Born and raised in Northwest Iowa, game birds and animals were of interest to me before the age of ten. With my first B.B. gun, the hunt and stalk became my passion. The game bag is unimportant and never was. The natural world became my heart and soul. I knew at the age of 17 that hunting and guns would be my life's work. To that end, I have traded for thousands of the world's best sporting arms. I have backpacked in the Yukon Territory for sheep and stalked the great coastal bear in Alaska. I have tented 150 miles from the nearest road, watched the rut of the Spanish Ibex, and rode a string of horses in the pure wilderness. I have heard elk bugle at 12,000 feet, watched grizzlies walking through camp, and followed masses of Cape Buffalo in Zambia. I have hunted the leopard at dusk and foot hunted the rain forest of Ethiopia for the flagship of trophy animals: the bull elephant. I have backpacked for elephant in Zimbabwe, and glassed countless hours for the best of all game animals: the mature, trophy North American Whitetail. Finally, I have spent untold days following a very ancient sport behind a brace of pointing dogs hunting for the king and prince of American game birds: the Ruffed Grouse and the Bobwhite Quail.
In the early 1970's Doug Champlin started building the world's largest private collection of World War I and II fighter planes and moved the Champlin Fighter Museum from Enid, Oklahoma to Mesa, Arizona. He afforded me the opportunity to buy Champlin Firearms in 1978. My life's work had begun, but with ownership I reached the plateau to be surrounded by the world's most interesting people who pursue adventure in every corner of the globe with rod, gun and camera. Best of all, my family has shared many of these destinations and give loving support of my life long passion.