Brett Jones, Fruita - Grand Valley Regional Director
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.”
Cody Jones, Durango - Southwest Assistant Regional Director
Cody was born in California. He honed his early fishing skills going after corvina in the Salton Sea and channel catfish in the canals of the Imperial Valley. “This area has lots of small parcel BLM lands that are great for quail and dove hunting,” Cody said. “My dad was able to teach me all the basics here, but my love for hunting and angling began when we moved to Colorado.”
As Cody was preparing to start high school, his father—drawn to the mountains of southwest Colorado—moved the family to Dolores. After moving to Colorado, Cody adds, “The Lower Dolores River became my angling playground, and the western San Juan’s Lone Cone, Dolores Peak, Lizard Head and Bolum Pass became my backyard for hunting deer, elk, turkey and grouse.”
He attended college at Western State College in Gunnison, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and minoring in Wildlife Biology. “Since moving to Durango in 2004, I have expanded my range to include much of the Weminuche Wilderness,” he said. Cody works for the U.S. Forest Service and is on the USFS national engineering team.
Previously, he was assigned to the San Juan National Forest for ten years as an Engineering Technician. He still hunts deer, elk and turkeys, and shoots the occasional grouse for camp meals. “I spend a couple weekends each year hunting waterfowl and occasionally fly fish to get out and enjoy the wild and scenic country of our waterways,” he says.
Cody hunts big game with a bow and is teaching his young son to hunt and fish. “I started hunting waterfowl in the winter and found that it provides a great opportunity to share hunting with my son,” he said. “Local reservoirs and the San Juan River in New Mexico provide plenty of opportunity.” Cody has also organized multiple Durango area Pint Nights and helped a group of local members put together a Hunting Film Tour showing.
Jesse Dudley, Norwood - Central West Slope Regional Director
Jesse was born in Mount Kisco, New York, and started fly-fishing for brook trout with his dad and grandfather in the Catskill Mountains. However, he spent most of his youth in Durango, Colorado, where he fished for browns and rainbows on the Animas River in addition to bike racing and skiing. He was an Environmental Studies major at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, graduating in 2008, before deciding to move back west.
Jesse has lived in Taos, New Mexico and Salt Lake City, Utah, and has worked as a solar installer, ski patroller, carpenter and fly-fishing guide. He currently lives in Norwood, Colorado, with his wife, Hannah, working as a wildland firefighter for the BLM. Hannah co-owns and operates Blue Grouse Bread, an artisan wholesale “organic bread bakery in Norwood … supplying hearth baked breads to the Western slope.”
Jesse hunts elk, turkey, grouse, deer and pronghorn, and fishes for trout in the San Miguel, Dolores and Gunnison rivers and tributaries. When he first tried bowhunting for elk, Jesse was instantly addicted. “It seemed I had finally found a pursuit that brought all of my interests under one roof: tasty local food, interaction with nature, backcountry travel and, of course, a little bit of suffering,” he said. “Hunting immersed me in the natural world … I began to have a much more holistic view of the ecosystems in my backyard and wildlife that calls it home.”
Becoming a hunter also infused Jesse with a passion for cooking, and the contents of his freezer are now his proudest possessions. He also enjoys mushroom hunting, backcountry and Nordic skiing, rafting and mountain biking. Jesse joined BHA after hearing about us on a Steven Rinella Meateater Podcast. He has helped organize two Pint Nights, in Telluride and Norwood.
Cody Jones, Durango - Southwest Colorado Assistant Regional Director
Cody is a fifth-generation Coloradan. He was born and raised in Gypsum and learned to hunt from his father and mother. “I started hunting as soon as I could draw my bow of 5 lbs and look through iron sights on my Crossman bb gun–age 5,” he said. “As a kid, the small open spaces shaped my days—fishing the Eagle River, exploring adjacent State Wildlife Areas, and the BLM land north and south of town.”
He called in his first bull elk after turning 7, ran traplines with his dad during the winter and shot willow-branch bows in the summer. “At night, I fell asleep listening to a cassette tape by hall of fame bowhunter, Larry D. Jones. I memorized the Boone & Crockett scores and stories of all the elk and mule deer bucks in ‘Colorado’s Biggest Bucks and Bulls’ and devoured Peter Hathaway Capstick books like candy.”
Cody currently practices public lands and natural resource law in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and North Dakota. He lives in Durango and hunts big and small game, and fishes rivers and high alpine lakes. Cody hunts with a compound and longbow. “The San Juans provide sanctuary for myself, my wife and our growing family,” he says. “The empty spaces and the wildlife therein are equal pillars of my personal ethos.”
Luke Kline, Durango - Southwest Colorado Assistant Regional Director
Luke was born in southwest North Dakota, but grew up on Colorado’s Front Range. He spent his summers, and many winters, fishing for walleye and northern pike with his father and grandfather in western North Dakota near their family ranch. His first hunting experiences were small game, pheasant and deer.
“My father and grandpa were my original mentors and taught me my early knowledge of hunting and fishing,” Luke said. “Later on, I wanted to pursue different quarry and would take advice from anyone willing to give it.” He moved to Durango in 2007, where he enjoys hunting and fishing the rugged San Juan Mountains.
“I have added a host of species to my repertoire, including elk, bear, trout and just about anything else that is legal,” he added. “I mainly pursue elk, mule deer and turkey. I love fly-fishing for anything that will take a fly.” Luke prefers to hunt with his bow, but still gets out with a rifle and shotgun.
He is currently a student at Oregon State University pursuing a BS in Natural Resources with an emphasis in Fish and Wildlife Conservation. His wife, who is a wildlife biologist, was his motivation for returning to school to pursue his passion. Luke works for the Natural Resource Conservation Service as a Soil Conservationist promoting conservation on private lands.
“I love public lands, but private lands are vital to wildlife habitat and connectivity, so I feel a passion for assisting landowners with conservation efforts,” he said. Luke was drawn to BHA while attending school in Oregon because of the values and missions of public lands and ethical harvest. Luke became more involved with BHA to protect public lands and promote hunting and fishing to the next generation through local advocacy.
“I joined BHA after the Malheur Standoff in Oregon and saw that members of the BHA community vehemently opposed the Malheur occupation, as did I,” he added. “This was not the first time I heard of BHA, but it was the original reason for joining.” Luke lives in Durango with his wife and dogs.