Join Backcountry Hunters & Anglers at Rendezvous 2022 at the Wilma Theater, 7:30 pm, May 13 in Missoula, Montana, for Campfire Stories presented by Duck Camp! Join amazing storytellers from around the continent as they weave tales of public lands and outdoors experiences. You will laugh and you may cry during this memorable event! Get your tickets to Rendezvous 2022 now!
Ben O’Brien - Ben is a writer, podcaster, and currently the director of community marketing for Duck Camp. He's also the founder of the mentorship nonprofit The Hunt in Common and host of his own show WOODSIDE with Ben O'Brien. He is formerly the hunting marketing manager at YETI and director of hunting at MeatEater. Currently a resident of Bozeman, Montana, he grew up on the East Coast. Prior to joining YETI, he was managing editor at Petersen’s Hunting and digital editor at the National Rifle Association’s American Hunter magazine. He has been published in a wide range of outdoor publications.
Our 2022 storytellers include the following:
Mark Kenyon - author of That Wild Country: An Epic Journey into the Past, Present, and Future of America's Public Lands, host of the Wired To Hunt Podcast and MeatEater's most recent two whitetail shows - the Back 40 and One Week in November, and a diehard angler, hiker and backcountry enthusiast.
Rue Mapp - Candidly documenting her personal experiences, while shifting and pioneering a new visual representation of Black people in the outdoors, Rue Mapp transformed her kitchen table blog into a national nature business, and movement. Today, she’s the founder and CEO of where Black people and nature meet: Outdoor Afro. For more than a decade, the not-for-profit organization has continued to celebrate and inspire Black connections and leadership in nature across the United States. Although Mapp’s work in the outdoor industry may have started in her hometown of Oakland, California, her story and the creation of Outdoor Afro has since grown to inspire international headlines.
Rue is an awarded, inspirational leader, speaker, author, and public lands champion. She became a National Geographic 2019 Fellow, Heinz Awards Honoree, and National Wildlife Federation Communication Award recipient (received alongside President Bill Clinton), among many other recognitions. The White House also invited Mapp to participate in the America’s Great Outdoors Conference, which led to her participation in the launch of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative.
Mapp’s conservation career, community impact with Outdoor Afro, and dedication to educational, environmental, and health policies continues to earn international media attention, including The New York Times, Good Morning America, NPR, NBC’s TODAY, Forbes, Oprah Winfrey and currently on Netflix’s popular series “MeatEater” with Steven Rinella.
Follow her adventures @RueMapp across social platforms!
Tyson Running Wolf - Tyson “Makoyiisapo” (Wolf Plume) was born and raised on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana, USA. He is a traditional ceremonialist of the Niitsiitapii (Real People) consisting of four bands: Kanai, Sisiika, North Peigan and Blackfeet (Amskapii Piikunii) that make up the Blackfoot Confederacy.
Tyson and his wife currently hold a sacred Medicine Thunder Pipe that is passed down from ancient knowledge that directly ties to the Niitsitapii way of life. They also recently became the leaders of the Horn Society of Amskapii Piikunii, a holy Buffalo society that has not been active for over 106 years. Tyson plays a critical role in bringing back the strength of their people by taking on these great responsibilities.
Most recently, Tyson completed his second session in the Montana House of Representatives as a legislator where he also served as a Minority Whip. He has one more year to complete his two terms. Tyson received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana in forestry resource management 2001. He also previously sat as the elected secretary of the Blackfeet Tribe for four years. During his term on council he has been the law and order chairman, the fish and wildlife chairman and has served on committees that directly impact natural resources. Tyson was also instrumental in the current Blackfeet Water Settlement Act, the Blackfeet Land Buy Back program, Red Eagle fire settlement, the protection of the Badger/Two Medicine from oil and gas development, and the financial stability of the Blackfeet Tribal government. His work in Indian country includes protecting traditional territory and sites from economical intrusion as well as to participate in tribal and Indigenous advocacy. He is proud to have participated in the recent reintroduction of the Elk Island Buffalo in April 2016, (gone for over 100 years) to the Blackfeet Tribe and a signature to the Buffalo Treaty. In 2014, he was elected secretary of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council.
Clay Hayes - Clay Hayes has been a lifelong student of the woods. Growing up in the rural pine woods of northwest Florida, he honed the skills in hunting, fishing and trapping that would serve him for the rest of his life. He has always been drawn to hunter/gatherer cultures and the self-reliant lifestyle they embody. As a child in the Florida backwoods he practiced the primitive skills he admired in those self-reliant cultures and dreamed of someday living a similar life in the Rocky Mountains.
Those childhood dreams eventually led him into a career as a wildlife biologist where he got to work in some of the most remote and beautiful landscapes in the lower 48. But despite investing 7 years of college and 10 years in the job, his true passion was always traditional archery and bowhunting. In 2017 he left the biology career behind to focus on producing hunting and survival-related content and teaching primitive bow building and archery through online videos.
In the fall of 2020, Clay got the opportunity to put his skills to the test as a participant on the History Channel's TV series Alone. With just 10 basic pieces of survival gear, Clay was dropped in the middle of a British Columbia wilderness to survive only on what he could find, catch or kill. Drawing on the countless hours hunting with his primitive bow, Clay was able to take a mule deer buck, which saw him through two and a half months in the wilderness and helped him win Season 8 of the show.
Clay lives with his wife Liz and two sons, Coye and Fen, on their homestead in North Idaho. Together they hunt, fish, forage and grow a large garden. Raising their two boys in close connection with the earth, with a practical understanding of nature and a sense of self-reliance, is important to both Clay and Liz.
David Wise - a born and raised Nevadan, graduate from Wooster High School, avid outdoorsman and adrenaline enthusiast. His day job is competing on the US Olympic Team for Men’s Half-Pipe Freeskiing, which has taken him to Russia in 2014, and South Korea in 2018 Winter Olympics where he won Gold. He is just returning from Beijing, China, with a Silver medal to add to his Olympic collection. He also has had the privilege of competing at the X-Games in Aspen, Colorado, for the past 12 years earning six medals, including four gold.
David is dynamic and talented beyond the ski slopes. He fantasizes about attending the 2028 Summer Olympics in LA for archery. He is a mental strength coach and will be starting a podcast for that this year with the goal of one day writing a book. He already has authored a children’s book titled “Very Bear and the Butterfly,” based off of a true story of how he met his wife, Alexandra. David and Alexandra have been married for 11 years this past February and have served together over the years as marriage counselors, youth pastors, and bible study co-leaders. The Wise family works closely in the Reno community as volunteers, bringing their two children, Nayeli (10) and Malachi (7) along with them to all their opportunities.
David uses his platform to raise money for a handful of nonprofits he personally serves alongside, such as The Empowerment Center, Sky Tavern and the Food Bank. David and Alexandra look forward to fostering children from Washoe County starting this year. Learn more and donate at www.mrdavidwise.com.
If this wasn’t already an exhausting list of David’s accomplishments he has also started his own brand called “Wise Off The Grid” where the Wise family members share their experiences of hunting, farming and cooking on social channels, inspiring and encouraging viewers to think twice about food sourcing and the importance of sustainable living. You can follow along on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube @WiseOTG.
Robin Brown - Robin spent eight years as an attack helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army, deploying twice to Iraq with the 82d Airborne Division. Thirteen years after leaving the military, Robin returned to Iraq to climb and ski Iraq’s tallest mountain as part of a veteran’s project called Adventure Not War, which rediscovers conflicted countries as tourism destinations.
Robin has a background in public relations and previously lead the economic development effort for Grand Junction, Colorado- a community that depends on its public lands for a healthy and diversified economy. Today Robin is the Vice President of Development at Colorado Mesa University.
Robin and her family spend most of their time outdoors hunting, fishing, boating, skiing and camping. She also serves as the West Slope hunting representative for Colorado’s Wildlife Council.
Zsakee Lewis - Zsakee is a new hunter from New York City. Born and raised in Brooklyn, hunting and subsistence living were absent from the culture of urban living. Through the partnership of Hunters of Color, BHA, The Nature Conservancy, and NDA, she's been given access to invaluable mentorship opportunities. This has allowed her to pursue lifelong interests of connecting to her ancestors and the natural world through hunting and fishing.
Brandon Dale - Brandon grew up hunting and fishing with his family in South Louisiana. After moving to New England for college, he is now an avid deer hunter, waterfowler and fly fisherman. He is board member for New York Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, New York Hunters of Color Ambassador and a board member of NYC Trout Unlimited. Now living in NYC for medical and graduate school at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, he finds solace in the woods and waters of the Hudson Valley, Southern CT, the Catskills, and Long Island. He enjoys all outdoor pursuits, but chasing deer, waterfowl and brook trout captivate most of his mind space. When he’s not studying or in the lab, you can find him in the mountain ridges, bowhunting urban bucks, or waist-deep wading for trout or waterfowl. Brandon is committed to conserving and passing along the traditions of the land, especially for underrepresented hunters and anglers. As an NYC resident, he’s passionate about increasing access and opportunity for more Hunters of Color living in urban areas and building community among NYC and Tri-State area hunters and anglers.