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 COLUMNISTS
Much of the success of the Alberta Outdoorsmen comes from our talented outdoor writers. Each of our writers lives and works in Alberta so their knowledge of this province and its outdoor resources is first-hand.
Following is a short biography on each of our regular columnists.
Brian Bildson

Brian Bildson has spent his entire life exploring Canada's wilderness. He was raised in the Northwest Territories where hunting, fishing and trapping were a natural part of his life.

After moving to Alberta in the 80's, Brian began trapping along the Kakwa River and can now be found running his trapline in the Willmore Wilderness Park.

When not trapping Brian can be found at his back country lodge on the edge of the Willmore.  Visit www.sheepcreek.net for a look at this beautiful piece of Alberta.
Mark Boyce

Mark moved to Alberta in 1999 to become the Alberta Conservation Association Chair in Fisheries and Wildlife at the University of Alberta. Hunting, fishing and trapping on the family farm inspired him to pursue a career as a naturalist. He supervises graduate students doing ecological research in Alberta, and these projects have been the source for a number of articles published in the Alberta Outdoorsmen. He and his wife, Evie Merrill, maintain a registered trapline at Nordegg.

Mark has travelled the world hunting and fishing, and insists that Alberta is as good as it gets. In 2007 he was named the International Conservationist of the Year by Safari Club International, and in 2008 he received the William Rowan Award from the Alberta Chapter of The Wildlife Society. He was honoured with the Award of Merit by the Alberta Trappers Association in 2010.
Brad Fenson

Brad Fenson is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, fishing and unique adventures. His passion for the outdoors pushes him into the field for approximately 100 days or more each year. He has traveled across North America hunting and fishing along the trail and collecting incredible photographs and story ideas from unique locations.

Brad has been hunting since he was four years old, when his dad used to take him along on excursions in western Canada. Since those early days his love for the outdoors has grown into new challenges to find quality outdoor experiences. Brad likes to hunt with a bow and arrow, muzzleloader, shotgun and center-fire rifle for a wide variety of Alberta game. He pursues his passion for fishing just as hard as hunting and holds a special place for the days when he can include his family.
Gordy Klassen

“The Beaver” columnist, Gordy Klassen, is an internationally recognized trapper and conservationist.

Born and raised in Alberta, he holds a deep belief that multiple stakeholders can amiably work together on the same piece of ground. He has worked continuously to ensure that there is solid recognition and respect for every stakeholder’s opportunity to harvest and manage Alberta’s magnificent and varied natural resources. For these efforts, he has been the recipient of numerous awards including Alberta’s Centennial Medal and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal.

He and his wife Alison live on a small ranch in the Peace River Country where they raise cattle, horses and bison. They have three children, seven grandchildren and share the ranch with never less than six dogs.

They own and operate TrapperGord’s Wilderness College, which annually teaches people from all over North America a wide variety of traditional outdoor skills with a focus on the importance of humane, responsible and sustainable wildlife management.

They are partners with their children in Klassen Brothers, one of the largest privately owned heavy construction companies in northwestern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia. In addition to completing many complex urban civil and remote oilfield construction projects, Klassen Brothers has helped pioneer several of the oilfield’s current construction, environmental and reclamation practices.

Gordy is currently President of the Alberta Trappers’ Association and a Director for the Fur Institute of Canada. He is a life member of Safari Club International, the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. These are all organizations that promote conservation through traditional as well as scientific management and recognize the importance of sustainable use.
Don Meredith

Born in Los Angeles, California, Don Meredith was soon dragged northward by the “call of the wild”. He eventually ended up in Alberta in 1970 where he finished his studies in wildlife biology, worked for a while as a consulting biologist and finally settled down as a writer, biologist and communications consultant. He spent 13 years with the Alberta Fish and Wildlife Division as its Coordinator of Information and Education. Don writes the column, “Rubs, Scrapes and Tangle, signs along the way” for the Outdoorsmen. He has won several awards for his writing, including two first places in the 2000 Outdoor Writers of Canada National Communications Awards for articles that appeared in the Outdoorsmen — best magazine column, and best magazine feature article on hunting.

As a consulting biologist, Don worked on various projects for both private industry and government in the High Arctic, northern Alberta and the Rocky Mountains. He drew upon his experiences in the North to write his first young-adult, adventure novel, Dog Runner (© 1989, 2004). The novel won the 1990 Writers Guild of Alberta Award of Excellence for Children’s Literature, and has also been published in Dutch and German.

His second novel, The Search for Grizzly One (© 2005), is a story about a teenager searching for his grandfather lost in a bush airplane over northern Alberta.

Visit Don’s website (www.donmeredith.ca)
Claudio Ongaro

Claudio Ongaro, the Seasonal Targets Columnist, started his working career as a schoolteacher in 1988, at the age of 22, after graduating from the University of Alberta. He taught full time for six years and part time for six years while building his outfitting business.

Currently, he outfits fulltime for waterfowl from the Ongaro Lodge in the world famous prairie pothole region in central Eastern Alberta and outfits for trophy whitetails and mule deer in Alberta's remote Western foothills.

Claudio has been published in several outdoor publications since 1989. Feature articles have focused primarily on his areas of expertise, which include hunting for Whitetail and Mule deer, angling for Walleye, and hunting for waterfowl.

Claudio's personal hunting has taken him from the wind swept cactus strewn prairies to the muddiest muskeg bogs of the lowlands and as high as the snow covered peaks of the Rocky Mountains. His latest venture, Northern Giants Outdoors Video Collection, produces hunting and fishing related DVD titles where pursuit of trophy animals is the main focus.
Duane Radford

Duane was born in Blairmore, Alberta in the Crowsnest Pass, and grew up in Bellevue where he started hunting and fishing at an early age. He went to grade school in the Crowsnest Pass, and completed high school in Calgary. Duane attended the University of Calgary and the University of Manitoba where he completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in zoology and biology. He has been certified as a Fisheries Scientist by the American Fisheries Society. He worked as a Regional Fisheries Biologist, Regional Director and Fisheries Director for the Alberta Fish and Wildlife Division. He is a recipient of the Order of the Bighorn Award - Alberta's highest award for fish and wildlife conservation.

Duane currently resides in Edmonton where he works as a free lance writer and photographer. He writes for various magazines in Canada and the United States. He’s an award-winning member of the Outdoor Writers of Canada. He shoots photos for Lone Pine Photo, a quality Canadian stock photo agency in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He’s a member of the Alberta Fish and Game Association and the Edmonton Trout Fishing Club. He is a Honourary Life Member of the Great Plains Fishery Workers Association. Duane is a field editor for The Canadian Fly Fisher magazine, and an Alberta Outdoorsmen magazine columnist. Be sure to purchase his award winning cookbook: Fish and Wild Game Recipes – From the Field to the Table. He co-authored the award winning book Conservation Pride and Passion with fellow columnist Don Meredith.
Duane Rosenkranz

Duane was born in Calgary, now lives in Edmonton and has lived in Alberta all his life. His day job is in the tire industry and much of his spare time is spent in the bush or on a lake with camera and/or gun in hand. He hunts most everything but especially enjoys November deer hunting. Interested in nature and photography as long has he can remember, he has combined the two into a hobby and sideline as a nature photographer.

Over the last 15 years Duane's images have been used throughout Canada and the US in Outdoor, Nature, Train and Farming magazines. His photos have also been used in calendars, brochures, websites etc. Duane also sells canvas and paper prints of his favorite images and is represented by Quebec Stock Images stock agency. www.drosenkranzphotography.com
TJ Schwanky

Spike Camp Musings' Columnist, T.J. Schwanky is one of Canada's most prolific outdoor writers. Additionally, he is a regular seminar speaker at sportsmen's shows across North America and he is host of Thompson/Center's Outdoor Quest on the Men's Channel in the U.S.A. and Wild TV in Canada.

A self-confessed walleye addict, T.J. also admits to being a closet fly-fisherman and rates Alberta's Ram River as his favourite destination. He spends a great deal of his time in the high basins of the Rocky Mountains in search of bighorn sheep and is the holder of several Longhunter Society Records for big game harvested with a muzzleloader. There is no place he'd rather spend his days than in Alberta's great outdoors.

Visit www.theoutdoorquest.com Official Website.
Jeff Smith

Born in Brantford ON, I have lived in a variety of places in both Canada and the USA. While living in Newfoundland in the mid 1970’s, I learned to fly fish and tie flies as that was the only legal method of fishing in most nearby streams and rivers. What began as a simple hobby has become a lifelong addiction now spanning 35 years.

I served in the Canadian Forces for 26+ years as a Medical Technician across Canada with several postings in Alberta. In 2000, I returned to Alberta and retired here in 2006 from the Canadian Forces. I am an avid outdoorsman who prefers to fly fish with my own flies in smaller creeks and streams. I try to keep my fly fishing and fly tying from being taken too seriously, yet still respect the traditions attached to it. As well, I enjoy hunting  big game, upland game and waterfowl. My wife and I and our family reside in and around Redcliff AB as I  pursue a career in the outdoors.

I am a member of the Outdoor Writers of Canada, Rocky Mountain Outdoor Writers and Photographers, AFGA, AHEIA and Delta Waterfowl.
J.B. Struthers

J.B. Struthers is retired in Edmonton. He carried a game warden's badge from August of 1964 to May of 1997. During those years he was stationed in Athabasca, Whitecourt, Edson, Evansburg, Calgary, Edmonton, St. Paul, Edmonton and Red Deer before doing a third and final stint in Edmonton as Chief of Enforcement - Field Services. Much of his second sojourn in capital city was spent redrafting Alberta's wildlife and fisheries legislation.

He writes regularly for Alberta Outdoorsmen and a quarterly publication. His short fiction appears sporadically in various publications in Canada and the U.S.A.
Al Voth

Sandwiched between being born in Alberta and retiring there, Al Voth pursued a law enforcement career that covered much of western Canada. His life-long interest in hunting and firearms was reflected in that career, as he spent the early portion working on an Emergency Response Team and the latter half as a firearms examiner in a forensic laboratory. With retirement now upon him, he works as a private consultant in the forensic field.

Al calls himself a “student of the gun” and loves to shoot, study and tinker with firearms. Although he has hunted big game in Alberta and BC, these days you’re more likely to find him hunting varmints and predators or participating in shooting competitions.

Many years ago those accumulated interests and experiences inspired him to start writing about them and have resulted in numerous articles for outdoor magazines in Canada and the USA. Additionally, he is the author of two novels, one of which is a Canadian best seller. You can usually find what he’s working on next by visiting his blog: www.coyoteschool.blogspot.com
Neil Waugh

Neil Waugh brings over 25 years of political and outdoors writing to Alberta Outdoorsmen. As well as being the Edmonton Sun’s provincial affairs columnist for over a decade he also contributes his weekly Out There column to the publication.
His Covers and Riffles column brings an outdoors perspective to the political activities under the Dome.

Neil was literally born with a flyrod in his hands and raised in the West Country both on the Coal Branch and later Drayton Valley. He received his education at the University of Alberta.

A recipient of several Outdoor Writers of Canada communications awards both for writing and photography, Neil has a passion for Alberta’s lakes, rivers and wild places.

When not covering the legislature, Neil can usually be found up a foothills trout stream or in ruffed grouse cover with his yellow Lab Ginger.
Kevin Wilson

Tips for the Outdoorsman Columnist, Kevin Wilson is an award-winning outdoor writer. An avid sportsman, Kevin lives the outdoor lifestyle as a professional outfitter and big game/bird game guide in Alberta (see venturenorthoutfitting.com).

With a passion for hunting bighorn sheep, trophy whitetails, and waterfowl, he’s taken several record-book specimens with bow-and-arrow. Although a committed bowhunter, Kevin enjoys all outdoor pursuits from fly-fishing to ice-fishing, freshwater and saltwater angling, as well as hunting with muzzleloader, shotgun and centerfire rifle. He’s fished and hunted across North America taking many different species from the exotic such as caribou, grizzly bear, and sheep to wild turkeys.



 
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