Friday, July 15, 2011

Interview with Kerry Mackey: The Chaplain to the Outdoorsmen
Exciting stuff today folks! I had the great fortune of getting to meet one of the bloggers I follow and see many of you following and getting to know. Kerry Mackey, known to many as simply the Chaplain to the Outdoorsmen, is a local SoCal resident with a fervor for all things outdoors. Check out my interview I had with him and I'll bet you learn a thing or two! I certainly did.

Kerry Mackey (R) and I at Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga last Sunday.

SoCal Bowhunter: What inspired you start Chaplain to the Outdoorsmen?
Chaplain to the Outdoorsmen: A call from my dear friend Jeff Wait (Okeechobee Shooting Sports) in December 2010 is what prompted me to formalize Chaplain to the Outdoorsmen. While serving as a Pastor in South Florida I had the privilege of getting to know Jeff. During that time we prayer walked an 83 acre piece of property which became his new state of the art outdoor shooting facility. Over a 2 year period I volunteered as the “Range Chaplain” for Okeechobee Shooting Sports. I don’t think Jeff nor I completely knew how God would use our desire to help others in the shooting sports. However, we saw significant life change in persons while they were at the range. I prayed for, counseled, talked with, worked alongside of and challenged persons to a better version of themselves during that time. I truly was their pastor, their chaplain, and their life coach.

SCB: What is your favorite part of blogging about the outdoors?
CTTO: I would submit that “the real me” comes out when I am blogging or producing webisodes. Building a community of like minded folks who genuinely want the best for others while providing that avenue through the outdoors is unmatched by any other industry. You get to see me as a hunter, fisherman, shooter, husband, father, spiritual leader and life-coach.
Persons get to see me, my short comings, my desires, dreams, my fears, my bucket lists... We get to share life in a social community of men and woman who have the same love of the great outdoors. I’ve been blessed to meet so many great men and woman in the industry... truly building a network for a life-time of friends and hunting partners.

SCB: How long have you been a hunter in Southern California?
CTTO: I’ve only hunted SoCal for the past 2 years. We have lived in SoCal on and off since 2005. First coming to SoCal to be the Membership Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Ca from 2005-2008 and then returning in 2010 to Friends Church in Yorba Linda, Ca.

SCB: How do you find the hunting out here vs hunting in Texas?
CTTO: Completely different... Texas is for the most part, flat terrain and East Texas where I’m from is big, beautiful pine timber and hardwood bottoms, creeks, slews, and lakes. Hot, humid, thunderstorms, with true seasons through out the year. The game in East Texas is plentiful... pigs (by the millions), deer, coons, fox, and, coyotes. Fishing is great too... so many great lakes to choose from. Hunting, fishing, and shooting is a way of life of 90% of the population.

Southern California is the other extreme... almost. It is steep mountainous terrain and most of it is public land (National Forest) where Texas is mostly private. The weather stays fairly consistent throughout the year. Rain is seldom, heat is moderate with little to no humidity, and there are no insects to speak of. Hunting is hard work... a ton more glassing is required, no bating is allowed, game is much harder to find. The travel distance to hunting locations can sometimes be over 4 hours. Talking with other hunters about where they are finding game, sharing information is a must.

Oh, and hunting, fishing, and shooting is NOT a way of life for 90% of the population in California.

SCB: I know you are happily married and have four boys. Wow! Do your kids go hunting with you and do they prefer hunting or fishing?
CTTO: You bet ya. I’ve taken all four of my boys hunting... Since California requires that you are 12 years old and have attended a Hunters Safety course before they can tote their own bow or gun... they go sit with me and run the electronic coyote caller and video camera.

As for fishing... they all LOVE fishing; however, it’s tough finding places here in SoCal that doesn’t cost $22 / day / person with a 5 fish max limit. Almost sounds like the state doesn’t want us to fish. It’s time for the Mackey Boys to find a private landowner who will let us
catch and release.

SCB: What drove you to become a pastor and then to follow it up as Chaplain to the Outdoorsmen?
CTTO: I became a believer/follower of Jesus on January 19, 1980. I never set out to “become a pastor”. In fact, my degree is a Bachelor of Science in Forestry with an emphasis in Wildlife Biology and Forest Recreation. I often tell persons that I am closest to God when I am with Him in the woods hunting, fishing, and shooting.

During the summer of 1993 while I was a Forester in Magnolia, Arkansas I felt God telling me that I was supposed to be doing something different with my life. Not necessarily more... just different. I was so fulfilled as a Professional Forester. I could never have asked for a better career. But I knew in the core of my being I was supposed to do something different. I
didn’t know what that was, but through coaching from men in my life I went to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas for Seminary in January 1996 for additional training as a Pastor. Since that time I’ve been a Pastor, Life-Coach, and now a Chaplain to Outdoorsmen in Arkansas, Florida, Texas, and California.

Chaplain to the Outdoorsmen has grown so fast since January 2011 that it is hard to explain. I really believe God is pulling together my LOVE of Jesus and the Outdoors to make a difference in the industry I so enjoy and want to raise my family in. I foresee a broader audience in days to come.

SCB: Where is your ministry based out of?
CTTO: We currently live in Yorba Linda, California. A community of approximately 90,000 folks just west of Los Angeles about 50 miles or so. Right on the northern tip of Cleveland National Forest.

SCB: If you could give my readers only one tip about outdoor blogging what would it be?
CTTO: Content is king. Quality content is imperative.

SCB: What, in your eyes, is the biggest achievement your blog has reached?
CTTO: I think the “Daily Thought” widget we created has made great strides in putting words of encouragement in the hands of so many in our industry in such a short time. It is great to see the Daily Thought widget when you go to others websites and blogs. We are also honored that other bloggers are quoting, sharing, and retweeting our materials. It is so refreshing to see outdoor industry leaders sharing our insights with others. I have a gut feeling the best is yet to come... As long as we don’t get in God’s way and screw it up.

SCB: Do you have a 'hunting/fishing' bucket list?
CTTO: You bet I do... Although I am not the world’s greatest bow hunter, I would rather shoot a bow than a gun, any day. SO, my bucket list is a Bull Elk Bow Hunt... I’d love to live with them on their turf for 10 - 14 days in the middle of nowhere... stalk to within range... have them bugle in my ear until I can’t hear from the deafening noise of their deep throated bugle... see the whites in his eyes and then with a peace that over comes you in the moment, the silence that surrounds your inner soul... as I release 400+ grains of carbon / steel and watch the fletchings disappear into that golden brown hair of a heart shot.

Yes’r... I have a bucket list... and it only has one item in it.

SCB: If so, do you have any plans in place to get any of your bucket list items done before the end of the year?
CTTO: I wish I could say I do; however, as you can imagine with four boys and my beautiful bride who is a work at home mom and homeschooler. It doesn’t appear we are a point in our lives right now to afford such a hunt. One of these days...

SCB: Besides a 'bucket list', what are some of your focused hunting goals for 2011 or the near future?
CTTO: I am looking forward a Archery Mule Deer Buck tag I drew in Utah for this fall. And then there is the hopes of my first California Blacktail. I’ll also have my annual Christmas archery deer/pig hunt in Texas.

We are really working hard to have Chaplain to the Outdoorsmen in on several video hunts in 2011-2012 across the U.S. We have several inquiries right now that would put us on Fish in North Carolina, Pigs in South Florida, Coyotes in Wisconsin, Deer/Pig in Texas, and potentially Deer in Arkansas. Of course, that all comes with a price tag... so we will see what the Lord allows.

SCB: Who are your major influences in the outdoors?
CTTO: I had the privilege of having Dr. James Kroll (Dr. Deer) as my Wildlife Professor at Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, Texas where I received my degree. I’d have to say Dr. Kroll is one.

I have also become really good friends with RB Wright with RB Wright Outdoors in Fayetteville, N.C.. RB is an up and coming Outdoor Industry Leader that is going to make a huge difference in thousands of persons lives.

Jimmy Sites with Spiritual Outdoor Adventures and his influence in the lives of so many is awesome. And then I enjoy Keith Warren, Matt McPherson with Mathews, Michael Waddell, Bill Jordan, David Blanton, Drury Brothers, Lee & Tiffany, Pat & Nicole... etc...

Don’t forget Ted Nugent... Uncle Ted has my vote.

SCB: Other then hunting, fishing, and blogging, what do you do in your spare time?
CTTO: I spent a ton of time with my beautiful wife Stephanie and our four boys, Caleb, Josiah, Levi, and Silas. I really enjoy Life-Coaching Outdoor Leaders. My list is intentionally small. Therefore, I only coach a select group of 5 - 7 Outdoor Leaders at any one time. I also speak at conferences, retreats, events, etc...

I am also wanting to learn to weld. I have always wanted to learn how. SO, I’m thinking this year is the year I purchase a welder and cut’n torch and see what I’m made of.

Kerry Mackey - Chaplain to the Outdoorsmen

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic interview, Al! Pastor Kerry works very hard to connect with outdoorsmen and women and make himself and his services available. His "Daily Thought" widget was a great idea!

    I wish I could have been there to meet you guys. It sounds like you had a very good meeting and a great time!