Brett was born in Colorado Springs, Colo., and moved to the West Slope when he was 3 years old. He grew up hunting and fishing with his dad, grandpa and cousin. “My dad was always the first to push my boundaries in the outdoors,” Brett said. They moved to Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, when he was 10 and, in his words, “Spent that year exploring the depth of what a life outdoors really meant.”
After moving back to Colorado, mule deer, elk and pronghorn were his focus. Later on moose and sheep become part of the hunting game plan. He’s also still looking for “that mule deer we all dream about.” Brett is a turkey hunter too. “Turkey hunting became a passion of mine while working in Wyoming,” he said, “and I try to hunt turkeys with friends as often as possible.”
After completing a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management at Northern Arizona University (1993) and a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology (1997) at Colorado State University, Brett worked for the Colorado Division of Wildlife and later the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. After returning to Colorado, he spent 13 years-plus with the Grand Junction Fire Department. “I currently own a Coffee Roasting business in Fruita,” Brett explains. “I have enjoyed spending more time hunting and exploring the west since retiring from the Fire Department.”
“I am lucky enough to recently be engaged to my incredible fiancé, Beth, who has changed my life,” Brett adds. “We are planning several trips across the west and then the country. I am getting back into archery hunting and she wants to be a part of that by taking a turkey with her bow this spring. I used to take for granted public land was just always there, I see now we need to foster that resource and make sure is stays around for future generations.”
Central West Slope Regional Director, Craig Grother (a retired USFS biologist—with 33 years of experience—who resides in Norwood), said: “Both Lee and Brett assisted on our service projectinstalling a gate in the Dominguez-Escalante Wilderness Area, where illegal motorized vehicle use was occurring. They’re great guys and are perfect choices to represent BHA in the Grand Junction area.”
“Lee and Brett are active BHA members-volunteers and, now, leaders. We’re lucky to be on the receiving end of their passion for wildlands and wildlife, public lands and boots-on-the-ground advocacy,” said Colorado BHA co-chair, David Lien (a former U.S. Air Force officer). “Our members in the Grand Junction-Grand Valley and Mesa County region will benefit greatly from their lifetimes of hunting-angling experiences and public lands knowledge. We need many more like them.”
Eric was born and raised in Zanesville, Ohio. Family camping and fishing trips monopolized his free time until he started whitetail hunting. “In 1995, I found bow hunting and whitetails in the same year. I was just out of college and could barely afford the gear,” he says. “I was surrounded by great mentors that got me set up with a bow and I haven’t looked back since. From that point on I spent every waking moment shooting my bow and dreaming about wild places.”
He move to Colorado, with his wife Molly, in 2006. Eric is a Captain for the Grand Junction Fire Department and Molly is a 1st grade teacher. “We nearly went broke throwing ourselves into every outdoor hobby Colorado has to offer. We started backpacking and exploring the endless trails and public lands,” he said. “We climbed Colorado’s 58 14ers together and kissed on every peak. Amazing to think we hiked over 420 miles on public land climbing the 14ers, and that’s just scratching the surface of our public lands.”
“I love to hunt and explore new and wild places. I’m guilty of always wanting to see what’s over the next ridge, plateau or mountain, Eric added. “I have spent most of my Colorado hunting seasons chasing elk and deer with my bow. This has afforded me many trips into the backcountry. I have a deep respect and love for our wild places and can’t wait for the next hiking or hunting adventure.”
“Eric has demonstrated a strong commitment to public service in his role as a firefighter. We’re extremely pleased to now have that same level of commitment and selflessness helping Backcountry Hunters & Anglers protect and perpetuate our nation’s unequaled public lands hunting and angling heritage,” said Colorado BHA co-chair David Lien (a former Air Force officer). “Eric knows that, like America’s foremost hunter-conservationist Theodore Roosevelt said, ‘Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.’ We need many more like him!”
The Colorado chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers recently appointed Collin Hildebrand to serve as an Assistant Regional Director for the Northwest/Grand Valley Group.
Collin was born and raised in Odessa/Midland, Texas, where he hunted and worked to provide Blue Scale Quail habitat in the form of shelter bundles and feed and water supply on a private ranch owned by family friends. “I started hunting dove and quail with my father and friends on that private ranch at a very young age playing retriever, and later in high school I would go on to guide mule deer and javelina hunts on that same property,” he said.
“After high school I moved to Durango and answered the call in a newspaper ad for an industrial rock climber and was subsequently hired to hang mesh and scale rocks from highway passes,” Collin explained. “I have been in the drilling, blasting and rockfall mitigation business since then.”
Since moving to Grand Junction in 2011, Collin has mostly been chasing upland and waterfowl although he does harvest the occasional elk. “Chukar, Quail and Dove are my favorite game species as it allows me more time in the field,” he added. “I also sit on the local board for Ducks Unlimited and Quail/ Pheasant Forever.”
Collin hunts big game with a rifle and builds lightweight rifles in his garage but enjoys shooting a bow. “I’m happily married to the wife of my dreams and have a 6-year-old daughter who won her first rifle at a banquet last year,” he said. Collin joined Backcountry Hunters & Anglers in July 2018 after determining that BHA’s “wild public lands, waters and wildlife” preservation mission was a “perfect fit” for his personal hunting preferences and ethos.