Colin McDermott - Treasurer
Colin received a B.S. in Accounting and a M.S. in Finance from Texas A&M University. He began deer hunting at an early age thanks to family influences and is fortunate to have access to a small track of private land in the Texas Hill Country. It was during his college days when he learned about the incredible public land opportunities we have in TX and across the U.S. He started chasing ducks on U.S. Army Corps of Engineer property and soon realized there were endless public land opportunities in our western states. Since those days, Colin’s been chasing big game and other quarry on public lands for 20 years. Fortunate to have discovered these public land opportunities while a teenager, this exposure has allowed him to develop an appreciation for our country’s public land resources, and the vast opportunities for both hunting and recreating on them.
Colin is passionate about BHA’s mission and he’s honored to be involved in leadership at the state level. He believes the Texas chapter has an important role in increasing national recruitment figures due to both our state’s hunting culture and our propensity to travel across the west seeking additional hunting opportunities. Colin has personally experienced the land access challenges that Texas sportsmen face and he hopes to improve and expand public hunting and river access opportunities in Texas. He’s committed to maintaining public opportunities both in Texas and across the U.S. for his children and others who are not fortunate enough to be able to rely on private land for outdoor recreation.
Colin Nelson - Secretary
Born and raised in the coastal plains of South Texas, Colin is a 5th generation Texan with an affinity for people and the outdoors. Growing up in the small town of Bay City, Texas, Colin was blessed with the opportunity to fish both fresh and saltwater at a fairly young age. At age 9, Colin began hunting dove and small game with his late Father and very quickly fell in love with bird hunting. Shortly after moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex in 2000, Colin’s Father was diagnosed with ALS which quickly ended their time together in the field. Roughly 5 years after his Father’s passing, Colin returned to his childhood passion of dove hunting and began seeking other hunting opportunities in North Texas.
From hog hunting in central Texas to pheasant hunting in South Dakota, Colin has broadened his hunting horizons and looks forward to following in his father’s footsteps by adding big game to his list. Today, Colin is an avid duck hunter residing in Frisco, Texas with his wife and Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Dixie. Colin is a passionate defender of our public lands and coastal waters. He considers it an honor to serve his fellow outdoorsmen in the great state of Texas as Secretary of the Texas chapter. Colin looks forward to working alongside his fellow board members to further establish Texas as a leading chapter within BHA, as well as continuing to support the rights of all sportsmen and women for generations to come.
Joel Smith - Director of Public Outreach
Joel grew up fishing with his family on the Texas coast and has always had a love for the outdoors as well as target shooting. Not having been raised in a family with a hunting heritage, it wasn’t until his late twenties that his love for hunting took root. He bought his first hunting rifle at age 30, and his first real opportunity to hunt whitetails presented itself the following year. Once that first buck walked out of the brush into a clearing, he was hooked for life. Over the next 7-8 years, he continued to develop lifelong bonds with hunting partners. Encouraged by the locavore movement, Joel’s passion for procuring his own food lead him to learn to process his own meat and develop his skills at cooking all sorts of wild game. He also developed an interest in gardening to minimize his ecological footprint.
As an adult onset hunter, Joel is also passionate about helping to remove the barriers to entry to the hunting world that some people find so hard to overcome. He prides himself on being available to anyone who might want to investigate the opportunities to provide meat organically for themselves through education and firsthand experience. Mostly self-taught, Joel scoured hunting literature, online forums, podcasts, and hunting friends and family for tips and advice. He started his journey with private land opportunities but, in the last few years, has discovered the myriad of public land opportunities on the Texas Coast for ducks and geese. From these small game successes, he has ventured into hunting whitetail and feral hogs on public lands in Texas. In 2019, he plans to expand his hunting realm to the inter-mountain west for elk, where the protection of our public lands is critical for public hunting opportunities.
Joel, like many others before him, was connected to BHA through MeatEater. He knew his advocacy for public lands was critical for new hunter opportunities and success, and his passion led him to volunteer with TX BHA’s Houston public outreach efforts. As a board member, his goals are to help with adult hunter recruitment programs, support hunter retention, help broadcast the public lands conservation message to more Texans, and to be a great voice for the conservation ethos espoused by Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.