and a “Masters” in walking out of the woods via headlamp. His passion for the outdoors exploded upon the discovery of the vast public lands of the west. Hunting, fishing, camping and wild places have consumed him for the last 15 years and is why he values Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. The thrill he seeks in hunting and fishing simply cannot be filled without public lands and he strives to pass that same opportunity on to future generations.
Afflicted by his desire to be in the wilderness, he works diligently at his career as a forester for Summit Helicopters. Austin is also a licensed real estate agent and the co-founder of his company, Wingman Outfitter. Wingman Outfitter manufactures a patented product that allows your canoe to function like a raft, a hunting partners’ idea that stemmed from a need for more stability while winter canoe camping and hunting the icy rivers of Montana.
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.
A native of the rolling hills and warmwater rivers of Fluvanna County, Virginia, I grew up hunting and fishing the ground under me and to the west in the Blue Ridge Mountains—Shenandoah National Park and the George Washington National Forest, where I made the stories and learned to hear the music I translate professionally, these days. I write a weekly outdoor column in The Rural Virginian newspaper, distributed in several counties in central Virginia, and have credits in Virginia Wildlife, Eastern Fly Fishing, Fly Tyer, Blue Ridge Outdoors, Hatch Magazine, and a few others. I graduated from Emory & Henry College in 2018 and am now based on the fringes of relevancy to the capital in Abingdon, Virginia, amid masses of bountiful National Forest land, where I guide fly fishing trips under my own name for wild trout, smallmouth bass, and musky on the world-class waters of southwest Virginia.
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.
I was born and raised in Roanoke, growing up enjoying all the area has to offer. Introduced to the areas rivers and trails at an early age, I spent many summer days of childhood on the Cowpasture, Jackson, and James Rivers, spurring a passion for the woods and water ever since. I studied business and environmental studies at the University of South Carolina and traveled to Wyoming during my college summers to begin my outdoor career as a whitewater guide. After graduation, I made the full time move to Wyoming to continue my guiding career, hunt and fish and enjoy the wide open spaces. From guiding snowmobile trips in Yellowstone National Park and the Wyoming backcountry, wildlife trips in Grand Teton National Park, to working as a fly fishing guide on the Snake and Green Rivers, I have a diverse outdoor background and have guided thousands of clients in many different settings. All of my guiding took place on public land and I was fortunate to be able to share our public lands with people from all walks of life. After being away from Roanoke for 8 years, my wife and I decided to make the move back to Virginia in 2014. I co-own and operate Roanoke Mountain Adventures, an outdoor outfitter and gear/clothing consignment shop. I consider myself lucky to live in the mountains of Western Virginia where there is an abundance of public land and outdoor opportunity. I have been a BHA member for 8 years and more recently became a Life Member. Outdoor conservation and education has become a passion and I look forward to helping grow the Capital Region chapter here in the Commonwealth.
I am an active duty Coast Guardsmen and have been since 2006. I am an engineer or Machinery Technician First Class by trade but enjoy working on vintage motorcycles and building things at the house in my spare time. I am married and have a beautiful wife and daughter. I have always been interested in the outdoors since a young age but never had many opportunities to hunt. I decided a few years ago that I would just dive right into it and with some help from a few friends they took me hunting. I have since fell in love with it and the conservation work behind it. That's why I love BHA and the principles it stands behind to protect our opportunities. I look forward to making this chapter succeed and working with members in our region.
I live in Westminster, MD, with my wife and our two daughters. I grew up in western PA and moved to MD after graduating from Penn State. Aside from my work for a national landscape service provider and my family, my life revolves around hunting and vegetable gardening. I live to hunt and spend as much time as possible in wild places. I primarily hunt for deer, turkey, bear, and small game in the mountains of western PA and MD. The protection of the remaining wild places is extremely important to me not only for my enjoyment, but for future generations. I am extremely honored and excited to work with the Capitol Region BHA members and to contribute my small part to the greater cause.