Geordie was born and raised in Parker, Texas. “I grew up fishing … sunfish in the small creek behind my house, and largemouth bass in the old quarry down the street,” he says. Geordie was also known to regularly “hunt” squirrels with his jack Russell terrier and BB gun, but didn’t officially start hunting until after graduating from college.
He received a bachelor’s degree in Geography from The University of Colorado-Boulder and currently works as a GIS Analyst at Uber Technologies. Geordie lives in Longmont and hunts most often in the Roosevelt and Grand Mesa/Gunnison National Forests, and the Wyoming Prairie. He primarily fishes Front Range streams and the Arkansas River basin.
“I am mostly pure fly fisherman these days,” Geordie says, “targeting trout, but also panfish and bass. I am a generalist hunter: targeting whatever the season provides. However, spring turkey and archery elk are the two seasons I plan and train for year-round.” He’s a self-taught fly-fisherman and hunter (sans waterfowl), and uses both a compound bow and rifle.
Geordie learned waterfowl hunting from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers State Policy Director, Tim Brass, who’s also a Colorado resident. “However,” Geordie adds, “I would say that I am most inspired by Hemingway’s ‘Green Hills of Africa,’ the stories of my grandfather hunting hogs in the Everglades with his .357 magnum, and my father’s deer, turkey, and javelina hunting down in Texas.”
Liz was born and raised in the California Coast Range and was lucky to live in the hills of the relatively small (by Bay Area standards) town of Los Gatos with a park behind her house. “I spent a lot of time running around on deer trails under oak trees, and through poison oak, unfortunately,” she said. “We had a garden and orchard, would harvest mussels on the coast during fall and winter, cut and dried apricots at my grandpa’s orchard in the summers, and frequently hosted dinners for family and friends, so I grew up with a solid appreciation for the connections between nature, food, and relationship-building.”
Her grandfather and his two brothers often told stories of hunting and fishing in Northern California, and all three of them had deer mounts up in their houses. “Although those hobbies were not directly passed down to my generation, they were at least familiar to me,” Liz says. “Now my Great Uncle Jerry likes to talk to me about hunting and he seems quite pleased that my brother and I have both tried to pick it up despite not having grown up doing it.”
She started hunting during 2012 in California. “My boyfriend at the time had grown up duck hunting and after asking him too many questions about it, he told me to just come along and see what it was like for myself,” Liz explained. “At the end of that year we took a six-week road trip to Alaska. En route I shot my first dove (near Colusa, CA) and first duck (in Fairbanks, AK), the only banded bird I’ve shot to this day.”
Liz also learned to salmon fish in Alaska and fell even more in love with fish, wildlife, and big, wild, open spaces. She would have moved to Alaska, but all of the geoscience jobs were in Houston at the time, resulting in a move to Texas in 2012. While living in Houston she made time for both hunting (doves, ducks, deer, hogs) and fishing (salt and freshwater) along with gardening and cooking.
She worked as a geoscientist for the US Geological Survey for two years and then in the oil and gas industry, in various capacities, for six years, which coincided with a move to Colorado. Liz joined Backcountry Hunters & Anglers in 2018 during a fall membership promotion for a Pint Night at Upslope Brewing in Boulder. “I learned about BHA in 2017 when Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz foolishly introduced HR 621,” she said. “I was outraged, and quickly found (via the internet) that so was BHA, so I’ve followed BHA ever since.”
During December 2019, Liz will complete her master’s degree in Environmental Policy and is hoping to work professionally on policy issues related to land management, outdoor recreation and conservation. “I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner with Colorado BHA for my master’s capstone project,” she explained, “focusing on the expansion of public recreational access to Colorado state trust land and exploring and advocating for feasible funding and policy solutions.”
Liz hunted elk during 2017 and brought three people completely new to hunting with her. She has deer, elk and antelope tags for 2019. “I’ve been trying to learn about hunting one new species per year,” she said. “I’m really hoping to pheasant and duck hunt again this year, and if I can make time, I’d like to go squirrel and rabbit hunting as well since I’ve never done either and they seem fun. Basically, I’m still a rookie and I’ll take whatever experience I can get.”
“I do like fishing, but in the summer I spend most of my free time trail running on public land … when the lakes freeze over it’s rare for me not to choose my snowboard or skis whenever I get the chance,” she says. “This summer I did technically start fly fishing, but only went out a few times. There is just so much to do in this state!” Liz lives in Boulder and was recently appointed to the Colorado Sportsperson’s Roundtable. She will serve until 2021.