The OL 25

Gary Loomis: Fishing industry pioneer A fishing-rod innovator and one of the country's premier fishing conservation leaders, Gary Loomis is generally regarded as the industry's pioneer of modern carbon-graphite rod technology.
Loomis began his groundbreaking career in 1974 at Lamiglas, where he operated its blank facility and was the first to use graphite technology in rod production. In 1980, he launched Loomis Composites Inc., and soon thereafter founded Loomis Franklin, a Taiwanese company that eventually became the world's largest producer of graphite fishing rods.
In 1982, Loomis started his own company, G. Loomis, Inc., designing and building his production equipment from scratch. Among the innovations spawned under his direction are the IMX and GLX series of rods, which use proprietary G. Loomis graphite. Having just celebrated its 25th anniversary, the company is a recognized leader in high-performance fishing-rod production, with five major product lines and a new line of fly reels.
In recent years, Loomis has spent increasing time and energy on fishing conservation projects, helping to expand the Coastal Conservation Association and founding the nonprofit Fish First organization. With its mission of "More and better fish in the Lewis River with no politics," Fish First focuses on the quality and quantity issues related to salmon, steelhead and their habitat, without getting into the heated issues surrounding fish harvest or other potentially divisive subjects. Projects currently under way include net pens, ecosystem restoration and habitat improvement for the entire Lewis River system. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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CRAIG MITCHELL DYER
Dick & Jim Cabela: Retail brothers with your rights in mind Cabela's annually provides millions of dollars in products and donations to its 40 "Conservation Partners," those national organizations whose mission is to protect hunters' rights, conserve habitat and species, and more. In addition, Dick (above) chairs the board of the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, a key lobbying force for outdoors interests. "We owe the Cabelas a huge debt of gratitude for all they've done to keep us in the field and on the water," says Alliance senior VP Rick Story. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Dick & Jim Cabela: Retail brothers with your rights in mind From its humble beginnings in 1961 as a mail-order fly business operated largely out of a Nebraska kitchen, the retail giant Cabela's has become synonymous with the outdoors.
Brothers Jim (above) and Dick Cabela, along with Dick's wife, Mary, run the sporting-goods behemoth, which does business across North America and in 120 countries.
But their leadership in the hunting and fishing world is perhaps even more significant. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Jennie Richardson: Champion archer gets schoolkids involved In 2002, educator and national champion archer Jennie Richardson was chosen as the state coordinator for a fledgling program designed to introduce archery to middle school students in her native Kentucky. Today, the physical-education curriculum known as the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) is being taught to students in more than 40 states and 4 countries.
Those in the know attribute the NASP's meteoric growth in great part to Richardson's enthusiasm and leadership. "Jennie set the benchmark for NASP. She proved it was achievable on a national level," says Ken Watkins, president of the International Bowhunting Organization.
This past June, the annual NASP National Tournament and Conference attracted 1,577 student archers from 120 schools and 20 states. Given the organization's current rate of growth, it's estimated that by 2010 more than 2.5 million middle and high school students could be shooting bows and arrows. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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CHAD GREEN
Ray Scott: The father of bass fishing Ray Scott can take credit for many achievements in the outdoors, but perhaps first among them is the fact that he changed the way American bass anglers approach fishing, effectively converting hardcore meat fishermen into devoted catch-and-release anglers.
In Outdoor Life's 100th anniversary issue, Bass Angler Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.) founder Scott was cited for his "flash of brilliant intuition"-an intuition that has fueled the sportfishing tackle and boating industry for nearly four decades. In that issue, OL Fishing Editor Jerry Gibbs noted, "The burgeoning sport triggered a wave of tackle and boating innovations, and elevated black bass into its position as the nation's favorite game fish."
Former president George H.W. Bush, who worked with Scott on the passage of the Wallop-Breaux Act in 1984, had this to say of him: "I am proud to say I know Ray Scott as a friend, fellow angler and committed conservationist. Ray has worked for more than forty years to promote bass fishing and whitetail deer management and to expand opportunities for anglers and hunters alike." Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Larry Potterfield: Shooting-sports benefactor Founder of the catalog retailer MidwayUSA and a champion of traditional American values, Larry Potterfield embodies the belief in giving back to those who contributed to one's success. In the early 1990s, he helped to create the Friends of NRA and launched the NRA Round-Up program, which has raised millions for various NRA ventures. And last year, Potterfield and his wife, Brenda, pledged $500,000 toward the creation of a new NRA Gunsmithing Education Endowment. In addition, the Potterfields have set up the Key-stone endow-ment, which helps to establish shooting-sports management curriculums in business colleges, and the First Shot Fund, a program to help encourage participation in shooting-club events. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Marty Brunson: Putting the children first Acting on the vision of the late Mississippi outdoorsman, author and sculptor Bruce Brady, Dr. Marty Brunson has become the driving force behind a national organization that arranges and finances outdoors adventures for kids suffering from life-threatening illnesses. Although Brady didn't live to see his dream become a reality, under the leadership of Brunson, a biologist and professor at Mississippi State University, the Catch-A-Dream Foundation was chartered in 2003. Since then, with Brunson at the helm, the organization has granted more than 200 hunting trips and other outdoor experiences to children 18 and younger who are gravely ill.
Thanks to Brunson's prominence, Catch-A-Dream operates on a truly global basis as a functioning department of the MSU Extension Service. As an integral part of the university's infrastructure, the foundation is able to devote 100 percent of its resources to giving deserving youngsters something to hope for. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Ted Nugent: The rock 'n' roll sportsman It would probably be simpler to illustrate what Ted Nugent does not do in the outdoors sporting community than what he does do. The 59-year-old icon has served on the National Rifle Association Board of Directors for more than a dozen years, writes regularly about guns and hunting for nearly 40 print and online publications and is a book author, television-show host, youth-camp founder and prolific public speaker on hunting and the Second Amendment.
Oh, yeah-did we mention that he plays guitar? Nugent recently released his 32nd album, an achievement practically unheard-of in the recording industry.
"He's a demographic-defying, label-defying and age-defying juggernaut of energy, spirit and attitude," says Doug Banker, Nugent's manager of 25 years.
Whatever your own opinion of Ted-and everyone seems to have one-it is probably similarly hyperbolic, just like the man himself. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Ron Coburn: Leadership personified Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Savage Arms President Ron Coburn made stops in Singapore, Hong Kong and Greece before landing his first engineering job with a U.S. gunmaker. Along the way he earned a reputation for turning struggling companies into incredibly successful ones.
After a two-year stint as director of engineering for Smith & Wesson, Coburn accepted a challenge in 1983 to help reinvent the Case knife company, which had fallen on difficult times. Nearly four years and a success story later, he was called upon to work some similar magic with Savage Arms.
After Savage filed for bankruptcy in 1987, Coburn became president and CEO, and took the dramatic step of removing 9 of 11 guns from the product line-retaining only the 110 bolt-action rifle and the 24 O/U shotgun.
Today, as owner of the company and with restructuring a dim memory, Coburn, 59, holds 36 patents, including one for the company's premier product, the Accutrigger. He also serves as chairman of the 4-H Shooting Sports Foundation, sponsor of the Massachusetts Hunter Safety Certification Program and member of the NRA Board of Advisors. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Michael McGinley: Keeping sportsmen warm and dry After 20 years in the garment industry, Michael McGinley achieved moderate success with the launching of his own company, Rivers West Apparel, Inc. From 1989 until 1997, his Seattle-based contract-sewing business built a strong reputation for quality while producing apparel for Patagonia, Nike, Adidas and others.
¿But it was an epiphany McGinley experienced while on a hunting trip in 1997-his brainstorm in the rainstorm-that changed the course of his company and attracted the attention of outdoor enthusiasts worldwide.
It was after a miserably wet eight days in Oregon's Cascade range, where virtually every piece of his allegedly "waterproof" gear failed to varying degrees, that he embarked on a personal quest to develop gear that actually delivered what it promised.
Nearly three years in the making, Hydro2 PowerLock, or the H2P Water-proof System, uses proprietary micro-cell technology to laminate a waterproof yet breathable membrane between two layers of fleece. The result is a 100 percent waterproof, windproof, stretchable, durable and, above all, quiet material that lives up to the hype.
Now in its seventh year of production, H2P has expanded its reach beyond the soggy Northwest, as hunters worldwide are noticeably drier, warmer and generally more comfortable afield than they used to be. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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STEPHEN BRASHEAR
Keith Jones & John Prochnow: Experts on the science of lures Of all the commercial fishing lures, baits and aquatic attractants produced in the past century, the Gulp! baits from Berkley/Pure Fishing stand alone in the marketplace because of one principal factor - their chemistry.
The men responsible for this fish-catching phenomenon are Berkley's director of fish research Dr. Keith Jones (above right) and product development director John Prochnow (left). For the past 20-odd years, the two have been on the leading edge of research geared to identify the exact chemical components that trigger feeding action in various types of game fish. Prochnow and Jones have analyzed the chemical makeup of hundreds of natural foods and flavors, and used those findings to determine which act as positive, negative or neutral feeding stimulants. The latest collaboration from Prochnow and Jones-and the 2007 ICAST "Best of Show" in soft-baits-is the new, rechargeable Gulp! Alive biodegradable bait. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Dave Emary: Putting factory-designer ammo on the map Most of his co-workers at Hornady consider Dave Emary a ballistics genius. They even compare him to the proverbial rocket scientist. Maybe that's because he was a rocket scientist, who did work for New Mexico's Los Alamos Laboratory before he came to the Grand Island, Neb., ammunition manufacturer.
Although the modest Emary is quick to share recognition for many of Hornady's recent achievements, he is widely credited with initiating the current trend in specialty and customized factory-loaded ammunition, launching the age of so-called factory-designer ammo.
In recent years, it was Emary's design and foresight that brought hunters and shooting enthusiasts the .376 Steyr, .204 Ruger, .17 HMR, .308 Marlin Express and Lever-Evolution ammo. He is also recognized as the driving force behind Hornady Light and Heavy Magnum loads, polymer-tipped SST and A-MAX bullet designs, and across-the-board improvements in propellant technology. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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LANE HICKENBOTTOM
Albert Fiedler: Visionary of hunting optics Austria-based Swarovski Optik made waves in the optics industry in 2007 with its introduction of the Z6, the world's first production riflescope with a 6X zoom factor.
The totally new, patented optics technology took five years to develop from concept to reality. It represents the first scope to offer such a large zoom magnification along with the widest field of view for rapid target acquisition. The man credited with its invention is the company's 37-year-old optics designer, Albert Fiedler, who joined Swarovski nearly 10 years ago.
Besides being the first 30mm riflescope with such an extensive magnification range, Fiedler's Z6 achieved nearly a 50 percent increase in field of view com-pared to state-of-the-art riflescopes with 4X zoom. It also provides a significant increase in eye relief. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Doug Hannon: The bass professor With more than 800 largemouth bass weighing 10 pounds or greater to his credit, Florida angler Doug Hannon is one of the country's preeminent big-bass authorities. He's also a fishing-gear inventor, diver, underwater photographer, author, filmmaker and lure designer.
Hannon currently holds 15 patents, including one for his weedless propeller, an innovation that effectively revolutionized the trolling motor industry. His newest entry in the angling market, the WaveCast System, is said to represent the first significant improvement in salt- and freshwater spinning-reel design in more than 50 years. What sets the WaveCast apart from its competitors is that it's virtually impossible for the line to bird's nest during a cast.
The WaveCaster's modern-looking design features smooth, rounded teeth on the lip of the spool. These teeth completely eliminate the eruption of a bird's nest should a loop form on the spooled line during casting; the loop simply unwinds, lying down between the raised teeth. Put to the test by OL Fishing Editor Jerry Gibbs and some "pretty vile casters," Hannon's latest creation lived up to its claims. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Dr. James Earl Kennamer: Saving the wild turkey
If you're a game-agency biologist stuck for information on wild turkeys, odds are you'll call the go-to guy in wild turkey research, management and conservation: Dr. James Earl Kennamer, senior VP for conservation programs at the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). A former professor of wildlife, Kennamer has forged strong ties between hunters and wildlife agencies, corporations and conservation groups, to help restore turkey populations across North America.
When the NWTF was founded, in 1973, there were an estimated 1.5 million hunters and just 1.3 million turkeys. Today? More than 7 million turkeys and 3 million turkey hunters, and Kennamer is a big reason why. One of his early moves was to create the NWTF Technical Committee, bringing together state-agency biologists to coordinate habitat work, trap-and-release programs and funding. Kennamer also devised a plan in which states providing wild turkeys would be repaid for trapping expenses and "replacement costs" of the birds. "James Earl has helped steer turkey research and restoration across this country," says Curtis Taylor, chief of Wildlife Resources for West Virginia's DNR. "He's an icon of wildlife conservation." Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Senator Kent Conrad: Increasing public access for all It's no secret that finding good places to hunt and fish has become increasingly difficult. But what to do about it? Senator Kent Conrad's (D-North Dakota) answer is known as "Open Fields" legislation. With Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), Conrad introduced the Voluntary Public Access and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program in 2003 and 2005, and again in May 2007.
Specifically, the Open Fields legislation would provide up to $20 million per year in grants to supplement state and tribal efforts to provide public access on private land for outdoor recreation.
"Millions of new acres are opened to hunters and fishermen, while farmers and ranchers get a little additional income," says Conrad. "My bill gives rural America an economic shot in the arm, and protects the land for future generations to enjoy the great outdoors."
By July, Open Fields had passed the House of Representatives, as part of the Farm Bill, and was headed to the Senate. "He was completely aware of the access problems and how they impacted hunters and fishermen," says Jim Range, chairman of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the group that originated the Open Fields plan. "His helping us move that bill in a bipartisan fashion is a major reason why we've gotten it as far as we have. We feel we've got a real shot at getting the program in place." Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Grant Woods: The people's deer biologist When he was just six years old, Grant Woods found a dead whitetail fawn in a farm field near his Green County, Mo., home. With deer being pretty scarce back then (mid-1960s), Woods and his father skinned the fawn and hung its hide in the barn. Young Woods rubbed his hand over that soft hide every day, thinking about the wonders and mystery of deer.
"From that moment on," Woods says, "I've never wanted to be anything but a deer biologist." He's done that-and much, much more. With a Ph.D. in wildlife biology from Clemson University, Woods founded one of the first wildlife consulting firms, Woods and Associates, in 1990. It advises landowners on deer management, harvest strategies and food plots. He also conducts deer research for several universities and is among the most quoted deer experts in the press. Many consider his book, Deer Management 101, the bible of the Quality Deer Management movement.
"He's done more than a hundred seminars for us over the last twenty years," says Brian Murphy, executive director of the Quality Deer Management Association, "often fully at his own cost and never with any compensation in return." Besides having a great passion for deer, Woods is a fine communicator.
"Grant has that unique ability to communicate across education and experience levels, and to motivate hunters and landowners," Murphy adds. "A lot of biologists just can't do that." Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Governor Mike Huckabee: Going the extra mile for a cause Governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007, Mike Huckabee, 51, is an avid angler and hunter and a 2008 Republican presidential candidate. Just months into his governorship, Huckabee helped pass Amendment 75, "The Conservation Amendment." This amendment to the state constitution designated that 1/8 of 1 percent of the state's general sales tax go to four agencies, including the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC).
The amendment surfaced before Huckabee took office, notes Steve Smith, president of the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation, but it didn't have the political legs to go forward. Then Huckabee got involved.
"He and his wife, Janet, endorsed our effort by making a special trip down the Arkansas River, from Fort Smith to Dumas, in their bass boat to draw attention to the amendment," says Smith. "They made sixteen stops along the way and got a lot of media attention."
Approved in 1996, the amendment pumps approximately $26 million annually into AGFC coffers alone, which the agency has used to build state-of-the-art nature centers. Huckabee also improved public access for hunters and anglers, and instituted programs to get kids fishing. "He wanted every young person in the state to be within a bicycle ride of a fishing opportunity," says Smith. In 1997, Huckabee was honored as the Man of the Year by the American Sportfishing Association, and in 2000 entered the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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AP PHOTO/JIM BRYANT
Rick Kaminski: A career of serving the waterfowl community Rick Kaminski's classroom is the wetlands, the slough and the farmer's field. A professor of wildlife biology at Mississippi State University, Kaminski has spent his entire career studying waterfowl and educating new waterfowl professionals.
Since 1983, Professor Kaminski has mentored more than 75 graduate students, authored 90 science-based publications, edited a book and written numerous textbook chapters on waterfowl management. He's also garnered more than $4 million in grants for his research and educational projects. Recent research looked at how waterfowl use waste rice in harvested fields in the Mississippi Delta; such work helps waterfowl managers schedule hunting seasons and plan habitat projects. In 2006, Ducks Unlimited (DU) awarded Kaminski its Lifetime Achievement and Service Award in Wetlands Conservation. The organization has been so impressed with Kaminski's work that it has funded many of his graduate students over the last two decades.
"He's one of the small number of professors who have pretty much focused their whole careers on waterfowl and wetlands," says Scott Yaich, DU's director of conservation operations. At a time when many universities are doing away with wildlife-conservation programs, Kaminski is working to endow a "waterfowl chair" at Mississippi State. Outside of his academic career, Kaminski loves to introduce young people to waterfowl conservation. "He's very passionate about getting kids into waterfowl hunting," says Yaich, "and just getting them outdoors." Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Ray Howell: Helping disadvantaged kids A foster child who ran away several times and was frequently tossed into jail for truancy, Ray Howell went through a life-changing experience when a counselor took him hunting, tutored him about the outdoors and became his mentor. Howell turned himself around and ended up founding a successful welding business. He also became very involved in bowhunting, and got within six species of the Super Slam.
But seven years ago, Howell started the Kicking Bear Foundation, which holds bowhunts, camp-outs and archery shoots for disadvantaged youths, at no cost to them, and this work has pretty much consumed his life. He uses his own money and much help from sponsors (he guest-hosts various television shows and is a pro staffer for several companies) to offer Kicking Bear in 16 states. Kicking Bear and Howell received the 2007 Pope and Young Club "Stewardship Award," given to an individual or organization conveying a positive image of archery to the public.
"You've never seen kids light up so much," says Keith Rosenthal, president of the Blackhawk Archers in La Crosse, Wis., which hosted two Kicking Bear events in 2007. "I can't say enough good things about the events-or Ray."
Howell, 53, takes little credit for the positive influence he's had on so many young people. "The Lord's at the helm of this ship," says Howell. "I'm just here to help." Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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COURTESY OF DAWN MARTINEZ
Dick Sternberg: Effecting change in fishery management Dick Sternberg, 65, made significant contributions to fish conservation in his native Minnesota as a biologist for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), rising to the rank of senior fisheries biologist. His research included Mississippi River fisheries and trout-stream management. But even greater achievements followed his resignation in 1981.
Soon after, Sternberg persuaded the DNR to establish the Minnesota Fishing Round-table, a public forum that gives state anglers a big say in fishery management decisions. Then he proposed and got the state legislature to approve the "Accelerated Stocking Program," which increases fish stocking at lakes with little to no natural reproduction. In between, he managed to author or co-author some 50 books and write hundreds of articles.
Several years ago, Sternberg created an accelerated fisheries management plan for the Leech Lake Fishing Task Force. The lake, in northern Minnesota, had dwindling numbers of game fish, particularly walleyes. Today it is in full recovery mode. Task Force chairman Larry Anderson says, "Dick is a real leader. Minnesota is lucky to have him." Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Jack Smith: Salmon and steelhead guru "Jack Smith has a real 'get-it-done' attitude," says Rick Klumph, North Coast Watershed District Manager for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). "He's made a significant difference in the angling opportunities here on the North Coast." A fishing guide from Tillamook, Ore., Smith jumped into salmon and steelhead conservation work in the mid-1990s, when ODFW decided to stock the Wilson River using brood stock that originated from the river.
"But we didn't have a lot of anglers on board to collect the fish," Klumph remembers. "Jack pretty much carried that program in the early years." Smith is also president of the North Coast Salmon and Steelhead Enhancement Fund, which hosts the North Coast Salmon Rendezvous. The Rendezvous is a two-day fall fund-raiser held in Tillamook, for which guides donate their time, boats and gear to take out anglers, who pay $600 apiece to fish local rivers. The event has raised as much as $70,000, money that funds numerous fisheries projects along the North Coast. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Julie Kay Smithson: Educating sportsmen about property rights She reads as many as a thousand e-mails a day, operates a massive educational-research website and pens public comments and editorials on various property and access issues of great importance to sportsmen. She's Julie Kay Smithson, who quit a high-paying job to devote herself to the cause of property rights after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) told her and her neighbors that an endangered bat might-might-live near her rural Ohio home.
"At the first public meeting, in 1999, we were handed relocation brochures-for us!" Smithson recalls. The USFWS eventually changed its mind about creating a bat "refuge," thanks in part to Smithson's tireless opposition.
But Smithson realized people were often powerless to fight the government on land-use, access, environmental and endangered-species issues-even when their lands and livelihoods were at stake-because they didn't understand the laws and science surrounding these matters. So she tutored herself on these issues and has been educating sportsmen, ranchers and farmers ever since. Today, she ekes out a spartan living on donations generated by her research.
"She's the layman's expert, so to speak," says Jim Slinsky, who's had Smithson on his radio program, Outdoor Talk Network. "We need people like her."
You can visit Smithson's Property Rights Research site at propertyrightsresearch.org. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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COURTESY OF DEAN SHIPLEY
Stan Bradshaw: Hunter, angler, activist Though he downplays his part, Stan Bradshaw had a big hand in shaping Montana conservation law in 1983. As a lawyer for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, he filed suit against Atlantic Richfield Company for the massive damage the mining giant's corporate forebears had done to the Upper Clark Fork River basin.
The suit was partly settled in the late 1990s, with the $215 million settlement devoted to Clark Fork restoration.
After leaving FWP in 1986, Bradshaw did two stints with Trout Unlim-ited, including his current position as a staff lawyer for the Montana Water Project.
In the 1980s, he helped the Montana legislature formulate access laws that have kept most streams open to the public. He has also fought various river diversion schemes. An avid hunter and angler, Bradshaw was named one of the 100 Most Influential Montanans of the 20th century by The Missoulian newspaper. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Ernie Perkins: Advocate for wildlife Listing all of Ernie Perkins' volunteer activities on behalf of Utah wildlife conservation would fill up this page-and a couple more. Some of the highlights include creating a Walk-In Access program in northern Utah that has opened up tens of thousands of acres to sportsmen; locating the sites, negotiating the access and raising funds to place wildlife water guzzlers on public and private lands; recruiting and organizing volunteers to help the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources release upland game birds; and establishing numerous youth pheasant and chukar hunts. A retired U.S. Air Force officer, Perkins was recently appointed by Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. to the state's Wildlife Board. Quiet and unassuming, Perkins takes little credit himself, preferring to cite the efforts of the other volunteers and conservation organizations he works with.
"Ernie Perkins is an excellent example of how a citizen can make a difference for wildlife," says Travis Proctor, Utah Chukar and Wildlife Foundation president.
Perkins is a political force in Utah, too, Proctor notes, lobbying to secure vital funding for wildlife programs and following up to make sure those funds are spent wisely. "Ernie's efforts pay off for all upland hunters and many wildlife species in Utah," says Proctor. Now 66, Perkins says, "My only regret is that it is getting a lot tougher to keep up with the kids when we're chukar hunting!" Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor
Dick Blythe: Working hard to conserve wetlands To hear him tell it, all Dick Blythe, 73, does as chairman of the Indiana Grand Kankakee Marsh Restoration Project is run a few meetings and do a little fund-raising. Yet the numbers tell a far different story. Under Blythe's leadership, since 1994 the project has acquired or restored 18,000 wetland acres and raised more than $15 million.
Blythe spent his career in the family sporting-goods business. A few years before he retired, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan was created. Among other things, it called for restoring the million-acre Grand Kankakee Marsh. With retirement, Blythe threw himself into this effort, working with partners to buy up lands, restore or enhance privately held wetlands and raise funds.
"Dick has been an incredible leader on this from the beginning," says Jim Sweeney, president of the Friends of the Kankakee. Blythe's status as both a local boy and an avid duck hunter, Sweeney notes, gave him instant credibility with area farmers and hunters, key players in the restoration. Have someone you want to nominate? Click here. Voting for the OL 25 Reader's Choice Award has ended.
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Outdoor Life Online Editor

Presidential nominee Mike Huckabee is on our list of people who have changed the face of hunting and fishing. Check out who else made honors in the first annual OL 25!