Topic Archives > Member Interviews

Doug Campbell


Real Name: Doug Campbell
Nickname: Doug Campbell
Age: 46
Height, weight: 5’ 8" 165#
Home State: Montana
TradGang member number: 269
Member Status: Associate Sponsor
Years traditional bowhunting: 30

(TG)- Tell us about yourself.

(Doug Campbell)- Hmmm… I’m just a plain ‘ol country boy that got lucky enough to be raised in the right way in the right place. I’ve been married to my lovely and very understanding wife, Karen, for 25 years. We have two beautiful daughters, Mindy, who graduated from college last year and Jess, who just got her driver’s license, (scary face). I was born and raised and lived for 40 years within a 30-mile radius but always felt a pull West. Five years ago, after many years of urging, I finally talked Karen into packing up and moving to Montana. We left very good careers and our own ranch in MO and came to MT to a ranch hand job for me on a local ranch, it was quite a change in lifestyle. We were on that ranch for eight months when we heard that the manager’s job on the West Boulder Ranch was opening up and applied. After an interview and a couple of tense weeks we were offered the job. I’ve not had one regret since getting here. The Good Lord has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams and I think about it every morning when I walk outside and look at the mountains that surround us and listen to the river running thru the back yard. Like I’ve said hundreds of times life is good in Montana!

(TG)- How long have you been bow hunting with traditional gear?

(Doug Campbell)- I started and hunted for the first few years with trad gear. Then like most everybody in the mid 70’s I started hearing that the mechanical arrow launcher was the way to go…. So, went down to the Allen Factory in Billings, MO and bought one for $60. I hunted with that old Allen and a couple others for I think six or seven years. Without really having a good reason, the longer I shot a compound, the more I disliked them. Then one morning in Northern MO…. I was climbing a tree and a cable caught a small twig and destrung the whole mess. I drug the old recurve out and haven’t shot a compound since. That would have been in about "83" and it’s been recurves or longbows since. Guess that’d be 25 or 26 years total trad bowhunting.

(TG)- Any heroes? Any role models?

(Doug Campbell)- My Uncle Charles and Grandpa got me started and like many others seeing Fred Bear, Ben Pearson or Howard Hill shots on movie screens really got me fired up.

(TG)- What got you started bowhunting?

(Doug Campbell)- Like I said above, my Uncle Charles started the ball rolling by building me a hickory longbow when I was six years old. I can’t imagine how may twig or elderberry arrows I shot out of that little bow. No critter was safe with Timo and I roaming the country. I killed a squirrel with that bow at about seven or eight years old and there’s been no stopping ever since. Uncle Charles was killed in a car wreck when I was about ten years old so there was a lot of stumbling thru the learning process for the next several years.

(TG)- Do you have any favorite memories or kills that stand out? Tell us about it!

(Doug Campbell)- Hmmm… I guess one that’ll always stand out is my first elk. When I reach anchor with my Brack recurve he was about a foot off the end of my arrow. I think the story is in the Stories/Articles forum. I’ll also never forget when I was about eight or nine years old watching my Uncle Charles sail an arrow from his 80# Howard Hill across a draw and hit an inch from a squirrel that had to be 70 or 80 yards away. I think that moment was what locked my future to the bow and arrow.

(TG)- Do you remember the first animal you took with a traditional bow? Tell us about it!

(Doug Campbell)- Oh yea it was a squirrel that a buddy and our dogs had cornered in a small hickory tree. I was shooting my hickory longbow and probably elderberry cane arrows and somehow hit him right in the ear while he was bouncing around in that tree. Course lots of other little critters died with Timo and I terrorizing our woods for the next few years.

(TG)- Can you tell us a bit about your preferred hunting combo?

(Doug Campbell)- Well now days I’m pretty much a longbow shooter, they just feel right. As far as preferred combo that can change everyday or at least every year ;{) This year I’ve got an osage seflbow by my buddy Mark Baker that I plan to kill something with and a Windtalker from Wingnut that just shoots fantastic. Both are in the 65 to 70# range. I use wood arrows fletched with mostly wild turkey feathers I grind myself. I will be shooting a variety of heads from stone to trade points to Grizzlies. I may even have to break out Buster my Timo sinew backed osage bow.

(TG)- What is the one piece of advice you would give a new hunter to aid him on his hunting ventures?

(Doug Campbell)- I guess in my humble opinion, being patient would be way up there on the list. Next, is to really concentrate on recognizing and making the most of the opportunities that come your way. I’ve always been more afraid of looking back and saying I wish I would have than, I wish I wouldn’t have.

(TG)- What is your favorite animal to hunt?

(Doug Campbell)- Dang, that’s a tough one… guess it would depend mostly on the time of year. In the spring I love to chase hogs and stalk bears, the summer gophers get the nod, in the fall I live for hearing a big ‘ol bull elk bugle, and winter one of these days I’m going to catch up with a big cat.

(TG)- Do you have or prefer a certain method of hunting?

(Doug Campbell)- There again, it depends on what I’m chasing, but if I had to chose I’d say spot and stalking anything. After 40 years in MO, when I came to MT, I never intended to sit in another tree… but after a couple years of no tree stands, I find myself using them again.

(TG)- Does any of your family hunt or fish?

(Doug Campbell)- After my Uncle passed away, it was just Grandpa and I, but we lived 80 miles apart. My Dad never really hunted, but we did fish together occasionally. My wife has always hunted with me but has been going less and less in the last few years and only gun hunts anymore. Our daughters haven’t big game hunted but enjoy shooting gophers. I’m hoping for rich sons-in-laws that’ll want to take their father-in-law on hunting trips now ;{)

(TG)- What or who first got you involved in traditional bow hunting?

(Doug Campbell)- Well, like I said above, my Uncle Charles got me started. I spent many, many hours in the woods alone but it was probably the camaraderie of guys like Timo and his older brother Bobby that added fuel to the fire. They were both there when I killed my first deer and that’s something you just never forget.

(TG)- Do you have any bowhunting goals or plans for the immediate future?

(Doug Campbell)- I’d really love to draw a sheep, goat or moose tag in MT outside of that, (which I may not live long enough to see happen) I’d like to stalk and arrow a good bear someday.

(TG)- Do you make any of your own gear?

(Doug Campbell)- Yep, I’ve tried to whittle out a few bows that always wound up going to my nephews. I do make most of my own arrows, some of my broadheads either stone or TPs and process most of my own feathers. I’ve been known to make a knife or two also.

(TG)- Where is the one place you would really just love to hunt?

(Doug Campbell)- Right here on the banks of the West Boulder River. While I have and do love visiting other locales, I can’t imagine anyplace I’d rather call home right now.

(TG)- Do you primarily hunt private or public ground?

(Doug Campbell)- Mostly private, but some public too.

(TG)- Do you prefer evening, mid day or morning hunts?

(Doug Campbell)- Yes

(TG)- Do you normally use anything like scent covers or attractants, camo, or calls?

(Doug Campbell)- I’ve never used scents or cover-ups. My camo consists of a leafy jacket or my KOM blowdown pattern wool, I’ve had pretty good luck with ASAT in the past too. A lot of the time anymore I just wear military surplus wool pants and a green sweater. I always carry two or three calls on me while in the woods too, bugle tube, diaphragm, and cow calls for elk, grunt tube for deer, diaphragm for turks, squaler for predators….

(TG)- Do you do any small game hunting?

(Doug Campbell)- You bet, I love gopher hunting here in MT and miss chasing squirrels in MO.

(TG)- Tell us what your dream hunt would be.

(Doug Campbell)- OK, guess that would have to be going after moosebearsheepcaribougoatmuledeerelkhogsantelopejaviscarpbisonwhitetailturkey…. Yep that’d have to be it…..

(TG)- How did you get involved with St Judes?

(Doug Campbell)- Several years ago one of my wife's students fell ill with cancer and was eventually taken to St Jude's. Been gone from there for a few years now but she'd been cured and cancer free for several years last we knew. Our little community turned into pretty loyal supporters after that. I've also heard the ST Jude Radio-a-thons all over the country and can't imagine anybody hearing one of the parent or patient testimonials and not being moved to help out so we just do what we can.

(TG)- Do you know how much money Tradgang has raised for St Judes?

(Doug Campbell)- We're just under $40,000 for the two auctions we've held, gotta love that!!

(TG)- How did you become Outpost Sponsor?

(Doug Campbell)- Hmmm.... Well I was getting alot of emails from folks wanting to look at knives and was talking to Terry one day and they suggested I start a post on the Tradware Outpost. It worked great and I sold a few knives so when the forum changed to the Sponsor's Classifieds I just naturally jumped on. Pretty nice place to display your wares for somebody like me who doesn't really have the time or inclination to go into business full time. I'd like to keep my knife making fun and the fastest way I know to ruin that is to have to work at it. So far everybody have been very patient and great to get along with.

(TG)- What got you started in knife building?

(Doug Campbell)- Well like many others I'd go to gun shows and such and drool over the knives and other sharp things I'd see there but could very seldom afford to buy. One day, along in the late eighties I was talking to a guy at work who'd built a knife or two and got inspired to give it a try. I was pretty tickled with the first one and went on to number two, that was probably pushing 500 knives ago. I kept track for the first three hundred or so then it just kinda got out of hand and I gave up.

After several plain carbon steel knives I was at a United Bowhunters of MO gathering and saw a table full of beautiful Damascus blades. I got to visiting with Bill Miller the knifesmith who'd made them and learned he just lived up near Warsaw which was less than an hour from home. Eventually I got up to Bill's and spent enough time with his excellent and patient tutelage to learn the art of making Damascus steel. Since then I've worked with or spoken to several knifemakers and tried to learn from each of them. Most everyone I've worked with have been great and I do my best to return the favor and pass on whatever I can to newbees to the knifemaking field.

(TG)- How many acres do you manage on the ranch?

(Doug Campbell)-  Here on the West Boulder Ranch we look after 5,000 acres and lease a few more from the state. When my wife and I  took over the owners told us to just take care of it like it was our own and we do our best to make them proud. We have a very diverse landscape all the way from the West Boulder River running thru the back yard to sage brush covered hills to aspen and fir cover mountains. Like I've said many times I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be right now.

Interviewers notes - What can you say about Doug Campbell that aint already been said. He builds great knives, kills everything that gets within shouting distance of him, shows great hospitality to everyone who visits him. He is "good people" in my book. Doug wanted to know why I wanted to interview an ol' country boy. That's why. That and all the other members of tradgang asking for him. If you get a chance go look at his knives in the Sponsor's classifieds. Finer work you will not find.  As for the St. Jude's Auction, he brought up the idea and keeps it going. He does a lot behind the scenes that no one every sees.  You young guys better listen to ol' Doug on those     rare occassions he opens up, I guarantee you can learn something.



[0] Message Index

Go to full version