When I started this blog, my goals were simple.  First and foremost I wanted to provide readers a glimpse into what it’s like to hunt the Pacific Northwest with a bow.  Secondly, I was fortunate to have had some incredible mentors over the years and I wanted to share my experiences in order to help others enjoy success.  None of that is changing.

As you may have noticed throughout many of my posts, Stan Woody is a close friend and long-time hunting partner.  If I have anything to say about it, that’s not changing anytime soon either.

Before I get into what is changing, allow me share a bit more about Stan.

We met back in college through a common friend who prompted the introduction by saying to me, “Tom, as crazy about elk as you are, you two would hit it off – he’s just like you, maybe worse!”  He was right.  Stan and I met and it wasn’t long before we were talking about all-things elk, and making plans to hunt together.

A short time later, I joined Stan on a late-season muzzleloader elk hunt in western Washington.  It was a tough go as we tried to penetrate the deep snow in my dad’s old Ford pickup.  In retrospect, it gave us lots of  time to talk and for me to prod Stan toward buying his first bow.  As a mechanical engineering student Stan quickly figured out his new PSE compound bow and became deadly proficient in short order.  Armed with his life-long deep understanding of big game and mastery over his new bow, he developed his short game quickly and filled his tags on a regular basis.

Over the years, our combined shared love of elk and high ethical standards forged a foundational bond that has led to many shared hunts, jobs, challenges, and memories in the field.

Back in 1993 when I went to work for Wilderness Sound Productions, Stan joined my quest to capture footage of the elusive Columbian Whitetail deer, Roosevelt elk, geese, and other wildlife.  Everything we did was an adventure, a memory.  A couple years later while I was living in Colorado, Stan called to tell me about an Industrial Design job opening at his employer, Pacific Design Engineering (PDE) in Oregon.  On his word, I dropped everything and moved back to Oregon where he and I again teamed up to design products for PDE clients, one of which was Intel Corporation.

Eventually, we were both offered positions with Intel, which we both accepted.  And though my job took me back to my home state of Washington, we still got together annually to quench our passion for bowhunting elk in the high country of eastern Oregon and the coastal rainforests of both Washington and Oregon.

As product developers, we are both very selective about the products we choose.  We both align our equipment/gear choices with companies that are proven innovators and investors in high-quality, no frills products that endure the abuse served upon them.  But there are always gaps.

Enter the change!

In most circumstances good ideas are born from neccesity.  This usually occurs at that single moment in time when you realize there is an un-met need to serve.  Unfortunately, in the hunting world these situations can quickly sour your hunt or at the very least leave you wondering why nobody makes “this” or “that”.

Many years of late night talks in camp, squinting into each other’s headlamps about our own ideas have finally culminated into a new business venture for me and Stan.  We recently launched FreshTRAX, Inc., an outdoor-oriented product development company focused on consulting services and developing innovative branded solutions, primarily for the hunting industry.

In simple terms, FreshTRAX is a head-on collision between a combined 40 years of experience in product design & development and 50+ years of successful hunting/bowhunting, and outdoor sports experience!

With the formation of our company, it is fitting to introduce Stan here because in the coming weeks Pacific Northwest Bowhunting will become the voice of FreshTRAX Outdoors.  Very soon the appearance of this blog will be changing to reflect this re-branding but rest assured, Stan and I are joining forces to bring you even more great content from the perspective of both Washington and Oregon.

Stan is a home-grown Pacific Northwest outdoorsman, bowhunter, and family man.  He grew up in Cathlamet, Washington, a small town nestled between the Willapa Hills and the Columbia River.  His father worked for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) where they lived on site at a steelhead hatchery deep in the game-rich Elochoman Valley.  Naturally, he grew up hunting and fishing with his dad as it all started just a short hike out the front door.  Hunting wasn’t reserved for a week each year; it was an integral part of his life, and Stan often skipped school hoping to get another crack at that elusive buck or bull.

Over the past 20 years, Stan has worked and played in some of the most rugged outdoor backcountry locations across the U.S. including Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and the extreme conditions of Bristol Bay, Alaska.  Additionally, he’s traveled extensively to countries all over the world, including Israel, Turkey, Malaysia, China, Canada, Taiwan, Japan, England, and many others.  Even though Stan loves traveling and new adventures his roots always pull him back to his passion for bowhunting elk, blacktail deer, and bear in the Pacific Northwest.  Stan is one of the most consistently successful bowhunters I know today.

Though he enjoys filling tags as much as the next guy, over the past five years or more, he has tirelessly mentored new and seasoned bowhunters alike, and even guided many archers to their first shot opportunities on mature Roosevelt bulls – at no charge!  I mention this to illustrate his character and selflessness in order to help others enjoy success in the field.

Stan and his wife Shaudine reside in Portland, Oregon and have three wonderful children; Ashley (8), Hailey (6) and Hunter (2) – all of whom have a full-time bowhunting mentor in their father.

Stan still works full-time as an Engineering Manager for Intel Corporation (15 years).  He is also a product design and engineering consultant, Beta Program member for Columbia Sportswear, and recently joined the Field Staff for Pursue the Outdoors.  He is long-time member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Oregon Hunters Association, among others.

Please join me in welcoming Stan into the fold and stay tuned for his valuable tips, tactics, and insights in the coming weeks!