Adam Leitschuh, Chairman
Adam was born in Colorado but spent majority of his youth growing up camping and fishing in the Sierra Nevada of Northern California. Adam started hunting shortly after high school and expanded his opportunities after moving to Idaho to attend college at Boise State University. Adam hunted in California on summer and winter breaks until he gained residency in Idaho to afford tags on a college student’s budget. He spent free time around school, work and rugby scouting, camping, hunting or fishing on public lands. After graduating with a construction management degree work took Adam to North Dakota and then Montana. While working on a project in Great Falls, MT Adam met his wife who is an Air Force Officer. His wife’s career took Adam back to North Dakota where he helped start the North Dakota Chapter of BHA and then on to Nebraska. Adam, his wife and their young son who was born in May of 2019 now reside in Plattsmouth, and Adam had to stay involved with BHA. As luck would have it, shortly after Adam's family moved to Nebraska, the new chapter was starting. In the past ten years, he has had the opportunity to hunt multiple western states full of public land including Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and New Mexico and eastern states such as Ohio which is at the opposite end of the public land spectrum. Growing up surrounded by public lands and waters and traveling and moving around the country Adam experienced firsthand how easy it is to take public lands and waters for granted. Without people acting that may not always be the case. No matter where that public land or water is how small or large it deserves our attention and protection.
Ace was born and raised in SE Nebraska walking fields for pheasant with a heavy focus on habitat improvement projects. Ace’s late father ran an upland bird hunting retreat near Valley, NE where the family lived full time. The work wasn’t just for his father, it was for him as well. Ace handled the habitat work, field improvements, cleaning all the birds for the clients, stocking the gear barn, maintaining the trap course, and all other odd jobs that a crop farm and hunting facility entails. Through this lifestyle, he only knew private ground and was never exposed to the idea of public ground or access issues. When Ace’s father suddenly passed away in 2007, his hero and greatest hunting partner was gone, and so were the connections. For about 8 years Ace became a very casual hunter and only sought it out when opportunity arose. But in 2015, the smell of the fields and the feeling of watching the dogs work became too much and he jumped back in headfirst. He began studying maps and putting boots on the ground to make it happen and he hasn’t looked back since. Ace says he can still remember the moment he saw a shirt that read, “Public Land Owner”. He found the organization, ordered some shirts, and then did the research into who and what BHA is about. His passion and relentlessness towards the goal of public land and water access consumes his life when he isn’t taking his 5 and 3 year olds camping, canoeing, or practicing with their bows.
Casey Hunter, Treasurer
Casey is a native Nebraskan. Growing up he would split his time between Omaha and Boston as his father played for the Red Sox in the early 70’s. The family lovingly refers to that time as “BC” – before cash. When Casey was not in Boston learning how to mingling with the “greats” he was back home in Omaha doing what young boys do – playing until the street lights came on. At age nine, Casey’s dad invited him on his first hunt — from then on he was hooked. Yes, those hunts fed the family, but they were also the foundation of many great memories between father and son. Casey and his dad would spend every weekend of every open season together in a blind, stand or field until the time came when his dad hung up the shotgun. Casey’s love of the outdoors and feeding his family from the land shifted to the streams when he discovered fishing. He developed lifelong relationships with his fishing buddies, who he still fishes with 32 years later. Access to public lands and public waterways are responsible for many of Casey’s closest relationships and fondest memories. Advocating for public access and keeping the sport ethical and viable for the next generation is his passion. Involvement with BHA is a natural progression for Casey to advocate the mission of public land owners. Casey received his B.S from Concordia University and currently is the branch manager for the leading forklift manufacturer in the Country. He is married with 3 children and is forever counting the days until the next open season.
Ryan is a fifth-generation Omahan, married with two teenagers, and works as a litigation attorney. Growing up, he spent countless hours with his Dad in a bass boat on public lakes within the Omaha metro area and in the field pheasant and quail hunting with the family’s German Shorthairs and English Setters. After college and law school, his outdoor life took the path of slow “deactivation” (R3 parlance), while starting a family, raising young kids active in sports, building a career, and believing — wrongly — that he did not have time to own a bird dog or access to quality upland hunting ground. That changed in 2016 when a friend offered him a Pointer pup. That pup changed everything. He began charting adventures with Nebraska G & P’s “Public Hunting Atlas” and hiking hundreds of miles in Nebraska’s public prairies in pursuit of grouse, pheasant and quail. Ryan cherishes the experiences his family has enjoyed because of access to Nebraska’s land and waters and joined BHA’s cause to ensure others have the same opportunities.
Brian grew up exploring the Missouri National Recreational River near Niobrara, Nebraska with his siblings and the family dog. These early experiences instilled in him a deep appreciation for wilderness areas and access to clean water for fishing and recreation. During college he worked at a small outdoor gear shop where he developed interests in fly fishing and hiking. In pursuing these interests, he explored many of America’s great public lands. Over the years, his pursuits have evolved to include bowhunting for whitetails and hunting waterfowl.
Brian joined BHA in the hope of furthering the conservation legacy of the Great Plains. He lives in Omaha with his wife and two dogs where he works as an attorney.
James was raised in the North Texas suburbs of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Some of his earliest memories were fishing for blue gill with his dad and grandpa and helping his dad clean doves after he got back from hunting with his uncles. He continued to develop his love for the outdoors by spending almost all his free time on the lake where he grew up. In 2011 James joined the Air Force and received orders to North Dakota. This is where his passion for hunting and fishing really began to become the focal point of his life. From growing up in a state that is overwhelmingly restricted to private access, the term public land wasn’t something that he was very familiar with. In a trip to the North Dakota badlands to chase mule deer with his bow, he had his first public land hunting experience. James remembers being awestruck by the idea that anyone could access such a stunning landscape without paying for lease fees or having permission from a landowner. This experience set him on a path to learn more about public land and the opportunities and resources that these lands provided. In 2016 James received orders to Nebraska. He immediately began exploring the state from Scotts Bluff to Nebraska City. From ice fishing the potholes of the sand hills to hunting whitetails in the bluffs of the Missouri river, Nebraska has become a special place that he has grown to deeply appreciate. His experiences on public land throughout Nebraska and the rest of the country have given him a passion to want to protect it for future generations. James is looking forward to working with BHA to be a voice for public lands and waters throughout the state.
Michael was born in Northern California. Growing up his family has lived in California, Alaska, Georgia and Nebraska. His family settled in the McCook area when he was 15. After Tech school he moved to Kearney to begin his career as an industrial electrician. In 2013 he moved his family to McCook where they currently reside. Michael grew up hunting a variety of species including pheasants, quail, and Sandhills mule deer. When he was 18, he went on his first Colorado elk hunt which helped instill his love for western hunting. His love of the outdoors is something he is trying to pass on to his two daughters. He looks forward to the day when his daughters are toting their own shotguns and chasing roosters on the high plains with him. But until then his family enjoys taking advantage of the many lakes Southwest Nebraska has to offer where they fish, hunt, hike and like to go boating.
Michael didn’t come from a family who had land rights. It would be impossible for him to carry on his love for the outdoors if it were not for public lands and waters. He joined BHA to help keep our public lands and waters in the public hands. He values the importance it will have for his kids, grandkids and the generations to come.
Kyle Broadfoot, Secretary
Kyle was born and raised in the mixed croplands and pastures of rural Southwest Nebraska. From an early age, Kyle’s dad was taking him on weekend adventures of chasing ringnecks, quail, turkeys, and deer, along with setlining the river for channel cats. Early on, he learned that fair chase, safety, and conservation were even more important than actually harvesting game. As Kyle grew older and access to private land dwindled, he began to seek out the wilder places that public lands in Western Nebraska offered. His quests for whitetails transitioned to mulies, Eastern and hybrid turkeys turned to Merriam’s and Rios, and his rifle was occasionally racked for a bow. His passion for public lands continued to grow, as well, the more he became involved in groups such as BHA, Pheasants Forever, and the Izaak Walton League. Currently, Kyle lives in Cambridge, NE where he works as a physical therapist assistant at the local hospital. He has a wife and three kids and one giant yellow lab, Ruger, who refuses to find downed birds.
Bill was born in the small South Central Nebraska town of Oxford but spent his first formative years growing up on the front range of the Rocky Mountains with his mother, older sister, stepfather, and two older stepbrothers. Family outings found him following his brothers or catching small animals along the trout streams and lakes while camping. After the birth of his younger brother and sister, the family returned to his hometown where he was reunited with his grandfather who would become the biggest influencer in his outdoor passion. Pheasants and duck led to bigger game and with the guidance of a brother and grandfather he found his ultimate passion in bowhunting. His first deer was a 3x3 mule deer buck at 17, and he has been fortunate enough to take trophy animals with both modern and traditional gear over the last 30 seasons. Bill has also been an avid trapper and predator hunter for over 25 years. Many weekends are spent checking long trap lines for bobcat, coyote, fox and raccoon. Bill often brags about being the best skunk and opossum trapper in Furnas county. Bill lives in Oxford with his wife of 24 years, his daughter and two sons — all avid hunters. Bill is very active in his community. He has been a member of the volunteer fire department for 25 years where he is the current Fire Chief. He is a past city councilman, president and board member of the local outdoor club/shooting club, and coach for Little League baseball, football and Peewee wrestling.
Josh is a native of Nebraska, where he grew up on the Platte River in the South Central part of the state. Josh was exposed to the outdoors through adventures with family, friends and the Boy Scouts led by his father. Springs and summers were often spent in the johnboat fishing on the pond with friends and camping. Fall and winter was a time for hunting. Josh’s father and uncle first exposed him to hunting by having him and his brother, walk through the pheasant fields to help fill in the space between those carrying a shotgun. As Josh continued to enjoy the outdoors during his high school years, he joined a trip to the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota for a weeklong canoe trip. Having to pack in all their gear and portage from lake to lake was one of the most impactful events in his life. In college Josh found ways to hunt nearby public land, and eventually introduced his soon-to-be wife to hunting. Now that Josh has two daughters he works to teach them about wildlife and nature so that they will grow to appreciate the value these things bring to the world. As a father, husband, son and outdoorsman being an advocate for public access and ethical, fair chase hunting and fishing is one of Josh’s passions. Involvement with BHA has been a natural progression to advocate the mission of public land access and improvement. Josh received his B.S from the University of Nebraska – Kearney. Today, Josh lives in Omaha with his wife and two wonderful daughters and is currently a field trainer for Travelers Indemnity Company. His work takes him around Nebraska, Kansas and Western Missouri. Josh looks forward to the days when his fishing partners develop into hunting buddies. Until that day he enjoys the camping and fishing adventures his family experience.
Dr. Bryan Trout was raised in McCook and currently resides in Omaha. Growing up in Southwest Nebraska, Dr. Trout was hunting and fishing with his family at a very young age. He grew to appreciate the outdoors and the importance of public lands and waters and has passed those values on to his two sons. He annually hunts and fishes with them in their home states of South Dakota and Montana. When he is not outside enjoying our public lands and waters, he is planning his next trip to one of these wonderful locations. He is a skilled big game hunter (deer, elk, antelope), and avid upland bird hunter. He and his wife, Julie, love to camp and have hiked public lands in many states. Dr. Trout has a B.S. degree from the University of Nebraska and a D.V.M. from Kansas State University. As a veterinarian, Dr. Trout feels strongly that engaging in conservation activities is the right thing to do, not only for wildlife but to protect and enhance our public lands and waters for current and future generations.