Growing up hunting just about everything on his family’s farm, John Thames followed his passion for upland hunting into publishing, guiding the Covey Rise transition from a trade publication into a flourishing lifestyle brand over the last five years. From the award-winning launch in 2012 to its emergence onto the national and global stages, Thames has steadied the helm of brand expansion while guiding a growing editorial staff and appetite for timeless words and images that capture the upland sporting lifestyle in the same way a Sports Afield article from the 1950s featured his grandfather in legendary print.
Bestowed the ways of the uplands from his father and grandfathers before him, Matt Soberg brings editorial expertise and genuine experiences afield to the Covey Rise team. Soberg earned his juris doctor degree in 2005 and learned a foundation in conservation as editor and director of communications for the Ruffed Grouse Society. When not editing or writing, you can find him with his young son roaming the woods and the prairies with their English setters.
As a long-time collector of fine guns who has traveled the world hunting birds, Gil Morgan is well-suited to his position as Covey Rise Brand Ambassador. Gil, a lawyer and accountant by training, recently sold his forestry equipment business and has since focused his attention on the world of bird hunting and fine guns. Gil’s attention to detail and knack for discerning value and potential are traits that make him an ideal member of the Covey Rise team.
MARY KATHERINE SHARMAN
Almost from the very beginning, Mary Katherine Sharman has brought her visual and creative strengths to bear on the remarkable growth of Covey Rise, learning the ropes in rapid fashion as she moved from her initial internship across several years and all facets of magazine production into her current role of creative director. An artist at heart, she oversees the brand’s visual identity, magazine production, and new product development. Sharman is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, with degrees in both Print Journalism and Studio Art.
Growing up in a small town in the Mississippi Delta, Addy McDaniel was surrounded by flat land and endless sporting opportunities. During her childhood, she spent mornings in the duck and deer blinds with her dad and afternoons fishing her family lake with her grandad. In between those adventures she was catching turtles with her sister in the bayou behind their house. That childhood passion has carried into adulthood, and she now spends her days off hunting, fishing, hiking, kayaking, camping, and exploring the great outdoors. Addy is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and served as editorial intern for Delta Magazine and Mississippi Magazine. She brings to the team both experience in integrated marketing communications and magazine management skills.
Being a branding specialist for over twenty years and a dedicated outdoorsman for a lifetime, Russ Grimes deploys a unique combination of experience and skill to elevate the perception of businesses inside and outside the sporting community. Growing up, you would find him in the woods and on the waters of Alabama, and that’s where you’ll find him today if he’s not bringing brands to life, spending time with his wife and two daughters, or training his English Cocker “Alice”.
Terry Allen has spent more than 30 years capturing lifestyle, architectural, and food images. He grew up in Georgia, where he developed an appreciation for Southern sporting life. Allen has shot album covers and publicity photos for rock bands such as REM and the B-52s before turning his camera toward his favorite pastime—fine guns. In 2007, he produced the photography for a book on the American gunmaker L. C. Smith and recently worked on one for the British gunmaker Westley Richards. He, his wife, and his two children live in Athens, Georgia.
Nancy Anisfield is passionate about wingshooting and bird dogs both of which drive her work as an outdoor writer and photographer. She is the creative force behind the Ugly Dog Hunting Company, a field photographer for the Ruffed Grouse Society and NAVHDA, and a member of the Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever Board of Directors. Nancy and her husband, Terry Wilson, live in Hinesburg, Vermont, under the governance of her German shorthaired pointer and his two German wirehaired pointers.
Chris Batha has held the position of chief instructor and gunfitter for London gunmakers E. J. Churchill and Atkin Grant & Lang, and continues to represent several renowned best gunmakers in the UK, Europe, and the US. He has written extensively on the various aspects of gunmaking, driven game, and clays shooting. Chris specializes in organizing and accompanying clients on some of the finest wingshooting adventures worldwide. His article on best London shotguns in this issue explains how the guns are manufactured, focusing on the action.
DR. JOHN C BLYTHE
Dr. John C. Blythe is a graduate of Baylor University and the Medical College of the University of Alabama. He practiced medical oncology and internal medicine in his hometown of Alexander City, Alabama, for more than 35 years. He and his wife, Ruth, live on their farm, The Settlement, along with their setters (including the setter puppy Sparky) and their two Labradors Char and Dude. They have five children and nine grandchildren. His book The Last Hunt in Early County is available at amazon.com.
Reid Bryant is a writer, hunter, and angler living in southern Vermont. He currently serves as Wingshooting Services Manager for The Orvis Company, a role that allows him more time afield than he likely deserves. He has written for numerous outdoor publications, often publishing in conjunction with photographer Brian Grossenbacher; the duo’s first book, The Orvis Guide to Upland Hunting, will be published by Rizzoli in 2017. Reid and his wife Kim share their adventures with two freckle-faced daughters, an overweight Brittany, and a Springer pup with attention deficits.
Roger Catchpole is a serial entrepreneur, outdoor writer, and dedicated wingshooter. He grew up hunting partridge and pheasant on his family estate in rural Suffolk, England, and has since enjoyed hunting trips throughout Europe, North America, South America, and Africa. After completing undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Birmingham and earning an MBA from the University of Florida, Roger opened a nursing care group in the UK. Stateside, he founded Sportody.com, an online information hub for outdoor activities. Roger lives in Boston with his wife Michelle and English cocker spaniel, Austin. He returns to England frequently to manage the renowned partridge shoot at Stowlangtoft Estate.
A freelance writer and recovering academic, Miles DeMott has been hunting the right words for most of his life and now serves Covey Rise in various capacities, including managing editorial direction and developing marketing strategies in support of subscription growth and general business expansion. He also writes a feature every now and then. He is the author of three books, father of two wonderful daughters, and husband to one incredible woman.
John Denney is from Alexander City, Alabama, and often teams up on assignments with his brother, Jim. Together, the brothers focus their talents on outdoor subjects, including gamebirds. Their jointly produced illustrations for Wingshooting the Quail of North America earned this magazine a recent Ozzie Award. The Denneys have dominated the annual Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest with each of them winning the prestigious award back to back. Both have also won awards in other wildlife art shows including Best of Show at the Alabama Wildlife Federation: Alabama Flora and Fauna Arts Festival. John is particularly known for his photography skills.
Brian Grossenbacher lives in Bozeman, Mont., with wife Jenny, and daughters Mackenzie and Sable. He began taking photos in 2005 when asked to write Fly Fishing Montana. This serendipitous effort to minimize the book’s photo budget resulted in a full-time profession in photography. He has done shoots in New Zealand, Russia, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Panama, Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, the Bahamas and, of course, back roads and rivers in and around Montana. Before picking up a camera, Grossenbacher was a fly-fishing outfitter for 18 years.
Taylor Glenn is a photographer specializing in outdoor lifestyle and nature imagery. He is a resident of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Taylor’s curiosity for the world, passion for adventure, and desire to connect with new people drives his unique vision of photography. Originally from North Carolina, he says the allure of the mountains brought him west to Jackson Hole in the early 2000s.
Lee Thomas Kjos cannot recall a time in his life when he was not focused on the outdoors. At a young age, he could be found wading through tall grass prairieland or belly-down in Minnesotan marshes scouting upland birds and waterfowl—he was enraptured by their innate sense to migrate, their plumage, and their vitality. By age 10, he was hunting with his father, with a 20-gauge and camera; his passion for photography began on hunting trips. Lee runs Kjos Outdoors—his commercial photography, design, and illustration company—from a farm in Webster, Minnesota, that he shares with his wife, three children, four dogs, four quarter horses, and flocks of waterfowl.
Chuck Holland grew up on the island of Aruba and in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduating from the USAF Academy, he spent 30 years in the Air Force piloting B-52 and C-12 aircraft, in addition to serving in assignments around the globe. Along the way he acquired a taste for expensive tequila, dark ales, and premium cigars. Now happily retired, Chuck enjoys home brewing, reading history, and shooting sporting clays with Roxanne, his wife of 24 years. He also finds time for playing dominoes and relaxing with a delicious smoke at Havana Dreamin’ or Sanctuary Cigars, his favorite cigar stores in Montgomery, Alabama.
Gary Lewis is an award-winning author, TV host, speaker, and photographer. He has hunted and fished in seven countries on three continents and in the islands of the South Pacific. Born and raised in the Northwest, he has been walking forest trails and running rivers for as long as he can remember. He is a past and current president of the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association and a recipient of NOWA’s Enos Bradner Award. Lewis is a prolific writer and host of Gary Lewis’ Frontier Unlimited, a TV show. He is the author of 14 books, including John Nosler Going Ballistic, Hunting Oregon, Complete Guide to Hunting, and other titles. He lives in Central Oregon with his wife of 27 years, Merrilee, and he has three daughters, all accomplished hunters.
Lauren Till grew up in the beautiful Moravian region of the Czech Republic in a family of internationally recognized photographers. She spent her childhood exploring nature with her parents. Today, her love and passion for animals is emphasized in her work as a professional freelance photographer. Her creativity and vision are widely recognized by publications including Cowboys & Indians, Gun Dog, and others. Lauren lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband and two vizslas. In her free time, through her lens, she expresses her fondness for the Old West and the beauty of her home state.
BEN O. WILLIAMS
Ben Williams is a former high-school teacher, architect, sculptor, photographer, outdoor writer, and dog breeder of some of the finest Brittanys used for hunting the Western plains. The phrase Renaissance man accurately describes this humble man of many talents. He and his wife live in Livingston, Montana, near the Yellowstone River.
WRITER / PHOTOGRAPHER
Russell Graves has been enamored with nature, wildlife, agriculture, and the outdoors. Since 1989, he’s been traveling the state telling authentic Texas stories with his camera and his words – both written and spoken. This nationally recognized photographer, writer, and film producer is passionate about rural life and the outdoors. A graduate of Dodd City High School and East Texas State University, Russell was an ag science teacher in Childress, Texas for 16 years. Graves’ nationally published photography portfolio includes clients such as Field and Stream, BEEF Magazine, the Smithsonian Magazine, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Outdoor Life, and many others. Currently, Russell lives in the country north of Childress, Texas with his wife Kristy and their two children Bailee and Ryan.