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The Outdoor Lodger

Chase Gartner, Age 20

Chase Gartner is the youngest at 19 years old and the most enthusiastic member of our Pro Staff here at Montana Test. Chaseís father is a Pro Staff member. Barely wet behind the ears Chase was a constant companion of this Dad, hunting and fishing at every opportunity and took his first Duck at four years old. Currently Chase spends all his free time Bow hunting, Duck hunting, Turkey hunting, chasing Upland game, and is an accomplished trapper. Hunting deer with bow and Waterfowl hunting are his two favorites on the hunting side. Deer, ducks, pheasant, quail, doves, rabbits, squirrels, turkeys, prairie chickens, any legal game you can hunt in Northeast Nebraska you will find Chase is in the bushes. Another favorite activity is walleye fishing with his Dad or friends during the spring and summer months. Chase is a serious Outdoorsman, if it involves hunting, fishing, or trapping you will find him testing product. A Business Marketing Major at UNL Chase plans to graduate in the spring of 2013, if his Dad can keep him from moving to Montana.

Dan Hunter, Age 30

Dan Hunter grew up in the Lake District in the Northwest of England and spent most of his youth climbing, hiking, and camping through English National Parks, the Scottish Highlands, and Snowdonia National Park. Dan acquired excellent map reading and wilderness survival skills through his adventures. Dan is an outstanding cross-country runner and successfully competed in many of the English fell running competitions.
Dan is quickly becoming a skilled and knowledgeable hunter and Fly angler. Dan and wife Sarah will test and review tents, stoves, sleeping bags, hiking shoes and boots along with running and cross training footwear. Dan and his wife Sarah currently live in Bozeman, Mt.

Don Gartner, Age 61

Don Gartner is our first from the Cornhusker state to join Montana Test. Raised in Norfolk, Nebraska, Don is a life long Nebraskan. Donís father started him early taking him to the duck blind, a few miles south of Norfolk, for the first time, at the age of four. On that first duck hunt, Don was able to stand on his tiptoes and lay the barrel of his .410 over the blind and tip over a Ruddy Duck as it swam through the decoys. Waterfowl hunting has been in Donís blood ever since. Hunting and fishing has always been a huge part of Donís life and as a father of a teenage son, Chase, Don taught his son the importance of conservation along with hunting and fishing.

In addition to lifetime spent in the Outdoors, Don spent ten years serving as a National Director of a Habitat organization for Pheasants Forever. His strength in this 150,000-member organization focused on Youth Education as well as habitat programs. In 1985 Don was a Board Director for the first PF Chapter in the state of Nebraska, which now has over 65 Chapters across the state. Donís wide variety of hunting includes Archery for White Tails along the Elkhorn River, Walleye fishing or Duck and Goose hunting on the Missouri River System, or Grouse hunting in the Sand Hills of Nebraska. Don is a great addition to the Pro Staff at Montana Test, watch for his reviews.

Jaremy Hamm, Age 40

Jaremy Hamm is the newest member of the Montana Test field staff. Jaremy was raised in the east chasing whitetails, turkeys and fly fishing some of the preeminent limestone streams on the east coast. Jaremy follows many of our staff members as a former college athlete. After a college football career and nearly 20 years in the outdoor retail industry Jaremy decided to make the move to Montana.

Since moving to Montana back in 1999 Jaremy refined his passion for archery and waterfowl hunting. During the fall you will find him cataloging multiple day and nights in the backcountry hunting both deer and elk. When the big game season winds down and North winds blow Jaremy heads for the duck and goose blind.

For the duration of the offseason you will find him pursuing trout, photography and training hunting dogs. Jaremy takes great pride at reengineering countless pieces of outdoor gear he operates in the field. Jaremy dissects every piece of merchandise he tests and with a keen eye toward engineering looks for any revamp and improvement.

Jeremyís countless days and nights on the ground and his outdoor retail experience and optical background command an impressive resource to our staff. Montana offers a diversity of weather conditions that impart it for an unlimited setting to test product. Jaremy tests and reviews are sure to get a thoughtful and methodical road test.

Jim Abel, Age 65

Jim is our resident Fly Fishing expert and fish's 50 to 60 days a year. if he is not behind a camera he is on the Big Horn or Stillwater Rivers here in Montana testing the latest in Fly Fishing product. Jim's reviews are read world wide because of his ability to bring the reader with him as he fishes. Don't miss the next Fly Fishing Review by Jim Abel!

Like many former Montanans, Jim moved back to The Big Sky Country to be closer to its great outdoors. In 1989 and 1990, he helped develop and produced the first year of "Fly Fishing the World" (ESPN). Today, instead of waiting for the opportunity, he makes the time to visit his favorite Montana places and to find new favorites. Never a true "gear-junkie," Jim is currently headed down that precipitous path with a unique perspective on what works.

Montana based Writer/Director Jim Abel has more than twenty years experience and is the founder of Out in the Cold Productions. He works primarily in the Rocky Mountain West but has taken crews to Argentina, England, Mexico, Belize, Yugoslavia, the Bahamas, and New Zealand as well nearly half of the United States. Jim has received more than 150 Awards of Excellence for his work, has served on The Montana Film and Television Advisory Council, The Billings (Montana) Police Foundation Board of Directors, and chaired The Billings Area Chamber of Commerce Film Liaison Council.

Television credits include: ABC, A&E, CBS, COURT TV, CNN, Discovery, E!TV, ESPN, FOX, HBO, The History Channel, Lifetime, MSNBC, NBC, Nickelodeon, OLN, Starz, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Brothers.

Commercial credits include The AB-Belt, Adventure Cycling, Ageless RX, Bridgestone/Firestone, Disney, FoodSaver, Helen of Troy, Hewlett Packard, Kampgrounds of America, Montana Silversmiths, Northwestern Energy, Oster, Toppik, VioLight, Viper Grip, Voom Satellite Network, Westwood College, and The U.S. Navy.

Corporate/Industrial credits include Anheuser-Busch, Apple Computers, Buffalo Bill Historical Center, ConocoPhillips, Harley Davidson, Home Depot, Intel, John Deere & Company, Johnson & Johnson, National Education Association, Pennsylvania Power and Light, U.S. Census Bureau, Veterans Administration, Wells Fargo Banks, Warner Brothers Home Video and Yellowstone National Park.

Joe Stein, Age 58

Joe Stein is a Creative Director/Broadcast Producer at Wendt Integrated Communications, an advertising and public relations agency in Great Falls, MT. Joe is one of our newest Pro Staff members. Joeís day job requires maintaining high creative standards and guiding the development of targeted, award-winning advertising and marketing materials. He also coordinates all aspects of production for audio/visual programs, television in addition, radio commercials. With 33 years of experience in the industry, Joeís television, and design, work profiled in Adweek, Ad Age, Print, and Communication Arts magazines, along with garnering numerous local, regional, and national awards. His love for the outdoors came early in life with his family camping, fishing (summer and winter), or hunting almost every weekend. When he and his family had the opportunity to relocate in Montana, an outdoor enthusiastsí Mecca, it was a no-brainer. When he is not in front of a studio monitor editing, or a computer monitor designing, Joe is likely on a riverbank in search of brown trout, hunting big game, or hiking a scenic trail with family and friends.

Patrick Stinson, Age 59

Patrick Stinson is the owner and founder of Montana Test. Born and raised in Norfolk Nebraska, Pat?spent?his youth combing the rolling hills of Northeast Nebraska after Pheasants, Quail, and spending many an early fall morning in a Duck and Goose Blind. Today, he is a Free Lance writer and the Outdoor Editor for The Billings Outpost, a weekly Newspaper in Billings, MT. Pat?was the President and Founder for both of the first Pheasant Forever chapters in the state of Nebraska and Billings MT. He has hosted an outdoor talk program BaseCamp America from 1998 to 2001 heard Coast to Coast on the Radio America network based in Washington DC. BaseCamp America was broadcasted Sunday morning live for two hours from Billings.?

Pat was also the host of a Local Talk show "Up Front" from 1993 to 1998. Besides his extensive background in the outdoors, Pat and his wife Jane have owned and operated Stinson Investment and Insurance Services since 1985.

Phil Zastrow, Age 52

Montana Test is expanding into Walleye testing and reviews and with that we welcome Phil Zastrow. Phil is totally outfitted and qualified for his and our jump into Walleye product analysis and evaluating. Phil arrives at Montana Test with a 2008 Triton 215X Walleye boat, rigged out with Mercury 300 hp Verado 4 stroke. It includes a BMS Extreme hydraulic jack plate, Mercury Revolution 4 21p prop custom tuned by DAH Props, a Turbo TXP 23p prop custom tuned by DAH Props, and a Mercury 9.9 Pro kicker 4 stroke. This is just a short list; the electronics on the Triton would brand any Walleye chaser covetous. Incredibility meticulous Phil identifies how Walleye product must function and when Phil writes a review of any Walleye appliance we can confirm it has been on or in the water. If it performs Phil will convey that to you, if not, he will disclose any shortcoming. Phil lives in Norfolk NE and is the owner of Sound Works for over 15 years. Phil has been married for 26 years to his beautiful wife Leslie, and both are proud parents of two girls. Phil is our go to guy for Walleye fishing, and we are much honored he joins our Pro Staff as leader of our Walleye team. Look for Philís Walleye evaluations in the coming weeks and months at Montana Test.

Sarah Stinson Hunter, Age 32

Sarah Stinson Hunter has been camping, hiking, cross-country skiing and fishing from the time, she could walk. Sarah took her first backpacking trip at the tender age of 12 into the Beartooth Mountains of Montana. Sarah continued her enthusiasm for the outdoors through high school and college, camping and backpacking in Montana, Catskill, and Shawangunk Mountains of New York State. Sarah and her husband live in Bozeman, Mt. testing, and reviewing tents, sleeping bags, hiking shoes and boots. The Montana landscape offer an excellent opportunity to test camping product, and the Hunters will be bringing all the results enabling the camper, angler, and hunter to find and purchase the best possible product.

Tom Ruud, Age 56

Tom Ruud is another new Pro Staff member to Montana Test. Tom is a native Minnesotan and now resides in Lincoln; NE. Tom brings a wealth of Outdoor experience as a Waterfowl hunter along the Platte River or chasing Turkeys or Pheasants throughout Nebraska. Tom will be testing Upland game gear, hunting footwear, waders, decoys, anything, and everything that the premier Upland or Waterfowler will use. Along with his Hunting, Tom is an avid Walleye and Fly Fisherman and looks forward to wetting a line with the latest equipment.

Tom is a former Cornhusker graduating in 1975 with a Degree in Business and a member of the Big Red football team. Tom spent 5 years in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengalís. Tom is a proud parent of three children, Barrett, Bo, and Kimi. All of us at Montana Test are excited to have Tom join the Pro Staff and we look forward to his testing and reviews.


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