Buzz Hettick, WY Board Chair
Buzz was born in Missoula, Montana and grew up hunting, fishing, and trapping in western Montana with his parents, grandparents and brother. Elk and deer hunting were always the focus, but mountain goats, moose, and bighorn sheep provided some great backcountry adventures.
Buzz attended college at the University of Montana and received a Bachelors in Forestry Resource Management. While attending college, he also worked for Region 1 of the U.S. Forest Service at several ranger districts. From 1998-2000 he worked for the School of Forestry as a Project Manager, overseeing a large contract with Turner Enterprises as a Riparian/Wetland Manager. Currently he is working for the Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Research Station.
In 2000, Buzz and his wife, Patricia, moved to Laramie, Wyoming and are enjoying the great hunting and fishing opportunities Wyoming has to offer. Buzz also enjoys the challenge of hunting new species and states all across the West. Hunting adventures have taken him from near the Arctic Circle to within a mile of the Mexican border.
Emmett Nelson, WY Board Member
Emmett Nelson lives in Laramie with his wife Tennille and three kids; Evie, Leif, and Finn. He owns and operates an engineering services business where he works on composite materials and software development for the aerospace, transportation, and recreation industries. As a small business owner, he brings a unique perspective of collaboration and perseverance to the board. He was born and raised in Willmar, MN where he grew up hunting upland birds, whitetail deer, and fishing. As a young man, he moved to Wyoming for graduate school and mountain recreation.
Emmett is an avid upland bird hunter, chasing the many species of birds available in Wyoming and the surrounding states with his pointing dogs Einer and Rocket. As a big game hunter, he enjoys the vast opportunities to hunt and explore that Wyoming offers. During his free time, he enjoys camping, riding bikes, and chasing his kids around. He is a BHA life member and has been an active member of the Wyoming board for a handful of years.
Rock Springs/Green River:
Steve Gili, WY Board Member
Steve first moved to Rock Springs Wyoming in 1997 after graduating from the University of Missouri. Work has taken him and his family away a few times but Southwest Wyoming is where he calls home. Steve has had a 20 year career in mining and feels this brings a valuable perspective on the relationship between responsible development and wild places. Steve is an avid public land hunter and fisherman whose travels have taken him from Canada to Mexico and just about every western state in between, but if he had to pick one adventure it would be pursuing elk in his home state of Wyoming. Steve enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his family and coaching youth sports. Steve has served on several boards and committees in southwest Wyoming and he looks forward to helping grow WyBHA in the area.
Growing up in Wyoming, Adam spent his summers on the Green River or Flaming Gorge fishing for cutthroats and smallmouths, autumns in the mountains chasing deer and elk, and winters in the sage brush flats looking for cottontails. When he moved to Georgia for work, Adam began to realize that he had taken the hunting, hiking and camping opportunities he enjoyed in his youth for granted. Now back in his hometown, Adam works in the oil and gas industry and understands the balance between necessary extraction and maintaining a healthy landscape. Adam is excited to join the WyBHA board and looks forward to growing its membership through boots-on-the-ground projects and advocacy in southwestern Wyoming.
Ross Crandall, WY Board Member
Ross grew up in southern Wisconsin fishing all four seasons and hunting three. Muskies were the fish of choice in the early days but he was an equal opportunity fisherman enjoying the other abundant fish species found in the state nearly as much. Ross also began as a generalist hunter pursuing squirrel, rabbit, pheasant, grouse, turkey and deer with bow, rifle, shotgun and muzzleloader. His love of hunting and fishing guided him towards a career in wildlife biology, which brought him to Wyoming in 2007.
Ross currently guides research projects on birds of prey and helps provide solutions to conserve species in Wyoming and beyond. Although he suffers mildly from muskie withdrawal, Ross enjoys pursuing trout (although not always with a fly rod) but his current passion is western big game hunting, specifically archery elk. Ross lives in Jackson with his wife, daughter and border collie and when he’s not hunting or fishing, he is likely to be found running around the mountains with his family, homebrewing, attempting to make a delicious meal, tying flies or just sitting on the porch taking it all in.
Ross is thrilled to be on the board of the Wyoming Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and he looks forward to working with the dedicated membership to promote and protect wild and accessible places for us to hunt and fish in perpetuity.
Erik Kramer, WY Board Member
Erik lives with his wife just outside of Jackson, Wyoming and works for the National Park Service. He moved to Wyoming 8 years ago to chase his dream of hunting and fishing in the vast wild landscapes of the west. Erik cut his teeth at the age of 10 hunting whitetails, turkeys and small game while growing up in the hills of northern New Jersey and has been a diehard fisherman since the day he could up hold a fishing pole. Today his favorite days in the field are spent burning boot leather in the mountains chasing bugling bulls with a bow. However, he won't pass up the opportunity to take home a mule deer, antelope, or grouse for the freezer, cast a fly to a cutthroat, or jig through the ice for lake trout. Erik brings to the board the perspective and fresh enthusiasm of a lifelong sportsman who discovered the bountiful public land paradise of the west later in life and grew up in a place where public access was hard to come by. He also brings valuable knowledge from a career in habitat restoration and land management and a passion for protecting wild places for us to hunt, fish and recreate.
Jessi Johnson, WY Board Member
Jess Johnson is a founder of Artemis Sportswoman, a Wyoming chapter board member for the Backcountry Hunters Anglers and the Advocacy and Public Land Coordinator for the Wyoming Wildlife Foundation. Her work with each organization centers on changing the narrative around stereotypes of hunters and creating platforms for women’s voices within the hunting and conservation world. In this capacity, she has most recently participated in panels for The Wyoming Wildlife Society, SHIFTJH, No Mans Land Film Festival and the State Environmental Leadership Conference. She is also a team member for FirstLite. Jess grew up an only child of a ranching family in Montana, Northern California and Wyoming. Her eclectic childhood instilled in her a wanderlust for wide expanses of public land, and a deep appreciation and love for the wildlife that inhabit it. Since moving back 8 years ago to Lander Wyoming, she has spent most of her free time archery hunting and exploring the mountains and rolling sage brush in search of mule deer and public land elk.
Jared Oakleaf, WY Board Member
Jared Oakleaf is a BHA life member and legacy partner out of Lander Wyoming. He works for the Bureau of Land Management and volunteers for several conservation organizations. He credits mule deer with teaching him to have a high fidelity to his home range.
He brings to the board an ability to build coalitions and partnerships, while simultaneously uphoalding BHAs mission and values.
Adam Teten, WY Board Member
Adam Teten grew up near the East Gate of Yellowstone in Cody, Wyoming where he was able to cut his teeth on some of the finest and most variable public land this nation has to offer. Those early experiences fostered his appreciation and understanding of what truly constitutes a public asset, and how public lands define a part of our American heritage. From high country elk and mule deer hunts to watershed bird hunting and everything in between, Adam’s experiences as a sprotsman define his appreciation for conservation. He feels that we as stewards owe it to ourselves, our children and the generations yet to come to work to fully understand not only what we have been given, but how we can ensure that this legacy lives on – and does so in a manner that can survive in perpetuity. In his “spare” time, Adam can be found coaching one of his three kids in any of their various activities, instilling in them his love and appreciation of the outdoors, enjoying the company of his bride, volunteering with a myriad of NGOs and local community endeavors and hunting/fishing/hiking/camping as much as possible.
Wallace Leastman, WY Board Member
Hi, I am Wallace Leastman. My wife, son, daughter, and I live in Gillette, WY. Growing up my family did not hunt, however we received wild game from friends for a source of meat. I have always enjoyed trapping and hunting and I sought out people to mentor me in the hunting world. Now, much of my spare time is spent hiking, hunting, or fishing on our public lands. Last year I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership. I feel that with the knowledge I gained while pursuing this degree will benefit the BHA. Last year I began my journey as a guide for elk hunting in the Big Horn Mountains. Preserving the public land and educating future generations is a legacy that I want to leave.
Brien Webster, Wyoming and Colorado Coordinator
Brien was born and raised in Colorado. For as long as he can remember his family has come together for reunions timed around hatches, hunts, and favorite landscapes. After receiving a BA in Government from the University of Redlands, Brien headed to Zambia where he spent two years with the Peace Corps. Upon returning home Brien found his way to the West Slope of Colorado where he worked on public lands and water conservation issues with Conservation Colorado as a community organizer.
The opportunities and experiences made possible by our public lands and waters have shaped Brien’s identity and deepened his passion and curiosity as a sportsman. When he’s not in the office, chances are he’s in the field or on the river sharing his favorite pastime of pursuing wild game in new and familiar landscapes with his wife Holly, family, and friends. Brien is thrilled to be working with BHA, and as a chapter coordinator he’s committed to supporting and amplifying the efforts of the Wyoming and Colorado Chapters.