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Huntin' Fool Staff

John Makoff

John Makoff

Huntin' Fool Partner / Chairman

It's an honor and privilege for me to join the Huntin' Fool leadership team. I love this company, industry, and the outdoors. I was born in Idaho and come from a family of farmers and outdoorsmen. From childhood, I was introduced to fishing, the shooting sports, and, of course, hunting by my grandfather, my dad, and my uncle, all of whom I consider my best friends. Most of my life has been lived in the West with the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains and the amazing outdoor arena they provide. My happiness is dependent on a continuous dose of the outdoors.

I am a regular guy who loves to hunt, not a professional hunter. I am a dedicated family man with a wife and two kids. I have had the same busy job for 20 years and the same associated, demanding schedule, trying to balance it all. That probably sounds familiar to fellow members.

I am most proud of the time I have spent with my family, and in particular my wife and kids. My job is demanding and requires me to travel, but my wife has been willing to travel with me and haul the kids along. We have home schooled our kids for many years so we could be together when work required a temporary address, but, more importantly, so we could spend quality time in the outdoors as a family.
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Wade Kelson

Wade Kelson

Huntin' Fool CEO

Hello, Huntin’ Fools! My name is Wade Kelson, and I am excited to be taking the helm as the new CEO of Huntin’ Fool. As we ring in a new year, the level of enthusiasm around our office in regards to what Huntin’ Fool has in store for this year is at its peak. The spirit of Huntin’ Fool that has been around for the past 20+ years is still with us today as we continue to help you draw tags and prepare for your next hunting adventure. With the best state researchers in our Professional Hunt Advisors, the best License Application Service, the best outfitter specialists, and the best hunting publication in the country, we are here to make your hunting season as smooth and successful as possible. Please call us with any questions and look for us at the upcoming trade shows. We’d love to see you there. This year is sure to be one of the best, and we can’t wait to share with you all that we have planned.

Jeff Warren

Jeff Warren

Outfitter Specialist - North America

Jeff Warren's dad, Dean, took him fishing at the ripe old age of 2 and dropped him head first off of his shoulders onto a muddy stream bank. Dean contends that this was the official start of his son's obsession with hunting and the outdoors.

Jeff has spent most of his adult life in the hunting industry. In 1984 he was instrumental in starting one of Utah's top outfitting and guide businesses at the time, Bucks and Bulls Guides and Outfitters. Trophy animals were always targeted on the private ranches and public land hunted. Jeff's clients harvested trophy class antelope, Black bear, moose, elk, and deer on a consistent basis because of his efforts. Jeff has gained valuable insight over his 29+ years of guiding and consulting with big game hunters. He is a valuable asset to any member planning a western big game hunt.
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Robert Hanneman

Robert Hanneman

Professional Hunt Advisor / Research Specialist

Robert Hanneman's dad and grandfathers passed their love of hunting on to him through examples of sportsmanship, knowledge, and their passion for the outdoors. Growing up in northern Nevada gave him unlimited opportunities to trap, fish, and hunt small game. He learned early on that the key to harvesting big game animals was drawing a good tag. Since the age of 12 Robert has been applying for tags. His passion quickly became strategizing the best units to apply in, trophy potential, draw odds, etc. As an adult he took a Missoula Firefighter position and has taken advantage of Montana's over-the-counter tags each year. Since moving to Montana, he has averaged over 150 days in the field per year. He tries to draw tags that provide the best opportunity at killing a trophy animal, and almost every year he is out hunting with a bow, rifle, and muzzleloader. His passion will always be Mule deer, but his life-long goal is to kill the North American 29.
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Garth Jenson

Garth Jenson

Professional Hunt Advisor

I once asked a wise man, "If you had one day off where you could do anything you wanted, what would you do?" I'll never forget his answer as he said, "I'd be right here doing what I love, working on my farm, changing water!" That man was my grandpa, and although at the time I was just trying to prove a point that it was okay for me to take a couple days off, what he said never really sank in until years down the road when I developed a passion for hunting. I never dreamed that what I loved to do almost more than anything else in the world could also be my career.

I was raised by my grandpa and grandma, working on their farm, learning lifelong lessons that taught me hard work, determination, and, ultimately, that how much you put into something is how much you'll get out of it. These lessons, combined with being able to have a career that allows me to say, "I'd be right here doing what I love to do on my day off." makes me grateful to be able to join the Huntin' Fool team.
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Shandi Martinez

Shandi Martinez

License Application Manager

Shandi Martinez started working for The Huntin' Fool in 2006. She has a BS degree from SUU in Business Management. She has become well versed in the different states-requirements and applying hunters. Shandi makes sure all the License Application clients are well taken care of and applied according to their individual needs. In addition, Shandi has become very knowledgeable concerning our members questions and needs and helps in all the other departments as well.

Melissa Cusack

Melissa Cusack

License Application Assistant

Melissa Williams Cusack attended Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming where she excelled in her studies and has been a part of the Huntin' Fool Team for over a year as the License Application Assistant.

As a lover of the great outdoors, Melissa can usually be found out hiking, going on river trips, and communing with nature along with the love of her life and her two beautiful children. Her love of the outdoors makes her a perfect fit for the Huntin' Fool Team. She enjoys talking with members and getting to work with the rest of the amazing Huntin' Fool Team. When Melissa isn't roughing it in the outdoors, she is at home making the best darn pies anyone has ever tasted this side of the Mississippi. She dreams of one day opening her own bakery/coffee shop/bookstore, that is, only after she retires from Huntin' Fool.

Vanessa Hunt

Vanessa Hunt

Editor

Vanessa Hunt is the editor of the Huntin' Fool magazine, and she has worked at Huntin' Fool for 1 1/2 years. She attended the College of Eastern Utah where she earned her Associate of Science degree before transferring to Southern Utah University where she graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. Her passions are reading and writing, so she loves her job. She also enjoys working with the rest of the wonderful Huntin' Fool Team.

While Vanessa loves being outdoors, engaging in activities such as hiking and stargazing, it is not uncommon to find her curled up at home reading The Complete Works of William Shakespeare or attending a play at the local theatre. Vanessa thinks Huntin' Fool is a great place to work and can't wait to see what the future holds!

Heidi Loveland

Heidi Loveland

Graphic Design Assistant

Heidi has been with the Huntin' Fool Team since 2007. She started as a Secretary in the front office, and then grabbed the opportunity to assist the Art Director in the Graphic Design department and has been there ever since.

In her free time she enjoys reading, going for walks, baking, and spending time with family and friends. She is the mother of four active teenagers and lives in New Harmony, Utah. Heidi loves processing the pictures and stories members send in from around the country. She says, "Before I started working for Huntin' Fool I never had the desire to hunt. Reading stories and seeing the pictures of members hunting with family and friends has changed my outlook on the sport of hunting. Thank you for sharing your adventures with me."

Marlo Helquist

Marlo Helquist

Office Manager

Marlo began working at Huntin' Fool shortly after her sister, Jessica, suggested that they bring her in because she was good at being bossy and managing/organizing things. This paid off for her because over four years, she worked her way up from being a renewal and sales specialist to an administrative assistant and is now the office manager. Finally, she has a creative outlet for her bossiness and love for structure and order!
Marlo is a native Utahn with a love of fishing, camping, Lake Powell, music, cheesy sci-fi, all the books she can get her hands on, and above all else, her two beautiful daughters and her large extended family. Marlo has a fierce love for the color purple, coffee, driving too fast, shoes, watching football (Go Broncos!), friendly debate, science, and learning any tidbit of new information that comes her way. She looks forward to the future of Huntin’ Fool with optimism and is proud to be part of such a great organization.

Jessica Huntington

Jessica Huntington

Administrative Assistant

Jessica has worked at Huntin’ Fool going on 6 years, minus a short break that we don’t talk about other than to say she is happy as ever to be back speaking with customers on a daily basis. When she’s not "workin’ for the man," her other passions include snowboarding, concert and theatre going, getting stuff out and not putting it away, camping, losing track of time, spacing out and missing her freeway exit on the way home, swimming, hiking, taking trips to nearby Zion and Lake Powell, and above all else, spending time with her three amazing children and a pretty swell husband. For working at Huntin’ Fool, you’d think we would all be hunters, but as there is plenty of hunting talk for everyone around here, Jessica just reads the magazine avidly every month and lives vicariously through everyone else. Jessica and her family make their home in Parowan, which is considered (by her) to be the best town in Utah, possibly even the USA. Jessica worked for Huntin’ Fool back in the Carter days and tries to carry on the spirit of excellent customer service with a smile and maybe a joke if there’s time.

Megan Wood

Megan Wood

Renewal Specialist

Megan has worked at Huntin' Fool since 2012. She started out as an Administrative assistant and is now a Renewal Specialist. She loves getting to talk to all the members and solving problems. She is Licensed in the following: Master Aesthetician, Massage Therapist, Cosmetologist, and Nail Technician. However, don't let her background fool you — Megan loves to be outdoors! Hunting, boating/fishing, four-wheeling, and shooting guns are some of her many hobbies! She is a spontaneous, fun-loving girl who is always up for a little adventure. This is why she is a perfect fit for Huntin' Fool. She lives in Cedar City with her husband, cat (Ruger) and two dogs (Duke and Gus). She is excited to see what new and exciting things are in store for Huntin' Fool.

Kenny Banner

Kenny Banner

Renewal Specialist

Kenny was raised In Loa, Utah at the base of the Fishlake, Thousand Lake, and Boulder mountains. His dad is a huge outdoor enthusiast, spending most of his spare time bass fishing or hunting. His dad passed his love of the outdoors on to Kenny, and Kenny has spent most of his spare time traveling and getting involved in the outdoors. He moved to Cedar City in 2010 to attend Southern Utah University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Outdoor Recreation with an emphasis in Parks and Tourism. He started working at Huntin’ Fool in 2014. He has enjoyed his time there and looks forward to many more good times.