Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

RMEF Board Member Zumbo Honored with Communicator Award

Jim Zumbo
Jim Zumbo is not one to get nervous. Not while putting the crosshairs on a bull elk. Not while stalking a deer. Not while hosting veterans and wounded warriors during one of his many hunts. And not while standing in front of cameras manned by members the media. However, standing in front of the annual State of the Industry dinner at SHOT Show in Las Vegas before thousands of members of the outdoor industry, it was a completely different story. 

Zumbo, a board member and long-time member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, acknowledged his nerves while accepting the prestigious Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Professional Outdoor Media Association. The honor recognizes extraordinary achievements in communications and in support of our hunting heritage and firearm freedoms.

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined that I’d be the recipient of the Grits Gresham Award,” Zumbo said. “I was shocked and totally overwhelmed when I learned the news. Part of my exhilaration comes not only from the fact that this is my beloved industry supporting me, but because Grits Gresham was my hero. I loved being around him, listening to his tales and enjoying his modesty and down-home southern personality. My profound thanks to everyone who made this possible. Now I need to pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming.”

Zumbo is perhaps the most recognizable hunter in North America. A 40-year veteran outdoor writer with more than 2,000 articles and 3,000 photos published, he dedicated his life to supporting and defending hunting, and describing ways for people to become better hunters in his books, lectures, magazine articles, and television show Jim Zumbo Outdoors on Outdoor Channel.

He travels 250 days a year with rifle, shotgun, and fishing rod, collecting content, photos and great stories. Zumbo also is deeply involved in working with wounded veterans, getting them outdoors and recharging their lives. Their experiences are highlighted on Outdoor Channel with the Jim Zumbo Outdoors: Wounded Warriors series. Much of his career was spent as a contributor and editor for Outdoor Life magazine.

To honor his friend Grits Gresham and his famous mantra of “May there be a bass under all your lily pads,” Zumbo closed his acceptance comments with a slight variation: “May there always be a buck under your tree stand.”

Grits Gresham was an internationally-known sportsman, author, photographer and television personality who championed the cause of conservation. He hosted ABC's The American Sportsman  for 13 years. Millions got a glimpse of his pleasant personality and witty ways during a series of beer commercials in the 1970s (see below).

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