Growing up as an army brat, travel and exploration are in Damon’s DNA. He’s traveled from Chile to the ends of North America in search of the next rapid to run, river to explore, fish to catch, game to hunt, and memory to make. As Product Manager for Jackson Kayak and Brand Manager for Orion Coolers and now Orion Kennels, his passion for the outdoors translates directly into the products he brings to life. Damon, his wife Ashley, his son Barrett, and their 2 dogs Tripper and Jaeger make their home base camp in Sparta, Tennessee.
- Who got you into hunting / fishing? Why do you still do it?
- My father and grandfathers were the first people to take me on hunting and fishing adventures. I still do it because of the adventures it creates, the memories it makes, the time well spent, and protein in the freezer.
- How do you prepare for a hunt?
- I generally prepare with both research and physical preparation. Research time is on a computer, on the phone, talking to friends, or studying maps. Physical prep is everything from practicing with the weapon, to time hiking and carrying a heavy pack. I always make an Excel file of gear to bring, and adapt it for every new trip based on weather and conditions and hunting style. That makes packing easy, and I can spend more of my mental energy on how to hunt, not what to bring.
- What is your favorite hunting / fishing memory?
- In 2014 I took my father on a self-guided drop hunt in the Brooks Range of Alaska for caribou. We got to drive the Dalton Hwy (Haul Rd) which is an adventure in itself for many people, then flown in and dropped by Super Cubs. It was just us, having an adventure. We came out a week later with great memories, four bulls, and sore backs.
- What is your favorite type of hunt/fish or place to hunt/fish?
- I love solitude when hunting, no matter the species. I often hunt alone, public land, and just enjoy the quiet time with just me and my thoughts. So as long as I have that and something to hunt or fish for, I'm good. As for places in general, it's hard to beat Alaska. It's still got a lot of wild that we haven't screwed up too much yet.
- What is the most beautiful thing you've seen while out on a hunt?
- You see a lot of beautiful things on a hunt when you slow down and pay attention to where you are. Plenty of sunrise and sunsets. Vibrant Fall colors. Plenty of beautiful game and fish I've just enjoyed watching. I think the most beautiful you'll see is a world that gets along just fine without us.
- What is your dream hunt/fish trip?
- I've an avid dreamer. Golden Dorado in Bolivia. A sheep hunt. Taimen in Mongolia. But I'm also looking forward to the first time I get to take my son hunting.
- What is in your vehicle?
- Enough stuff for an adventure. Right now there's a dog kennel, a child seat, a cooler, a DECKED system, fly rod, overland recovery ramps, shovel, straps, solar panel, lamps, machete, hatchet, knives. And a few things I've forgotten about and will probably find when I sell it.
- What is your favorite quote or words you live by?
- Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. - Ferris Bueller