Jeff Lipple, Co-Chair - Jeff Lipple is the host of Hunt Camp Podcast where discussions are centered around hunting, fishing and conservation. He owns Island View Resort, which is made up of cabins along the shoreline of Lake Huron. They are located within the Les Cheneaux Islands, in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Also, he owns Island Charters with his brother Greg, which takes people fishing for salmon and trout, from Mackinac Island over to Drummond Island.
When he’s not in the U.P. throughout the seasons, he lives in Shelby Township. Him and his wife Christine have a Rottweiler and German Shorthaired Pointer. He enjoys craft beer and traveling, whether visiting warm places like the caribbean or adventures out west to Alaska, Idaho and Colorado. Deer hunting is his favorite way to spend time outside, which is typically done on public land in the Northeast of the lower peninsula. He also loves duck hunting, chasing upland birds with his pointer, catching King salmon and pulling jumbo Perch through the ice.
Ryan Cavanaugh, Co-Chair - Ryan grew up in Southwest Michigan surrounded by the Allegan State Game Area where he has been an avid Outdoorsman, and hunter all his life. Ryan was very fortunate to have grown up in a family that embraced the field to table lifestyle. During that time is when he developed a deep appreciation, and rapport for not only the game he was harvesting, but more importantly for the lands, waters, and wild places where game thrive.
After attending Western Michigan University, and living in Kalamazoo, Ryan moved north across the bridge to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. During his time here he has seen how extremely important our public lands are to the people, and the local economies of the UP. From Black Bear, or fishing guides, to leech trappers, and small business owners, they all rely on our public locales to bring people in from all over the world.
He has been involved with other outdoor organizations, and volunteer programs all his life, but the passion that Backcountry Hunters & Anglers brings is unlike any he has ever seen, or been a part of. Ryan looks forward to working with other Michiganders, and future members to Keep Michigan's public lands in public hands.
Don Goris, Treasurer -Don Goris lives in Holland with his wife, Emilie, and three young children. He is the founder and president of Campaign Resource Group, a political consulting and fundraising firm. He grew up fishing, camping, and hiking throughout Michigan and Ontario. He acquired the hunting bug in his late twenties and is doing whatever possible to make up for lost time. Most of his time outdoors is spent in Michigan either in a driftboat or a treestand, with the occasional jaunt out west.
As a new father, he's thoroughly excited about the prospect of spending time outdoors with his children, and is involved in BHA to help make sure his kids have the same access to public lands and waters that he has enjoyed.
Ryan Tucker, Secretary - Ryan loves the outdoors and when he is not spending time with family; he is hiking, hunting, fishing (though he isn't very good at it) and camping. He volunteers with a few other conservation and hunting based non-profits. Ryan’s goal, through this amazing organization, is to see that those areas in Michigan that are "public wild places" stay both public and wild for his daughter and all the future generations of anglers and hunters, and increasing the quality of habitat through conservation projects in Michigan.
Mark Kenyon, Board of Directors - Mark Kenyon is the founder of Wired To Hunt and host of the industry-leading Wired To Hunt Podcast. He is a contributor for MeatEater Inc, a nationally published writer, and an avid hunter, angler, hiker and storyteller.
Sarah Topp, Board of Directors - Sarah grew up in Gaylord, MI where she now works for Huron Pines as the AmeriCorps Coordinator developing future leaders in conservation. Sarah was a member through this program herself in 2015 where she served with Michigan United Conservation Clubs in Lansing. She then coordinated the On the Ground volunteer wildlife habitat improvement program for 3 more years before taking the chance to come back to her roots.
She grew up deer hunting but took up bird hunting in recent years and fully embraces the active lifestyle owning a GSP requires. Between seasons, she ventures out on public lands in and out of Michigan to go backpacking the Grand Tetons, canoe camping the Boundary Waters, paddle-boarding Michigan lakes, mountain biking single-track, snowshoeing and scouting for the next hunting season.
Although her focus is on Grouse and Woodcock in September-October and December, she also spends time practicing traditional archer for October whitetail season, calling turkeys April-May, and enjoying the nicer days on the water fishing for walleye, trout, and panfish. When she spend time indoors she enjoys lifting at the gym, going out for a good stout or porter, watching a good documentary, playing guitar, and entertaining her German Shorthair Pointer, Timber and sidekick Lab-Terrier mix, Lucy.
Goals of hers are to spend as much time as possible enjoying public lands in Northern MI and the UP with her dogs and introducing a few new people to public land recreation as well. This won't be hard to do with the places like the Pigeon River Country State Forest in her area--feel free to reach out!
Dustin Nichols, Board of Directors -Dustin lives in Mid-Michigan, but the Upper Peninsula is where he calls home. Both of his parents hail from the U.P. and his roots are deeply planted north of the Mackinac Bridge. In the vast public wilderness of the Hiawatha National Forest and its intertwined streams and rivers is where Dustin cut his teeth and continues to hunt and fish.
Professionally, Dustin works for a large property management company, and is a licensed real estate salesperson. He is also the Co-founder of Lifestyle Lost, an outdoor lifestyle apparel company who donates 100% of its profits to conservation efforts. In addition, Lifestyle Lost coordinates volunteer public land and water clean-up efforts statewide to help maintain pristine areas and keep access to them open.
For Dustin, BHA’s mission reverberates loudly and his driving motivation is to ensure that the privileges and places that have so greatly influenced him remain available for his children and the generations after them.
Landon Dekeyser, Board of Directors - Landon was born in Michigan’s upper peninsula in the small town of Saint Ignace surrounded by deep woods and water. His love of the great outdoors is rooted deeply in his blood having many generations of outdoorsmen on both sides of his family. He enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities, but what he cherishes most is trout fishing and deer hunting.
He learned at a very early age the value of public lands. His family moved to the southernmost part of Michigan when he was 7 years old. In this area, there is little to no public land. Moving from an area with an abundance of public land, to farm land with fences and posted signs, it had a drastic impact on how much time was spent in the woods with his dad.
Landon considers himself an animal lover of all kinds. He values the life of every living creature and feels it is the duty of mankind to manage and protect them for the future. Combining this with his passion for the outdoors, his single life goal is to be known not as a hunter or angler, but as a conservationist.
Matt Poet, Board of Directors -Matt was born and raised in Clare, Michigan where he learned about hunting, fishing, and the outdoors at a very young age. He is 3rd generation of the family owned company, Jay’s Sporting Goods, where he has held the title of Marketing Director for the past decade. Whether it’s being suspended above a whitetail in a Michigan hardwoods or putting a stalk on a Muley in the badlands, he cannot get enough of what the outdoors has to offer. Even during the winter months blazing a snowshoe trail in the fresh powder is something Matt looks forwards to. An avid lover of everything outdoors, he feels that everyone should get the opportunity to create stories and make memories with family and friends like he so gratefully has.
Josh Hillyard, Board of Directors - Josh lives in Brighton, MI with his wife and young son. He grew up in West Michigan fishing and camping and started hunting in his early 20’s. Josh is now an avid whitetail hunter and has dedicated his career to conservation as the Regional Director for the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA). He has hunted whitetails on small public parcels in the metro Detroit area, cedar swamps of northern Michigan’s public lands, in the Boundary Waters Canoe area, the badlands of North Dakota, and elk in Idaho. In the spring, he enjoys shed hunting with his dog, a chocolate lab, and turkey hunting. He hits the Manistee River any chance he gets to do a little fly fishing and loves to fish the inland lakes of northern Michigan where his family has a cabin. When he is not hunting or fishing, he enjoys hiking and camping with his family.
Since Josh began hunting later in life, it fuels his passion to get others involved in the outdoors. He loves to mentor new hunters and introduce them to all hunting has to offer. He makes it a point to get someone new out each year and he hopes you do as well. It’s the only way our hunting heritage will continue on for the next generation of hunters and conservationists. Wild places and public access are vital parts for introducing newcomers and he is committed to fighting for those places.
Zach Snyder, Board of Directors - Zach lives with his family in Southeast Michigan. A lifelong outdoorsman, he has been fishing since he could walk, and hunting since he's been able to. Zach hunts, or fishes around the state every chance he gets, but also spends as much time as he can outdoors with his children. He understands what it means to be good steward of the outdoors, and how important it is to pass on that stewardship and our outdoor heritage to the next generation.
Coming from the suburbs of Detroit, access and opportunity are paramount to Zach. While many of his earlier outdoor experiences took place in and around Alcona county where his family is from, as he got older, he began to explore other areas of the state. As he did this, he began to realize how most of those experiences would not have taken place if it were not for the abundance of public lands and waters that we have access to in our great state.
Zach has worked as a metal fabricator by trade for 13 years, and operates a small side business specializing in custom outdoor products. He is also an active volunteer in multiple other state, and national conservation organizations
Brandon McGraw, Board of Directors - In Brandon’s professional life, he works as a Corporate Compliance and Trade attorney. In his personal life he is an outdoor enthusiast, dog lover, avid mountain biker, and Spartan fan. Brandon and his wife reside in Lansing, Michigan with their English cocker spaniel and golden retriever.
Brandon believes the woods and waters of Michigan are places that are essential for people of all walks of life to have access to, without the burden of having to travel miles away to recreate. Our lands and waters should be easily accessible and protected for generations to come. His involvement on this Board is to ensure outdoor enthusiasts, like our Board of Directors and thousands of BHA members, continue to be the voice for expanding and protecting public land and water access.
Austin Motte, Board of Directors - Austin was raised in the Thumb of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. His childhood home was surrounded by 6,000 plus acres of state game land, which fed his passion for hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation. Austin now resides in the Lansing Mi area of the state.
In the spring Austin enjoys hunting turkeys throughout the state. During the late spring and summer Austin spends his free time at his family's cabin in the northern lower fishing and exploring public lands. In the most recent years the pursuit of grouse and woodcock has led Austin to acquire his first bird dog (English Setter) this spring. Austin avidly hunts in the western Upper Peninsula, where his family gathers every year for Michigan’s firearm deer season. Austin enjoys hunting small game in the winter, mainly focusing on squirrels, on public land close to home.
Public lands offer many of us a place to escape the daily routine. There's no better way to hit the “reset” button. Whether it's witnessing the world come to life on a cold November morning, or wetting a line as a warm summer day fades away. We need to take care of the land and waters that take care of us.
Heather Shaw, Board of Directors -Heather Shaw is a wildlife biologist whose career has focused on game bird ecology and management. She has worked for various state, federal and non-profit organizations whose goal has ultimately been to improve game bird habitat on public lands through on the ground implementation, strategic planning, collaboration with public stakeholders, and policy engagement. Heather has been very active in the hunting community in Michigan has a strong passion for bringing outdoorswomen together, especially over bird dogs. Heather is looking forward to getting to work with MI BHA to seek outside grant opportunities, assist in program and event development, and continue to work closely with Michgian’s amazing members. She lives in the Upper Peninsula near Marquette with her other half Erik Strazzinski, her Llewellin setter Chip, and Erik’s Brittanys, Aspen and Rusty.
Jordan Browne, Board of Directors -Jordan Browne grew up in the South-Central part of Michigan, spending most of his adolescence near of the town of Ionia. Growing up on a small trout stream with abundant wildlife, Jordan's obsession with the outdoors started at a young age and his passion for filming shortly there after. He’s been filming his outdoor adventures since the age 14.
After graduating High School, Jordan attended Michigan State University where he received a degree in Finance. While attending college, Jordan began working as a part-time as a cameraman for Michigan Out-of-Doors TV(MOOD TV). Shortly after graduation, he took on a fulltime role with the show as an Associate Producer and Social Media Manager. He’s been working for the show for almost 10 years and has helped produce more than 500 episodes. In addition to working for MOOD TV, Jordan has also assisted in producing shows for the World Fishing Network, Outdoor Channel, and the National Wildlife Federation.
Jordan now lives near Portland with his wife, Angela, and two-year-old daughter. Jordan enjoys just about everything the outdoor lifestyle has to offer with bow hunting being his top priority.
Having spent nearly a decade highlighting all of the hunting and fishing opportunities in Michigan, he’s tried just about everything the Mitten has to offer. He’s also hunted around the country for deer, bear, and elk.