Cody Cass, Co-Chair & Secretary
Cody grew up in south St. Louis county, spending as much time outside as he possibly could. Countless days were spent in the small patch of woods behind his house chasing squirrels with a BB gun and building trails so he and his friends could ride their bikes. His love for the west and its mountains spawned from his first trip to Colorado while in high school. This led to him to attend college in Colorado for two years before returning home. Cody graduated from Saint Louis University in 2006 with degrees in biology and chemistry. When he is not working at Anheuser-Busch, free time is spent with his wife and two young children at the family property in St. Clair, Missouri, the place where Cody developed his passion for hunting. He looks forward to sharing his passions with his children and taking family trips out west.
Jack grew up just south of the Iowa line in a small town of 400 people. Having grown up with several hundred acres of family land to hunt on and neighbors who allowed him to hunt hundreds more, public lands never really entered his mind back then. He vaguely remembers the Sagebrush rebellion that happened in his youth and is amazed that some of those same people are still trying to take our public lands today. Jack didn't take his first hunting trip out west until he was in his 40s and immediately fell in love with the beautiful landscape that is our public lands.
Josh grew up in central Missouri around the outdoor recreation meccas of Truman Lake and Lake of the Ozarks. He has been hunting and fishing since his Dad hauled him up into a tree stand with a rope when he was three years old. Living in Missouri, Josh didn't have an appreciation for public lands as he hunted mostly private, except his annual rabbit and quail hunting trip to Settle's Ford Conservation Area with his grandfather over Christmas break. The draw of the west has always been strong for Josh after the family vacationed to Yellowstone National Park when he was 10. When his father came back from a successful Wyoming antelope hunt, Josh was hooked on the west for life. He went on his first western hunt, an unsuccessful trip to Colorado for elk, just three months after he was married to his wife. That hunt cemented his love for the western landscapes even more. He continues to hunt the public lands of the west and here in Missouri. He enjoys hunting and fishing whenever he can but with three boys who like to hunt and fish, he stays busy. A favorite activity of his in the summer is trout fishing at Bennett Springs State Park with his family. Josh has always supported conservation and has served as board member and president of local Ducks Unlimited Chapters, but it wasn't until the last few years that he has really become involved in the preservation of our public lands and the animals that inhabit them. "We all need to work together to preserve our way of life for the next generation so they can have the same opportunities that we have had and leave it better than we have found it if possible." When asked what his favorite hunt would be the answer is easy, "the next one."
Bryce's favorite place to be is on the range behind a good rifle, with a pistol on his side. Along with his undying passion for the shooting sports exists his love for the outdoors and our public lands. Whether skipping school as a teenager to go fish, going on float trips with friends, or making the long drive to Mound City from Kansas City to try and draw into his favorite duck spot, public lands have been there from the get go, and he couldn't imagine life without them.
Frank grew up in western Pennsylvania just outside of Pittsburgh. He spent much of his time in the fall and winter on public land with his brother and cousins hunting whitetails, pheasants and squirrels. In the spring, he, his brother and father would shift their focus to the local streams fly fishing for trout. After completing biomedical engineering and chemistry degrees at the University of Pittsburgh, Frank traveled to North Carolina to attend medical school at Duke University. In the summer of 2017, Frank moved to St. Louis with his fiancé Katy to pursue a Radiology residency. When Frank isn’t working in the hospital, he can be found in the woods participating in his favorite pastime, still-hunting squirrels. Frank now realizes how lucky he was to spend much of his childhood outside with his family. Because of this, he is now a champion of conservation and protecting public lands in the hopes that his future children can enjoy similar adventures.
A native of Parkville, MO. Ryan spent a great deal of his youth hunting on private lands in the Ozarks of Missouri. In addition, Ryan has always been active on public lands through his involvement in the Boy Scouts of America hiking, floating and exploring. After living out west in California for six years and getting to explore the vast open high country of Northern California and the Sierra's, his passion to ensure that public lands remain available for future generations to come was solidified. Ryan returned to Missouri in 2009 to attend graduate school, and it was during this time that he worked as a campus recreation director taking students out into the national forests of Missouri and Arkansas. It was this that made him become more aware of what was happening with the attempts to erode the protections of public lands. He was raised with an understanding of the world that is best summed up by the words of President Theodore Roosevelt when he said, "We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune."
Ryan Price, Treasurer
Ryan has been fishing, hunting, hiking and camping since he could walk. From class five white water rapids to grizzly bear encounters, passion for public lands started early in many of the U.S. National Parks as family vacations opted for tents and pop-up campers instead of hotels. The majority of Ryan’s time growing up outdoors was spent hiking Glacier, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Great Smoky Mountain, Mesa Verde and Yellowstone National Parks with hopes to complete that list throughout life. Growing up on Lake Saint Louis, Missouri, Ryan has had a steady diet of catfish, as any person should growing up near the Mississippi River. As an avid outdoorsman, Ryan enjoys hunting for deer in Missouri conservation areas and fly fishing for rainbow and brown trout throughout the state. Future outdoor aspirations include drawing elk tags to hunt in Kentucky and spending time fly fishing salmon runs in Alaska. Professionally, Ryan graduated from Westminster College, with degrees in accounting and business administration and now works at RSM US LLP in Clayton, Missouri as an indirect tax automation consultant.
Brett Thorne, Chair
Brett Thorne (The Last Desperado) is the mad scientist behind Hunt Hard Outdoors. Born and raised in rural northern Missouri, he has a genuine passion for the outdoors and everything mother nature has to offer. He lives an outdoor life from whitewater guiding in Idaho to rock climbing in Arkansas and loves the majestic heritage of hunting as much as he loves participation in conservation. He is truly honored to be a part of BHA, helping build a great organization that fights to protect the public lands for past, present and future outdoor enthusiasts.
Zac was raised up in rural Oklahoma. Hunting and fishing were a way of life in that country, and Zac was blessed enough to have his grandfather’s ranch to tromp. Giving a 10-year-old free range with a Marlin .22 is a practice frowned upon by many, but Zac’s parents and grandparents allowed it. Many squirrel, rabbit, dove, duck, and eventually whitetail deer, were harvested and devoured on that ranch. A 400-acre playground became the crucible for forging the lessons of hard work, life and death. At the ripe age of 18, Zac couldn’t escape that paradise quick enough. He had had enough of the fence mending, the cattle chasing and the hay hauling. He was off to college at Oklahoma State, to the “big city” of Stillwater. That “school by day, party by night” environment chewed Zac up and spit him out. His parents had enough, and the bad marks in school were no longer funded. His choices were to either go back to the farm or military service. Zac chose the latter, and was Air Force Basic Training bound in May of 2010. He received his orders to his first assignment, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. His new office was out on the flight line, generating C-130 air power in the shadow of Pikes Peak. Zac had no idea about the expansive amounts of National Forest and public lands that awaited him, and like John Denver, Zac was re-born in those mountains. His 400-acre paradise in Okie had no comparison to the thousands of acres in places like The West Elk Wilderness, The La Garita Wilderness, the Flat Tops or the Powderhorn.