Established in 2017
Our story is coming....
An enterprise is only as good as its team. We are a group of individuals that love the outdoors. Lifelong outdoorsmen that hunt, shoot and fish as much as possible and enjoy creating unforgettable sporting adventures for our clients!
Chris Butz - Upland/Waterfowl Guide, gundog trainer, shooting instructor & founder
Dogs: English setters, English Cockers, British Lab and German Wachtelhund
Favorite Shotgun: Kohler max lite sporting; beretta 391; winchester 101
Chris is a husband to Angie and father to 5 wonderful children. The foundation and model for life is found in his faith as a Christian. Chris believes that the outdoors is powerful for us as a spiritual experience and that it's a power as a catalyst for escape, rejuvenation and renewal is unparalleled.
A lifelong sportsman, Chris grew up in central Indiana chasing fin and fowl as a young man. He started out shooting competitively at age 8 and won multiple national titles by the age of 12. Whether it was chasing wild bobwhite quail or doves in southern Indiana, duck and geese on lakes and rivers or fishing for smallmouth, he couldn't get enough of the outdoors. Along the way, Chris hunted over English Setters, German Shorthairs, English Pointers, Labs, Chessies and Spaniels and expanded his hunting to upland and waterfowl in western locales such as Iowa and South Dakota.
Gundog Training in the British Traditions
Chris' interest in training dogs began at an early age too with his father's English Setters. Focusing on how gundogs worked and their behavior, along with a general interest in animals led Chris to pursue a degree in Zoology from Michigan State University. Along the way, Chris studied many gundog breeds and methodologies, including those of British and Continental trainers' use of positive reinforcement versus traditional methods in the States with force and electronic stimulation. He found that it required more of a bond and foundation in sit and steadiness combined with getting your dog ot want to work FOR you versus FOR itself and that sometimes electronic stimulation can be a crutch that we rely on to get our dog to a desired outcome possibly before it is ready.
Sporting Clays and Life
Chris tranisitioned to shooting sporting clays when the sport was very new to the States. He has always loved the simulated wingshooting presentations and is a lifelong student of the game from techniques to tactics. Chris has been privelged to shoot with some of the top names in national sporting clays over the years and to receive coaching from some of the same, as well as local coaches with tons of ability and loves teaching others the technical aspects of the sport that will get them off on the right foot. Working with hundreds of individuals over the years at all levels of ability, he plans on being able to hopefully show you something you might not have thought of to have that "aha" moment in your shooting and hunting, thus making the sporting lifestyle even more enjoyable! Just like in sporting clays, if we have our life planned out (move), trust the foudnational abiliites and tools that we have (mount) and execute with faith (shoot) in it all, then we can accomplish our dreams and break more birds!
Ash James - Upland/Waterfowl and Steelhead guide
Dog: American Lab (the next one will be British)
Favorite shotgun: Browning Cynergy; Benelli SBE2
Ash Is married to Kelly and the father to two wonderful girls. He originally hails from the UK but we don't hold anything against him for that. Growing up in a sporting family, he learned to hunt, shoot and flyfish at a young age. Ash has taken instruction at Holland & Holland and the West London Shooting Grounds in England and has travelled across the country chasing fin and feather. You won't soon forget his witty English humor or sayings and there is no one better on the rod for steelhead!
Brandon Priest - Assistant guide
Brandon has lived his whole life in northern Michigan. He has typically always chased whitetails but has come around to the bird and clay game. Brandon is a hard worker and makes a lot of things happen for Bespoke Sporting and our yak ranch - Gill's Pier Ranch. He can fix about anything and is a ton of fun to be around.