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AMBASSADORS

Yeti Ambassador

Tony
Vandemore

Brookfield
,
Missouri
Hunting
Tony Vandemore
“Professional baseball player” and “owner of the best waterfowl outfitter in the nation” aren’t two accolades earned by one person in a lifetime, unless you’re Tony Vandemore. Since trading in his baseball bat to open up his successful outfitting business, Habitat Flats, Tony has extended his passion to the waterfowl’s livelihood. He’s a steadfast believer in building a habitat for them to thrive in. So much so, he’s tirelessly embarked on a 365-day pursuit to create new wetlands by managing water, planting food plots, building duck blinds, and training dogs, so that he and future generations can enjoy hunting the birds they love. To us and the hunting community, Tony is an innovative outdoorsman and perfect proof of deep-rooted passion.

Q:

What goes through your head when you first wake up in the morning before you hunt?

A:

The first thing that goes through my head in the morning is NOT waking up our girls, getting a hot cup of coffee, getting my dog ready, checking a plethora of different weather sites, and double-checking my schedule for all of our guests at the lodge. After that…all I think about are greenheads.

Q:

Where is your favorite place to hunt?

A:

Well, obviously, Habitat Flats! My favorite kind of spot to hunt is in a timber hole with greenheads falling through a bright blue, cloudless sky while bucking a cold wind.

Q:

Tell us a favorite story from a day out hunting.

A:

Before long, my answer will without question be watching my daughters shoot their first greenheads…but they’re still a bit young! For now, it has to be watching my old dog Ruff make his last retrieve. I don’t know that I have had a more emotional moment in the field than watching my old best friend with failing hips, somehow stand up to go pick up his last greenhead. From swelling with pride to bawling, it was an emotional rollercoaster only a dog owner can love and appreciate.

Q:

How do you up your game year after year?

A:

Nobody pushes me harder than I push myself. My passion drives me to try to create better habitats, better spots, better ways to get birds in closer. My wife is also pushing me to higher standards and new ideas on the business end of running Habitat Flats, which is a good reminder to never settle… especially when you’re in the lead.

Q:

If you could do anything better what would it be?

A:

Hear people. As in, literally hear them. A lifetime of shotgun blasts in my ears hasn’t done me much good! I need to get better at wearing hearing protection...

Q:

Who are your heroes? Who do you look up to?

A:

My heroes are our military — the ones who selflessly put their lives on the line every day defending our freedoms and allowing others the opportunity to do what we do.

Q:

What haven’t you accomplished that you aspire to do in your lifetime?

A:

I’d like to shoot an osceola turkey in Florida to complete my slam. I’ve always been too busy snow-goose hunting to get down there.

Q:

What part of you, or what you do, reflects a spirit of restlessness?

A:

I’m not much of a sleeper. I wake up most days between 2:00-4:00AM naturally. And I can’t take naps, as my mind starts racing of things I need to do or should be doing. I love getting out of Missouri to hunt our lodges in Canada and Arkansas, and when it’s possible, to places outside of Habitat Flats. I used to be able to travel much more before owning Habitat Flats, but the time has gotten more scarce over the past ten years. During the off season, my family doesn’t stay home for more than a couple weeks at a time. We all need to see new things and places whenever possible!

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