My name is Paul Anderson, Vice President of the Detail Adventure Company based in Houston, Texas. I’ll be writing a monthly column for Shotgun Life that provides you with tips and secrets to booking the most satisfying wingshooting trips anywhere in the world. Let’s face it, booking a wingshooting trip in the U.S.A. can be difficult enough. Multiply that by 10 and you have the trials and tribulations of going wingshooting in other countries.
Since this is my first column, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself.
I was born in Topeka, Kansas and raised in Missouri, just north of Kansas City. At a young age, I was given a love of hunting by my father, uncles and grandfather. There is not a time in my memory that my thoughts on a daily basis weren’t about hunting, fishing, gun dogs, or something in the realm of being outdoors. When most kids were focused on baseball cards, I collected feathers, spent shells, books about hunting, stack upon stack with an all-consuming passion. Hunting and fishing have been omnipresent throughout my life.
Dove hunting in Argentina is a real passion of mine.
As I grew older life continued to revolve around hunting and fishing. Obsessing over the words written in any magazine, the item numbers of the camo in Bass Pro Shops, the various breeds of sporting dogs. It was never enough, I found myself having to learn it all to absorb every little bit of knowledge. There was never a time where I didn’t want to work in the hunting industry, there was never another consideration.
It all started when a generous man with a big heart named Harold Adams gave me my first job at age 15 − shoveling out dog kennels and feeding the dogs. It was the beginning of what I hoped would be a long, successful career. Harold, some of you may remember, put out several gun dog training videos. The most prominent is the “New Complete Gun Dog.” You can see me in the back ground kicking up birds, or “whoaing” a pointer. Harold was a pointer guy and an old school trainer, he taught me more than just dog training, he taught me how a preserve works, how field trails should be held, he was my introduction to the hunting preserve and resort business.
There were other influential people at this time in my life, namely Tom Holcomb and Dave Meissner. I have been privileged throughout my life to learn from legends, even if at the time, I didn’t appreciate it. I would finish putting birds out, and the guides or hunters would be gone, our chores done. Harold would let us sit in and listen to the old guys talk. At the time Dave was the publisher/founder of Gun Dog Magazine, then later, the Pointing Dog Journal and The Retriever Journal. Tom, meanwhile, wrote a column for Gun Dog as the resident veterinarian. I didn’t know it then, but I was sitting and listening to some of the true giants of the game at the time.
I love to fish as much as the next guy. Here’s an awesome muskie caught at Lake on the Woods.
After high school, I attended South Eastern Illinois College, where my true education in the business of hunting, shooting and fishing would formally begin. The instructor at SIC was and is Bruce Hering, he was an instrumental part of my life. Bruce offered two courses at the time, an associate’s degree in either Shooting Complex Management and/or Game Preserve Management.
In the two years I was associated with SIC and the “program” I was fortunate enough to meet some of my best friends, and experience the behind the scenes action of hunting preserves and the major shooting complexes and competitions. Chances are that if you’ve shot at some of the major preserves or with any of the major clays ranges throughout the country you’ve run across some of “Bruce’s kids”. I’m proud to say I am one this select group. Bruce is responsible for sending me to the next great learning experience of my life − the world renowned Joshua Creek Ranch in Texas Hill Country.
From May of 2000 to June 2001 it was my pleasure to hunt with some of the best contract guides and dogs Texas has to offer. Thanks to the owners, the Kercheville family, Joshua Creek Ranch was a catalyst to all that I ever wanted to do. I learned what a truly great operation looks like, how a great bird hunt should be run, and what the overall guest experience needs to be. Joshua Creek was my baptism by fire. After leaving Joshua Creek Ranch I went back to school at Park University in Parkville, Missouri intent to further my prospects in the hunting and fishing resort world.
Upon graduation I was lucky enough to land a job working for the Lodge at Cabin Bluff, a Sea Island resort. Here is where I learned what white glove service is and also where I learned to truly finish a gun dog. We hunted steady to wing and shot bird dogs, and we did it at a high level. For those three years I learned what well-trained, well-bred bird dogs were truly capable of. To this day I count my blessings as to all that I was so privileged to see and do there, from habitat management, prescribed burning, training dogs, food, turkey hunting, and so much more.
Spring turkey hunting in Missouri.
From Cabin Bluff I joined Detail Company Adventures in 2007 where I now serve as Vice President of International Hunting and Fishing Consultant and dog handler (if I was CEO of Exxon my card would still read “CEO/Dog Handler”). Jeri Booth, the founder and owner of Detail Company Adventures, was kind enough to give me a chance on the international level. She is a mentor still today and a walking encyclopedia of international wingshooting after accumulating 30 years in the business.
Detail Company Adventures has sent me to numerous countries where I’ve shot and learned from some of the best lodge managers, professional guides, and house staff the industry has to offer. Detail Company Adventures has provided me with the opportunity to tour and shoot and 40+ lodges throughout Mexico, Central America and South America. And will provide me opportunities to hunt Europe, and Africa in the near future.