Our people

Meet the staff


Bob FernaldBob Fernald, President, Publisher and CEO

Bob started calling parent company Down East Enterprise “home” in 1977, when his parents bought Down East magazine. He would paint walls, stuff envelopes, answer reader letters, and otherwise cause trouble. Twenty-five years later, he became President and CEO, continuing Maine’s tradition of great family businesses. E-mail Bob at [email protected]




RS bopicRalph Stuart, Editor in Chief

Ralph has been the Editor of Shooting Sportsman since the magazine was acquired by Down East Enterprise in 1993. That year he moved to Maine from New York, where he had been a Senior Editor at Outdoor Life. He graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in English and magazine editing and was able to combine his passion for hunting and fishing with his career. When he is told that he has “the best job in the world,” he doesn’t argue. E-mail Ralph at [email protected].



TB biopicThierry “Terry” Bombeke, Associate Publisher

Terry got his first bird dog when he was 13 and has spent much of his time since then chasing upland birds and waterfowl all over the globe. When stuck in the office he combines his marketing degree with 25 years of industry experience to help wingshooting-related businesses present their products and services to Shooting Sportsman readers.  Terry’s favorite gamebird is wild quail. E-mail Thierry at [email protected].


Vic Venters PicVic Venters, Senior Editor

Vic has been a contributor to Shooting Sportsman since 1989. He previously served as the magazine’s Gun Review Editor and currently writes the Gun Craft column. He is the author of Gun Craft: Fine Guns & Gunmakers in the 21st Century and is co-author (text) of The Best of British, with David Grant (photography). His views on fine guns as collectibles have been quoted in Worth Magazine and London’s Financial Times. Vic graduated from the University of North Carolina with a B.A. in history, and he completed two years of graduate studies at Louisiana State University in journalism and the history of the American South. He lives near Wilmington, North Carolina, with his wife and son. Visit his website at www.doubleguncraft.com.

Holding Hun -vertEd Carroll, Associate Editor

Associate Editor since 2003, Ed grew up on the North Shore in Massachusetts with his roots in Maine, where he came for an education in the outdoors and a degree in journalism from the university. Fishing since he was three and shooting since 12, both with preternatural enthusiasm, nine bachelor years in Alaska provided the best hunting, fishing, climbing, skiing and adventuring that journalism pay could afford. He returned home to settle in Maine in 1999. Email Ed at [email protected].



JH biopic

Jeremy Hatch, Senior Account Executive

Jeremy Hatch is a Master Maine Guide with a passion for grouse and woodcock hunting with his German shorthaired pointers. He joined Shooting Sportsman’s sales team in 2006 and has since traveled North America for the magazine, wingshooting in places that include Alaska, South Dakota and eastern Canada. Jeremy enjoys escaping to his camp in the wilds of Maine with his wife and two children. E-mail Jeremy at [email protected]


Editors at Large

Unknown-1Silvio Calabi, Editor at Large

Silvio has been Editor in Chief of both Shooting Sportsman and Fly Rod & Reel magazines, and he is now an Editor at Large for both. He is a Knight of the International Order of St. Hubertus, a member of Safari Club International and the International and New England Motor Press Associations, and was a member of the Namibian Professional Hunting Association, a director of the California Side By Side Society, and co-founder of the Gold Medal Concours d’Elegance of Fine Guns. His most recent books include Hemingway’s Guns, Rigby: A Grand Tradition and The Gun Book for Boys (and for Girls and for Parents), all with Steve Helsley and Roger Sanger. From his home on the Maine coast, Silvio travels and writes widely. E-mail Silvio at [email protected].

Tom DavisTom Davis, Editor at Large

Tom has been writing about upland bird hunting, gundogs and the sporting life for more than 30 years. His work first appeared in Shooting Sportsman in Vol. I, Issue 4, making him one of the magazine’s longest-tenured contributors. An Editor at Large for SSM since 2008, he is also on the mastheads of Sporting Classics, Pointing Dog Journal, Just Labs and Our Wisconsin. His many books include The Tattered Autumn Sky, The Orvis Book of Dogs, To The Point and The Art of Remington Arms. Davis lives in Green Bay along with his wife, Joan Robb, and their English setter, Tina.

GregsonJohn Ian Gregson, Editor at Large

John grew up on a farm on the Northwest coast of England and has shot, fished and been passionate about sporting guns for as long as he can remember. He has had a varied career and at one time or another been the curator of a small photographic museum, a commodity trader and the Editor of the British magazine Shooting Times. For the past 15 years he has looked after the agricultural public relations and public affairs strategies for a large premium food retailer. He is a member of the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers of the City of London (ironic, considering his love of Birmingham guns), shoots and fishes as much as his daughter will allow, and has far too many books on the history of the British gun trade and not enough guns. He can be contacted at [email protected].

bio 3_edited-4Clair Kofoed, Editor at Large

Clair Kofoed has been an Editor at Large for Shooting Sportsman since 2003. He grew up hunting and fishing in the West and has spent most of his life there working as a professional wildlife biologist, enhancing and creating blue-ribbon waterfowl and upland bird habitat. He enjoys writing about “best”-gun making and engraving and is an award-winning photographer. Besides magazine work, he has done several commissioned, private-hunting-estate books. Among other projects, he is working on his “new” old home and acreage, with plans to have his property “teeming” with California quail.

doug_tate(150)Douglas Tate, Editor at Large

Doug has been writing for Shooting Sportsman since 1992. A British native, he is a regular contributor to The Field, in England. He lives in the Pacific Northwest, the better to indulge his passion for wingshooting. E-mail Doug at [email protected].



 Contributing editors

DSCF5390Chris Batha, Shooting Editor

Chris has been writing regularly for Shooting Sportsman since 2008: first as the Sporting Clays Editor and now as the Shooting Editor. He is considered one of the most qualified and experienced shooting instructors and gunfitters in the world. His lifelong passion for shooting has taken him around the globe breaking clays and hunting birds in 14 countries. He is still as passionate today about shooting as he was when he started as a boy. In both his teaching and writing he gets real pleasure from helping shooters break more clays and put more birds in the bag. E-mail Chris at [email protected].

Bruce photoBruce Buck, Gun Review Editor

Bruce has been writing for Shooting Sportsman since 1997 and has been the magazine’s Gun Review Editor since 2002. During the past 25 years his Technoid shotgun columns have appeared in numerous publications. His shotgunning experience includes extensive bird hunting on four continents as well as four trials for the US Olympic International Skeet Team and state championships in international skeet and sporting clays. He has more than a quarter-century of shotgun-coaching experience, including two stints at the US Olympic Training Center. E-mail Bruce at [email protected].

Draper Headshot_Duck Call(150)

David Draper, Field Gear Editor

An avid hunter and accomplished writer, David has traveled the globe in search of stories, yet his roots remain firmly planted on the High Plains of Nebraska. His dreams were fueled by daily trips to the original Cabela’s, which was just four blocks from his childhood home. His passions for travel and the outdoors have taken him from the shores of Africa’s Gambia River to Alaska’s Brooks Range. In addition to his duties as Field Gear Editor for Shooting Sportsman, he writes for a number of other outdoor publications. He also edited the books Cabela’s—A History; Two Hearts, One Passion and Two Hearts in Tanzania, by Dick, Mary and David Cabela, and has contributed to several books on the outdoors, including How To Hunt Everything.

 CFergus author photo(150)Charles Fergus, Contributing Editor

Chuck knows—and loves—books. He has had 17 of them published over a 40-year writing career. Four have been on fieldsports, including A Rough-Shooting Dog (1991; about training and hunting with his first springer spaniel), The Upland Equation: A Modern Bird Hunter’s Code (1995) and A Hunter’s Book of Days (2005). Chuck has been writing for Shooting Sportsman since 1990. He lives in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and handles the website www.timberdoodle.org for the Wildlife Management Institute.


 Photo of GeorgeGeorge Hickox, Hunting Dogs Editor

George is a full-time professional dog trainer and has been helping owners and their dogs for more than two decades. He conducts training clinics across the US. George spends his summers training dogs in North Dakota and winters in Thomasville, Georgia, where he trains, offers private consultations and hosts wild-quail hunts on a private plantation. He has a great office, indeed. For more information on the George Hickox School of Dog Training, visit www.georgehickox.com.



huggler (150)Tom Huggler, Contributing Editor

A fulltime freelance writer since 1982, Tom has penned articles for more than 100 publications, including many for Shooting Sportsman during the past 25 years. He formerly was SSM’s Field Gear Editor and now writes the back-page column: To the Point. He is the author of 20 books, including Quail Hunting in America, Grouse of North America and A Fall of Woodcock. A Michigan native, Tom has traveled throughout North America and abroad in a passionate pursuit of feathered game. He has a soft spot for English setters and 28-gauge double guns. E-mail Tom at [email protected].


hughes biopic

photo by Warren Mabie

Steven Dodd Hughes, Fine Gunmaking Editor

Steven began his professional custom gunmaking career in 1975 and has had his own workshop since 1980. He has written the Fine Gunmaking column for Shooting Sportsman since 1993 and the Custom Shop column for Sports Afield since 2007. Steven’s feature stories have appeared in many American firearms magazines, and his firearms photography has graced many magazine and book covers. He has authored three books: Fine Gunmaking: Double Shotguns, Custom Rifles in Black & White and Double Guns and Custom Gunsmithing. He also is a life member of the American Custom Gunmakers Guild. Steven lives in Livingston, Montana, and you can visit his website at www.finegunmaking.com.


Tom Roster, Shot Talk Editor

Tom is an independent ballistics consultant and author specializing in the design and testing of shotshells. He is a court-recognized shotshell/shotgun expert witness with patents on shotshell components especially for nontoxic shot. Tom was formerly the Ballistics Research Director at the Oregon Institute of Technology, and then served as a Ballistics Specialist for the Dept. of the Interior. In these capacities he conducted empirical shotshell/shotgun-performance research and trained thousands of law-enforcement and wildlife personnel worldwide in shotshell exterior and terminal ballistics phenomena. Tom designed, administered and co-authored the peer-reviewed scientific reports of the world’s six most extensive lead-versus-nontoxic-shot duck, goose, pheasant and dove shooting tests ever conducted. E-mail Tom at [email protected].

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