Frank Lake, Co-chair
I was born and raised outside San Diego, California where I hunted and fished for everything from yellowfin tuna to desert mule deer. After high school, I went into the Army and was fortunate enough to be stationed in multiple locations including Texas, Oklahoma, and Alaska where I continued to enjoy the outdoors. After I was discharged, I returned to California and continued my education. After earning a couple of associate degrees, I transferred to the University of Iowa to be closer to family and to expand my hunting and fishing opportunity. While at Iowa, myself and a handful of other students started a shooting club that I now coach.
Since moving to Iowa, I have discovered the state has less opportunity to hunt on open public lands compared to other states. The past few years I’ve
wanted to find a way to help expand our lands, and help foster a new generation of hunters and anglers, but didn’t know how to get started. BHA affords me the opportunity to help with these issues and improve the habitat for wildlife throughout the state.
Rick Henley, Co-chair
I am a native Iowan that found my own way to the outdoors for the most part as I did not grow up in a hunting or fishing family. Because of this I had very little private land opportunities available to me and spent much of my time hunting and fishing on public land in Iowa, and continue to do so. Starting out as an upland and waterfowl hunter, I have more recently become obsessed with Iowa deer and turkey hunting, both of which I hunt exclusively on public land. I have also started looking at public land opportunities out West for mule deer and elk.
Hunting and fishing have enhanced my understanding of why we must protect wild animals and wild places, and fighting for our public lands is the best way to do so. This is what brought me to Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and I am excited to do my part along with the rest of the Iowa BHA Board of Directors and BHA members around the country.
Phil Hayes, Secretary
I am an enthusiastic float tube fly fisher and have hiked hundreds of miles to fish alpine lakes in public wilderness throughout the mountain west over the past 20 years.
I have been a BHA member since 2015, and BHA Corporate Sponsor who attended the 2018 Rendezvous.
I am a veterinarian living in rural Northwest Iowa since 1995 that has career experience negotiating policy with government agencies, as well as technical expertise in animal disease control.
I am also the founder & owner of Wilderness Lite...the ultralight float tubes, specializing in providing ultralight float tubing gear that makes it feasible for backpackers to float tube fish public land wilderness lakes many miles from the trail head on extended hikes.
Chris Ford, Treasurer
I was born in Iowa and currently live in Central Iowa with my wife and 2 children with a baby on the way. I enjoy hunting all of Iowa’s game animals on both public and private land. I am a member of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, as well as Pheasants Forever. I spent many summers fishing the trout streams of the Black Hills in South Dakota. I was recently able to harvest my first antelope on Wyoming’s public lands this year. I love spending time outdoors and want to protect our public lands so my children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy the outdoors as I have.
Max McDaniel, Board Member
I grew up hunting and fishing along the Mississippi River. While attending college at Iowa State University I held multiple positions, including president, in the Iowa State University Hunting Club, which focuses on hunter engagement and providing opportunities for college students to hunt public lands for the first time away from home. When I am not balancing my time between law school at the University of Iowa or working on bows behind the archery counter at Fin and Feather, I am somewhere on the public ground hunting everything from squirrels and rabbits to ducks and deer. I believe that in a state where land is largely held in private hands, public lands are crucial for hunter engagement and opportunity.
Matt Sweeney, Board Member
I am an agronomist by trade and thoroughly enjoys the outdoors. I was introduced to the outdoors at a very early age by family and I continue my love of the outdoors by hunting & fishing. I was born and raised in Iowa and I continue my passion for the outdoors thru my children. Depending on the time of year, you may find me napping in the spring turkey woods, hiking the hills for morel mushrooms, enjoying a warm summer evening in the boat, sitting high in a tree on a crisp fall morning
or tucked into a warmed ice tent awaiting the evening crappie bite. Many of these occurring on public lands. I also sit on the board of directors for the Mid-Iowa Archers in central IA as well as volunteering as an Area Rep for the Iowa Bowhunters Association.
Gary Faith, Board Member
I was born and raised in Iowa. I have a fiancé, Alisha, and two kids, Pacyn, 6, and Lucas, 2. I live in Onawa and work as self-employed tile contractor. I come from a big family with two brothers and three sisters, where I grew up hunting. I have been hanging out in trees since I got out of diapers. I love to bowhunt for deer the most, but I do hunt other creatures and fish as well.
Steven Ready, Board Member
I was born and raised on a farm in Nebraska. Growing up my family loved to go camping and fishing. I've always fished on public waters and hunted small game on my family's farm, but hunting big game out West has been a dream of mine since I was 8. My education and attending dental school took priority for many years, which didn't leave much time for my outdoor passions. But now that I have moved to Northwest Iowa in 2017 and started my career as a general dentist, I have the time and resources to focus on being in, recreating on, and advocating for public lands and waters. I look forward to finally being able to plan Westward trips and working with the awesome people I have met through BHA. While I am a
member of other outdoor-related groups, the energy and enthusiasm I've witnessed in BHA is incredible, infectious, and one of the reasons why I joined myself.
Kent Petersen, Board Member
I was born and raised in central Iowa, where I remain today with my wife and two children. My father brought me up hunting and fishing on both private and public land. It wasn’t until I ventured out to some western states on hunting and fishing trips on public land and water that I truly grew an appreciation for our public lands. I learned about BHA shortly thereafter and joined. I look forward to doing my part in protecting and enhancing our public lands and waters.
In my free time I enjoy fishing for just about everything and hunting Iowa’s famous whitetail, turkey, and upland game, as well as venturing out west on any outdoor adventure. I also enjoy cooking, kayaking, shed hunting, foraging, hiking, and camping with my family.
Brandon Luety, Board Member
I spent the first half of my childhood in southern Wisconsin. After my family relocated to Iowa we had no connections to anyone. My dad and I would hunt various tracts of public land near our home in eastern Iowa as well as travel to other public locations around the state for hunting and fishing trips. My first 8 years as an outdoorsman were completely reliant on public land opportunities in Iowa. While it was a struggle, we had a fair amount of success and I learned a lot from these pieces of land. Now that I’m older, I’ve gained access to private properties but find myself often traveling to “new to me” public land in search of new adventure.
I support BHA and their mission to protect the privilege we all share to access land and waterways for current users and generations to come. Without the access I had to public lands I would not have the same passion for the outdoors as I do today.
I currently live in the Des Moines metro with my wife and two dogs working as an IT Project Manager. Our first child is on the way and I very much look forward to introducing them to the land, nature, and lifestyle I love.
Jim Bartz, Board Member
I was born and raised on a farm in Northeast Iowa. Through pheasant hunting and fishing with my family, I grew to love the outdoors. As I grew older, I was introduced to deer and turkey hunting as they became more plentiful around the area. Turkey hunting and making turkey box calls became my obsession for over a decade.
Within the last couple of years, my interest in elk hunting grew through my discovery of several media personalities and groups. With the passing of my father, and my own age pressing, I decided to
take the plunge and plan a DIY archery elk hunt on the public lands of the West. In doing the research that goes into planning a trip like this, my discovery of BHA and the importance of our public lands were inevitable.
I joined BHA because I feel the power of being a public land owner, and protecting public lands for those that utilize, plan future adventures, or only appreciate the existence of those wild places, is a responsibility we all share.
Mike Webb, Board Member
I grew up in Indiana hunting on private ground and fishing public waters. Once graduating from college and moving to Iowa to begin my career, I became wholly dependent on public lands for all my adventures. Over the last 12 years my love for public lands has grown every year and increased exponentially when in 2014 I began going west every year to hunt elk. After a few trips out west I heard of BHA and joined in 2016 as I believe in the mission of BHA and its focus on land and water protections.
I currently live in eastern Iowa with my wife and two children and work as a manufacturing engineer. I look forward to continuing the BHA mission to afford my children the same or greater opportunities in the outdoors as they grow older.
Will Doepke, Board Member
I was born and raised in Northeast Iowa, I grew up in a farming family and was not exposed to the joys of hunting and fishing until later in life. I was first introduced to fishing long before I could drive, donating all my paper route money to the local hardware store and bait shops. Once I started, I knew it was something I would be forever passionate about. I made friends to give me more opportunities and eventually my first taste of hunting. That was small game hunting around my family farm and the 80 acres of public land that was only 2 miles from my home. I have always had a passion for the outdoors and have grown to appreciate it more and more every day.
Now I live in central Iowa and all of my hunting and fishing is done on public land. I could not imagine being able to hunt and fish as much as I do without the access this region has available and hope someday all Iowa have as much access as I do or more.
Adam Pinckney, Board Member
I grew up in a non-hunting family but had an uncle from Colorado that took me squirrel hunting when I was a kid. Growing up I would tag along on hunts when he was in town. However, it wasn’t until college that I first took Hunter’s Safety so I could finally hunt. My first time hunting was for Canada Geese in North Dakota and I was hooked instantly. My biggest passion is bowhunting for Whitetail Deer but I enjoy muzzleloader season as well. I enjoy hunting many species but
outside of whitetail I prefer to pursue waterfowl and small game. A Colorado elk hunt is next on my bucket list.
My wife, Sydney, and I reside in Mt. Vernon. We both love the outdoors and are planning on buying a small farm. Outside of hunting I enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, snowboarding, biking, automobiles, woodworking, being active in our church, and spending time with friends and family.
Ben Nicholson, Board Member
I live in Eastern Iowa with my wife and two children. We moved to the area in 2001 and quickly fell in love with all it has to offer. I developed my love for the outdoors by growing up spending my summers fishing with my family in the Chippewa National Forest of Northern Minnesota, and hunting deer and small game near my home in Western Illinois. When I am not outdoors hunting or fishing, I work as a Realtor with a local real estate company. Additionally, I spend my time coaching youth hockey and serving on the local RMEF committee where I have been a life member for the past 10 years.