Last week while curled up under a camouflage ghillie blanket in the middle of a Ducks Unlimited TV Saskatchewan goose hunt I couldn’t help but look at my boots and think how lucky I was to be reaping the benefits of a chance meeting that took place almost 10 years ago.
It was the 2000 Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas, Nevada and I was a fresh-faced television producer working on a new ESPN Outdoors series called Wildlife Quest.
Like a lot of outdoor television producers navigating the tradeshow floor, I was eager to impress the manufacturers of sweet outdoor gear and apparel with our exploits in the field. Knowing we had a few South Texas hunts on the production schedule I was hoping to get my hands on a pair of the best snakeproof boots on the market – the iconic Chippewas!
Strolling into the Chippewa booth I was greeted by Billy Lovell the man in charge of all product development for Chippewa and the very same man who, over the years, would unwittingly become one of my best resources at the company. He was patient, listening to my spiel as I explained how Chippewa would be better served working with our series.
After a surprisingly short deliberation Billy agreed. We got our boots and Chippewa got prime product placement in a highly rated hunting series streaming into an estimated 85 million households. In the end I think Billy was a better marketer than I was a salesman – well-played sir!
Nevertheless, my relationship with Chippewa was born and although it would only take 10 short years of phone calls, emails, and the occasional boot request before the Chippewa brand manager, Clark Perkins would “discover” me it was well worth the wait.
Fast-forward to October 2010 and a fresh cut wheat field about an hour outside of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Camo-clad and camera-ready the cast and crew of DUTV sat and waited. It was cold, overcast, and windy – the perfect recipe for dry field duck and goose hunting. Bundled up and booted in my comfy 10” mocc toe back zip upland boots I really did stop and think how ironic – who would have thought a handshake and a tradeshow conversation would have turned into this?
Thanks to our guides from Prairie Rose Outfitters who had been diligently monitoring bird patterns the hunt was wildly successful. They had identified a prime staging area for the fall migration giving us the perfect opportunity for a mixed bag of Canada geese and assorted ducks.
There’s a lot to be said about hunting in a pair of good boots, with good friends, and good guides. Hopefully your fall hunting season has included all three. Let us know!
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