Sporting Council

The volunteers of Vanishing Paradise’s Sporting Council all have a real passion for the outdoors and for passing on our nation’s conservation legacy. These individuals are working to enhance and expand Vanishing Paradise’s reach so sportsmen and women across the country are aware of the Mississippi River Delta’s importance to fish and waterfowl—and become inspired to take action to protect this great American landscape.

Burton Angelle

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Burton Angelle

I am a lifelong resident of the great state of Louisiana who loves the outdoors. I currently live in Lafayette with my wife, Anne, daughter Lily and my two labs, Bogey and Rosco.

I grew up hunting and fishing in the Atchafalaya Basin with my grandfather and dad beginning at a very young age. They instilled in me not only a passion for hunting and fishing but also a love for the state of Louisiana which we can call “Sportsman’s Paradise.”

I have volunteered for many years with organization such as Coastal Conservation Association and Ducks Unlimited on the local, state and national levels. I truly love our state and want many generations after me to be able to enjoy it as well.

Chad Bell

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Chad Bell

Chad Bell, an active hunter, outdoorsman, fisherman and conservationist, is a student of the outdoor discipline and has had a passion for the outdoors since the age of fifteen when he was taken on his first whitetail hunt. Chad has had a very successful 24 years in the woods hunting whitetails, waterfowl, upland birds, and predators. He looks forward to the fall every year and impatiently awaits the opening of any hunting season. In the last 4 years he has started to hone his skills in the spring turkey woods. He thoroughly enjoys calling and learning the best tactics to make him successful in the field.

Chad serves on several pro staffs and pro teams, including Sitka Gear, Rocky Mountain Athlete, GORE™ OPTIFADE™, GORE™ Hunting & Waterfowl Tech, and Wolf Distributors. Chad always strives to be an example of an ethical outdoorsman and says, “Integrity is something that you can’t get back once you cross it off your resume.”

Curtis Arnold

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Curtis Arnold

Curtis Arnold started with Sure-Shot Game Calls in the summer of 1993 at the age of 13. Being the grandson of Jim “Cowboy” Fernandez—one of the designers of the first-ever double reed call—comes with certain expectations and building game calls and hunting are at the top of that list.

Curtis attended Lamar University and graduated in 2005 with an Engineering degree. At that point he was offered the position of Production Manager at the company. His role is slightly broader now under the new management of owner, and long time family friend, Charlie Holder.

When not at work he is either on the road for company events or in a rice field or flooded timber chasing after ducks.

He is a champion caller and avide outdoorsman. He has lived in the southeast part of Texas his whole life and enjoys being a voice for wetlands and waterfowl conservation in his home state.

Jeff Giffin

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Jeff Giffin

Jeff has been active in outdoor recreation for his entire life with more than 20 years experience hunting and fishing. He has spent the last eight years passing on his knowledge of the outdoors by teaching fly fishing and tying workshops. He has also volunteered his time with casting for recovery and taught children the importance of conservation through outdoor workshops. He is a firm believer in conserving our native lands though habitat reconstruction, catch and release fishing, and proper wildlife management. It is his personal goal to share his knowledge with as many individuals as possible to inspire our next generation of conservationists.

Jeff Fuller

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Jeff Fuller

Jeff Fuller never thought he’d end up on television, but then again, he never thought his pet Labrador Retriever would be the start of a nationally-recognized breeding program either! 

Soggy Acres Retrievers kennel was born, and creating a solid Labrador retriever breeding program became Jeff’s focus for the next several years. As the breeding program gained ground, speaking engagements and seminars followed, and invitations for television appearances on shows such as Outdoor Wisconsin came next. 

Looking at the available –or lack of available – quality family-oriented programming on the major outdoors networks gave Jeff the idea of creating his own show, and SportingDog Adventures was born in 2009. The show is designed to appeal to the whole family by engaging their interest in sporting dogs and the outdoors lifestyle. The show differentiates itself by remaining family-friendly and dog-centric in an era of hunting television that’s become flashy, foul-mouthed, and full of showmanship.

Joel Lucks

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Joel Lucks

Joel Lucks is a fulltime Outdoors Writer/Photojournalist and Commercial Photographer. He is the Founder of Full Spectrum Media specializing in the Outdoor Industry and currently a Field Editor for The Fisherman magazine, arguably one of the largest sportfishing magazines in the northeast. He has written for The Fisherman for over 15 years.

In recent years, Joel’s documentary photo-essays have appeared on OutdoorLife.com, in Outdoors Unlimited, with photos also appearing in Mississippi Land & Lodges magazine. He has worked intimately with the National Wildlife Federation since 2010. His aerial photos of the south Louisiana wetlands, along with his work for The Restore the Earth Foundation, as Team Photographer, have recorded the challenging restoration projects of both organizations and told a striking story of “awareness” and need for wetlands restoration.

As a Commercial Photographer, he has done work for National Geographic Snorkeler, Panther Martin Lures and a wide range of other commercial accounts. In the past, he has written for ESPN Saltwater, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s Outfitter Journal and contributed to Kayak Angler.

He is past president of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association (NYSOWA), is a longstanding member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) and a current member of The Explorers Club.

John Pollman

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John Pollman

John Pollmann is a freelance outdoor writer who focuses on upland bird and waterfowl hunting as well as those conservation issues surrounding the preservation of a diverse landscape in his home state of South Dakota. A 2012 recipient of the John Madson Fellowship from the Outdoor Writers Association of America, Mr. Pollmann is a regular contributor to the Sioux Falls (SD) Argus Leader; provides a bi-monthly report on South Dakota for the Minnesota Outdoor News; and is the waterfowl columnist for the Aberdeen (SD) American News Outdoor Forum. Other writing credits include the pages of magazines for Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl and American Waterfowler.

A life-long outdoorsman, Mr. Pollmann has hunted in such famed locations as the Eastern Shore of Maryland; the Interlakes region of Manitoba; the flooded timber of Arkansas; and coastal Louisiana. His favorite place to be, however, remains a marsh in South Dakota, where he loves decoying mallards and pintails hatched on the Coteau des Prairies.

In addition to outdoor writing, Mr. Pollmann holds an advanced degree in music and currently teaches at Pipestone Area School in Pipestone, MN. He is an active member of Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, Pheasants Forever, and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and currently serves as a member-at-large for the South Dakota Wildlife Federation.

Mr. Pollmann lives in Dell Rapids, SD with his wife Amber, their son Miles and a yellow Labrador named Murphy.

Mike Kauffman

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Mike Kauffman

I love everything outdoors and I care what is in store for the future of outdoors recreation, fishing and hunting. Waterfowl hunting is my passion—nothing like spending time with family and friends while enjoying the great outdoors. One of my best memories since being involved with Vanishing Paradise was being able to go to Washington D.C. to lobby for waterfowl/fishing restoration and to show support for the RESTORE Act! When I’m not in the outdoors, I enjoy spending time with my wife Camisha and my son Drake.

Mike McNett

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Mike McNett

Mike is a successful Chicago, IL based entrepreneur and businessman as well as a champion ice fisher. Following the sale of his industry respected business in 2007, McNett embarked on a new venture becoming a known and respected professional in the American Ice Fishing community. 2007-2012 Mike was co-owner and Director of the North American Ice Fishing Circuit® (NAIFC) Tournament Series and also co-founder of Ice Camp™, a series of ice fishing clinics for youth and parents alike who learn from and fish with professional ice fishers. He also is the creator, executive director and creative force in the Ice Men reality television series depicting the lives, personalities and competitions of four 2-man ice fishing teams.

McNett has a personable and easy style that endears him to new competitors and seasoned professionals and when coupled with his high energy business acumen is a formidable force in organization, management and acquisition of financing. Mike is currently in his third year as an Insurance Producer for Humbert Insurance Agency in Elmhurst Illinois. Mike was also the driving force for USA Ice Team as GOLD medal Team Captain and Director of Operations.

2005 North American Ice Fishing Circuit (NAIFC) Champion

2007 NAIFC Co-founder

2007-2012 NAIFC Director of Operations

2007 USA Ice Team Founder

2008-2010 ICE MEN TV Creator, Writer, Director, Videographer and Producer

2008-present USA Ice Team Director

2009 United States Freshwater Fishing Federation (USF3) Co-founder

2010-present USF3 Vice Chairman

2010 World Ice Fishing Championship GOLD Medal (Team Captain)

Sean Rabalais Turner

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Sean Rabalais Turner

Sean Turner has been a member of the Vanishing Paradise Pro Staff since he was nine years old. A passionate advocate for coastal restoration, Sean has earned several awards for his volunteerism, including the Governor's Award for Youth in Conservation presented by Louisiana Wildlife Federation, the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award presented by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, and the Louisiana Youth Angler of the Year presented by the Louisiana Outdoor Writer's Association. He co-hosts his family's television outdoors program, The Outdoor Kitchen Show, promoting conservation and the hunting/fishing life in Louisiana with his parents, Franklin and Marissa Turner. He volunteers for conservation groups at conferences, expos, and events. Sean also competes at the state level in 4-H Shooting Sports in Compound Bow Archery, winning medals and titles every year. His dream is to guide trips from his own hunting and fishing lodge in coastal Louisiana.

Taylor Schaltenbrand

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Taylor Schaltenbrand

I grew up in a small town in Southern Illinois where I found my love for the outdoors. My family has passed on their love and knowledge of hunting, fishing, and conservation as long as I can remember and I have them to thank for the passions that drive me today. I was given my first shotgun, a Remington 870 12 ga, at age 12, and this has fueled my passions ever since.

I am a die hard waterfowl hunter and have been since my days at Freeburg High School. I also enjoy archery deer hunting, spring and fall turkey hunting, as well as upland game hunting. I love chasing waterfowl all over Illinois in the fields, lakes, river bottoms, and especially the flooded timber. I currently am on Pro Staff with Fowl Play Game Calls, FowlNation.com, and Vanishing Paradise. I greatly enjoy volunteering my time with my local Monroe County Ducks Unlimited Chapter and making sure that we raise money to conserve wetlands and habitat for our future generations.    

I attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where I studied Geography and Environmental Sciences where I learned even more about the importance of conservation efforts that are needed to protect our Nation’s vital ecosystems and habitat. I am proud to be a member of the Vanishing Paradise Pro Staff and look forward to volunteering my time to such a vital organization.

Travis Weige

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Travis Weige

Travis enjoys duck hunting and being outdoors as often as possible. He is the editor of Hunting Collective.com and a part time journalist for various online publications. When not hunting he spends his free time making custom knives in his garage under the name, Weige Knives.com. He lives in Austin, TX with his wife, son and two dogs.

Wade Middleton

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Wade Middleton

Wade Middleton is the President and Co-owner of Careco TV one of the leading outdoor media production companies in the nation. With years of experience at various levels in the outdoors he works with numerous companies nationwide to design programs, initiatives and strategies related to fishing and outdoors opportunities. Wade also is the host and producer of many of the top rated outdoor television fishing programs on air today such as Americana Outdoors Presented by Garmin, Yamaha’s Whitetail Diaries, Cabela’s Fisherman’s Handbook, Fishing and Hunting Texas as well as The Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Series. For more information visit www.careocotv.com

Brad Downey

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Brad Downey

Brad Downey is the Owner/Partner of Frontier Sales & Marketing Group – a Sales Agency based in Katy, Texas. Brad began his career in the outdoor industry while attending Texas A&M University. He put himself through school as a full-time duck & goose hunting guide for Larry Gore’s Eagle Lake & Katy Prairie Outfitters-the largest Waterfowl Outfitter in North America. It was here he met his business partner, Dennis Clark, and formed Frontier Sales in 1998.

Brad is an active outdoor enthusiast and worked with countless organizations to promote the sports of hunting and fishing. He has donated resources to conservation efforts as well as cultivating new participants into this arena. His belief is that all “Outdoorsman” are by default “Environmentalists” whose responsibilities are to preserve natural habitats and teach stewardship to the generations that follow.

David Dellucci

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David Dellucci

David Dellucci is a retired Major League Baseball outfielder who played for the Baltimore Orioles, the Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees, the Texas Rangers, and the Philadelphia Phillies. Dellucci, a Louisiana native, is a lifelong outdoorsman and a passionate conservationist.

Eric Cosby

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Eric Cosby

Eric Cosby began fishing the marshes south of New Orleans in the early 1990s. In 1998, Eric started the Marsh Madness media event based out of Venice, Louisiana. Marsh Madness is an annual event created to promote sponsors products and to introduce the outdoor media to the challenges facing the Mississippi River Delta.

Eric is the Vice President of CEMCO, Inc./Top Brass Tackle, a fishing tackle manufacturer specializing in terminal tackle for the bass market. Eric received his BS in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University in 1990.

Gabe Galster

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Gabe Galster

Gabe Galster Sr. turned his childhood hunting and fishing experiences with his father into a lifelong obsession. Gabe is CEO of Arkansas based New Hope Prosthetic and Orthotic Services, Inc. but spends an enviable amount of time on his fishing boat in Venice, Louisiana. While Gabe is an avid duck and deer hunter in his native state, the waters off the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi run thick in his blood. With a background in biology and passion for the Gulf, Gabe continues to learn more ways to contribute to its protection and repair. Gabe is a Coast Guard Licensed Captain, a master diver, and an airplane pilot. He shares his enthusiasm for life and the outdoors with his two sons and wife.

Hal Herring

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Hal Herring

Hal Herring grew up in rural north Alabama in a family of voracious readers, fishing, hunting, digging ginseng, running trotlines. It was a life mostly spent outside, but his heroes were always writers, from Guy De Maupassant to Peter Matthiessen, Dostoyevsky to Jim Harrison. Publishing his first fiction and essays in his mid-twenties, Hal moved to nonfiction and journalism in his early thirties.

He is a contributing editor at Field and Stream magazine and writes the F&S Conservationist blog on their website. At Field and Stream he has covered everything from bear poaching gangs to caviar crime rings, wetlands destruction to energy politics. His story about an elk hunter’s terrible misadventure with a grizzly bear was a Finalist for a National Magazine Award.

For several years, Hal served as an editor at large for the online newsmagazine New West, where his first story exploring the background of a truly odd Montana criminal case, won a 2006 Online News Award for Enterprise Journalism.

Additional publications include stories in the High Country News, the Atlantic Monthly, the Economist, and more. His passion as a writer and storyteller lie where they always have—“in exploring humankind’s evolving relationship to the natural world, and all the failures, successes and deep tensions inherent in that relationship”.

Jared Mott

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Jared Mott

Jared Mott grew up on the banks of the Mississippi River in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The son of professional wildlife biologists, he was quickly exposed to wildlife, hunting, and fishing. They quickly became his passions and after completing college and law school, he decided to make conservation a career and left the Magnolia State for Washington, DC. After living and working in DC for a couple years, Jared met his wife Michelle, an exiled Cajun also working in government relations. They still live in Washington, where Jared is the Policy Director for the Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance. But they travel back to Louisiana and Mississippi frequently, never letting the call of their homelands go unanswered for too long.

Mark Hilzim

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Mark Hilzim

Mark, a native New Orleanian, has spent a lifetime hunting and fishing. Mark graduated from the University of New Orleans. His professional career includes stints as the first Executive Director of the Louisiana Chapter of the Gulf Coast Conservation Association and as the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

Since 1997, Mark has worked at Louisiana Publishing which publishes Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina Sportsman Magazines and produces both SPORTSMAN TV and the annual Louisiana Sportsman Show in Gonzales, LA. He currently holds the position of Executive Vice-President.

If he had his choice, he would be standing in the surf at Grand Isle fishing for speckled trout or prowling the Venice marsh for red fish.

Noel Vick

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Noel Vick

Noel Vick is the owner and president of Traditions Media, LLC, a fishing-focused PR and marketing group. The company’s clients include MarCum Technologies, Lund Boats, Aquateko, St. Croix Rods, Rapala Brands, Rippin’ Lips and StrikeMaster Augers. He lives in Mendota Heights, Minnesota.

Ryan Lambert

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Ryan Lambert

Captain Ryan Lambert, President of Cajun Fishing Adventures, Inc., is a successful entrepreneur in southeast Louisiana and a professional angler for more than 31 years. Launched in 1994, Cajun Fishing Adventures, Inc. has a renowned reputation in the sports fishing and hunting industry which have led to hosting large corporate events for ESPN, southeast Louisiana fishing tournaments and annual area events. Ryan has been featured in sports shows with Outdoor Channel, Verses, ESPN, Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, Garden and Gun, Louisiana Sportsman Magazines, and local media shows in radio and TV in the greater New Orleans area.

Captain Lambert has been an active spokesperson for coastal restoration as a contributor to the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan Framework Development Team.

In addition, he is the current Vice‐President of the Louisiana Charter Boat Association, an organization that seeks to protect and promote the development and preservation of the fishing guide industry in Louisiana. As a LCBA member, Captain Lambert has spoken to congressional leaders in Washington DC on Louisiana’s coastal environmental issues. His business experience brings qualitative value to federal, state, and local agencies on restoration projects and the preservation of Louisiana wetlands.

Steve Bowman

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Steve Bowman

Steve Bowman is the Executive Editor of OutdoorChannel.com and Tournament editor for Bassmaster.com. He is a lifelong hunter and fisherman. His work in editorial includes serving as the Outdoor Editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Executive Editor of ESPN Outdoors. He has authored three books, two on waterfowling and one on bass fishing. His writings are often centered on conservation issues and how they impact hunters and fishermen. He is an active supporter of multiple conservation groups around the country.

He is a frequent speaker to men’s groups in churches and in his spare time he serves as a Pulaski County Sheriff Deputy in his home state of Arkansas.

Steve Rampy

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Steve Rampy

Steve Rampy was born and raised in Middle Tennessee and was immersed in the great outdoors at a very early age. After attending Auburn University, Steve served in the United States Air Force. He was following the footsteps of his father in both cases. Working as a Software Developer for over twenty years, Steve is presently a Principle with an engineering firm based in the Nashville, TN area and is the Managing Editor and Owner of several large outdoors web sites.

Steve’s father was not only his role model in education and sense of duty to country; he was also the one who introduced him to the great outdoors, conservation, and hunting. His earliest memories involve tagging along with his father in the woods, on the water, and assisting in the training and handling of sport dogs. He now spends each Fall traveling up and down the Mississippi Flyway and cherishes the time it allows him to spend with his father, his son, and his close friends. Not taking our natural resources for granted and making the commitment to do his part in making a difference is also something that was instilled in Steve by his father.

Teeg Stouffer

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Teeg Stouffer

Teeg Stouffer is a life-long angler, passionate about the sport of fishing and the resource on the whole. “I came from a fishing family, both on my mom’s side and my dad’s side. We grew up fishing, I had a rod in my hand at age three, and I don’t think I ever put it down.”

Hailing from the Midwest, Teeg started his career in the media working in radio, then in event marketing. “I got my first radio show when I was 14 years old, and I was working for world famous WHO Radio – where Ronald Reagan got his start – by the time I was 16.” Since then, he’s worked in radio both in the US and Great Britain, before moving to the event marketing industry. Stouffer has toured on national tours and developed large-scale events and promotional tours inside and outside the outdoor industry. His passion for stewardship of creation, motivated by an under-lying faith, together with his experience in media, marketing and management give him a unique skill set to cultivate and steer RecycledFish.

To learn more about the Council, please contact Bill Cooksey.