Michael is a Colorado native. He grew up on the Front Range and then moved to Steamboat Springs right after high school. “I have been fishing for as long as I can remember,” he said. “A friend of the family kept me interested in fishing through my youth and into adulthood. Once I moved to Steamboat I started fly fishing. I managed to hook up into a nice brown on my first outing had have been hooked ever since.”
Mike found the art of calling elk fascinating from the very first time he heard them talking in a natural setting. “Being in Steamboat I was surrounded by pristine elk habitat, and found myself getting more and more interested in hunting. I learned to call way before I actually started hunting,” he said. “About six years ago I became close friends with a buddy who shares the same passion for hunting as I do, and he has taught me to be a better hunter. We are still constantly pushing each other to be better hunters and increase our success.”
He hunts with a bow 90% of the time and his passion is elk hunting during the rut in the mountains surrounding Steamboat. “I started off hunting small game. My first successful hunt was for Blue Grouse. I will never forget the satisfaction of going out and harvesting a solid meal from my surroundings,” he says. “I now find myself actively searching for whatever is in season to go out and hunt. I’ll hunt big game as much as I can, waterfowl and small game depending on the time of year.
“I primarily fish for trout, but I just love to fish, so if I get the opportunity and am not able to hunt, I will be fishing,” Mike says. “I’m very lucky living in Steamboat. This allows me to be on the Yampa River after or before work and on the weekends. The Flattops wilderness area is right out my back door.” Mike worked briefly (about 6 months) for the Colorado Division of Wildlife as a tech for the Aquatic Biologist and, later, as a land surveyor (for 3 years).
Then he worked in the outdoor industry for a company called Big Agnes for six years as a Warehouse Manager. He is currently working in the hook and bullet industry as the lead designer/production manager for a company called Talon Grips. “Everybody working for this brand has become family to me,” he says. Mike and his wife live about 26 miles outside of Steamboat Springs in the Stagecoach area.
Elena was born in Hanover, New Hampshire, but raised in western North Carolina. She started fishing while growing up, but didn’t go regularly until starting college. “When I moved to Colorado I met the father of my daughter and he was the one who introduced me to hunting,” Elena said. “I have now been into hunting for about three years, but have so much to learn still.”
She graduated from Brevard College with a degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education with a minor in Spanish. “I have worked in the outdoor guiding industry as well as the craft spirits industry for the last several years,” she says. Elena has hunted turkeys in Missouri and big game in Colorado. “I’m interested in all types of hunting; waterfowl, small game, big game, turkey, etc.,” she added. Although archery hunting is her mainstay, she plans to switch it up some.
Elena had been following BHA for a couple of years via social media before joining in 2019, after she started Rocky Mountain Sportswomen. Elena founded Rocky Mountain Sportswomen as a solution to the lack of a women’s hunting and fishing group in her local community in Routt County, Colorado, with hopes to expand into other areas of Colorado and Western states. In addition to hunting and angling, music and traveling top Elena’s list of life passions. She resides in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Luke was raised in Oklahoma and Denver, then moved to Steamboat Springs as a ski bum, followed by various stops around the country, eventually earning a degree in Environmental Engineering. Luke always had an interest in hunting and started elk hunting after he and his wife moved back to Steamboat five years ago.
“My friend has been a mentor,” Luke said, “I also take in as much as I can by observing and listening to other friends who hunt and celebrities that I follow such as Cameron Hanes, John Dudley, Adam Greentree, and Remi Warren. Also, my wife and I have four goats that we are training to be pack goats to assist in my hunting.”
“I’m not much of a fisherman,” Luke added, “but it doesn’t stop my friends from trying to influence me. I can’t afford another hobby at this point! I think our goals align though, and that’s protecting fish and wildlife, and advocating for fisherman and hunters that provide so much to our economy and natural resources.”
He hunts mostly with a bow, but also uses a rifle. Luke primarily hunts big game and small game on public lands but is also looking to try waterfowl hunting. He works for the State of Colorado as a Water Commissioner and lives outside of Steamboat Springs.
“I’m interested in providing a voice for backcountry hunters and anglers in this area,” Luke said. “I also support the organization Keep Routt Wild and think the two organizations have common ground.” He first heard about BHA through a fellow member.