With the temperatures near 80 degrees, we believed that turkeys would be in the shade and relatively inactive, so we sat in a likely spot and waited for the afternoon to wain. Suddenly, we heard puck, puck, puck! and scrambled for our gear. Easing above a small ravine, a gobbler was standing alertly, then began to run. Boom! My buddy rolled the turkey and a celebration followed. Usually, spring gobblers don’t come hunting us.
I had just met D.J. Randolph from North Dakota, a regional manager of the Mossy Oak Pro Staff, and asked him about the program and how he got started. With a gobbler over one shoulder, he was happy to fill me in.
I was born and raised in Southeastern Ohio. In 1991, I moved to North Dakota, where I’m an engineer for the power company. I grew up in a hunting and fishing family in the Appalachian world and started with squirrels and rabbits. When I was in the sixth grade, my dad introduced me to one of his friends who loved to bowhunt, and I’ve been an avid archer ever since.
Mossy Oak has a pro staff of a little over 1,000 people. It’s not for pay, but for community involvement, whether it’s a youth shooting program, wildlife conservation banquet, the Special Olympics, or helping out with Mossy Oak promotions at box stores like Cabela’s. It’s about promoting the outdoor lifestyle. I’ve been doing activities like that for six years and have been a regional manager for one year.
Several Mossy Oak partners give discounts on their products to Pro Staff members, so there are some financial perks. Tim Anderson heads the program and believes that ideally we want people who will do this whether there is a benefit or not. You want people who are already doing that kind of thing and become a natural fit for the pro staff. To join, go to the Mossy Oak website and apply. There are 24 regional managers based on area and hunting specialty such as deer, turkey, and waterfowl, but most hunt a little of everything. We have Pro Staffers in all states.
The regional managers have meeting where we get together while the 1,000 guys end up at bigger conventions, especially at the NWTF convention. We have a private website where we can exchange ideas and show hero shots, one of the most important parts of hunting (lol), and a huge Mossy Oak presence on Facebook. You meet someone that you have exchanged pics with for a year and it’s like meeting a friend. It’s like a big family. It impressed me to be around Toxy Haas and stay at the Mossy Oak booth from daylight til dark. They are in just as good of a mood early as late, one of the many reasons they call it the Mossy Oak family.
For more information, go to mossyoak.com.