Special Hunting Weapons and Tactics™ partners with some of the finest professionals in the outdoors, hunting and tactical communities. The intersection of these relationships is unparalleled, allowing SHWAT™ to bring you cutting edge content. Every one of our SHWAT™ Team Contributors is an accomplished, successful professional, well regarded in their field already. Get to know them here as you never have before. Dialog on our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter for all access. Just in for the pictures? Instagram: @SHWATteam
Amy Rutzen – Altitude Sickness
Amy Rutzen is a wife, mother and avid outdoors adventurer.
Her love for the high country was developed at a young age through camping, fishing, horseback riding and hiking the mountains surrounding her childhood home. Bow hunting entered the picture later in her life when she picked up a compound bow at a friend’s BBQ, released her first round of arrows and knew she had found her passion. Today she’ll hunt with bow, rifle, shotgun – as long as she’s hunting she’s happy! And while she’s hunted the Texas plains and Oregon, her favorite place to hunt and adventure is the High Country Rockies in Colorado. While Altitude Sickness is commonly understood as an adverse reaction to high elevation experiences, for Amy it’s just the opposite. Altitude Sickness is what draws her back to the high country over and over. Some might call it an addiction, Amy calls it adventure.
“I didn’t choose hunting. Hunting chose me.” – Donnie Vincent
Eric is a All-American hunter and proudly sports the biggest beard on our Pro Staff! Big game, small game, winged or on all fours, pick a time zone and he’s either been there done that is planning it. Eric currently works as a freelance gun writer for multiple brands, including Guns & Ammo’s Special Interest Publications, Guns America, Gun Digest, Mossberg.com, and American Handgunner. He has served as Editor in Chief at Gun Digest, as well as Online Editor for Petersen’s Hunting, North American Whitetail, Gun Dog, Bowhunter, Petersen’s Bowhunting, and Game & Fish Magazine. He has also hosted Modern Shooter TV on the Sportsman Channel.
Jared Hilton – The Accidental Hunter
Jared never intended become a hunter. Guns weren’t part of his growing up. But in an interesting twist, the very fields he hunts regularly were the birthplace of SHWAT™. Sports was life growing up, and while he played others soccer was the muse that kept him playing at the college and semipro levels. Introduced to hunting at the age of 27 he’s been hooked ever since. While he has hunted deer, dove and coyotes, it’s the wild hogs of Texas that irresistibly pull him into the field time and time again.
Erik Alexander – The Tactically Trained Hunter
Erik Alexander is a great example of the Tactical Hunter who combines his love for tactical training and shooting with his passion for the outdoors and hunting. Hailing from Miami, Florida, he’s trained over the past six years with Tactical Firearm’s Academy and Tactical U. His comfort with a pistol and the AR-15 platform are fundamentally based on the training he’s received. Skills learned are applied in hunting hogs and deer from Florida to Indiana.
When it comes to tactical hunting, Erik customizes each firearm to the specific terrain and animal he intends to hunt. He’s harvested hogs with his AR-15 in 5.56/.223 and 6.8SPC calibers. He’s harvested a hog with a custom built 300BLK SBR. A suppressor will be added to the mix later this year. For deer season, Erik prefers his 6.8SPC for Florida hunts and brings out the big bore .450 Bushmaster for the first week of Indiana deer firearm season.
Dave Bahde – Dr. WT…? Tactical Time Lord. Some tactics never die, they just get regenerated
Lieutenant Dave Bahde (retired) has been a professional firearms instructor and consultant for close to two decades and is currently on staff at the prestigious Gunsite Academy in Paulden Arizona. Dave is a recognized subject matter expert on firearms, tactics, and use of force in both State and Federal Court. He has published more than a thousand articles in major print publications and industry periodicals. Much of his time is spent traveling the country covering training related to firearms of all kinds. Dave enjoys hunting hogs out of state, coyotes and other predators closer to home. A turkey hunt is on his list.
Mark Craighead, Founder, Crossbreed Holsters – Unleashed
Mark was both a founding sponsor at SHWAT and a self proclaimed Hog Hunting Junkie. In addition to Crossbreed Holsters, Mark’s credentials include guest appearances in television and radio, and numerous defensive and tactical training courses. Founded in 2005 by Mark Craighead, Crossbreed Holsters quickly became one of the premier holster manufacturers in the USA through Mark’s ingenuity, integrity, and commitment to his rapidly growing customer base. Mark’s company also raised the standard for customer service in the holster industry by offering a two week try-it-free guarantee and a lifetime warranty. CrossBreed Holsters’ customers are usually customers for life. He is greatly missed by those of us who knew him.
Kelsy Gonzales – Rocky Mountain Tactical Hunter
Kelsy grew up in WY and can’t remember a time when he wasn’t pulling the trigger on some type of prey. Other than a four year vacation in the Marine Corps hunting two-legged creatures, his life has always revolved around pursuing furred and feathered animals, primarily in the Rocky Mountain region. He began hunting large game with an AR-15 two years ago. Kelsy found modern methods, gear and guns to be real assets to his pursuit of prey.
Gear, tactics and techniques based on a lifelong hunting lifestyle and military background are all a part of Kelsy’s stories. You’ll be a better hunter for reading.
John Howard – The Howard Files
A long time student of the gun, John Howard collects and shoots modern military small arms. He has a Master’s Degree in Defense and Strategic Studies from MSU, with emphasis on Information Warfare, Low Intensity Conflict, and Southern Asia. He is a retired practitioner of Chinese self defense systems and a certified NRA Firearms Instructor. John works full time as an IT Administrator, and part time as a consultant in the firearms industry.
Dr. Chris Magee, DVM – Dead or Alive
Chris Magee is a veterinarian with the US Army. He is lucky enough to work with and care for some of our country’s finest canine soldiers. Chris is also an avid hunter, shooter, and outdoorsman.
His passion for wildlife grew as he pursued his undergraduate degree at Mississippi State University in wildlife and fisheries science. Applying science and fun proved to be an everyday affair. That passion only grew more as he went on veterinary school at Mississippi State. At that point, his friends often joked that he probably performs CPR on the animals he harvests–no luck with resuscitation so far. With his articles, Chris hopes to educate SHWAT™ members on various aspects of public health and animal health, as well as the biology of wild hogs and the threats they pose to us and our environment.
Fred Mastison, President, Force Options Tactical Training Solutions – The Intersection of Tactical Training and Hunting
The consummate professional, Mr. Fred Mastison has been training in CQB / CQD style combatives for over three decades and is recognized internationally as one of the top Firearms and Defensive Tactics instructors in the world. Force Options is a professional training and security service, providing training for law enforcement, military and security professionals around the world. Additionally, Force Options provides personal protection for clients interested in low profile professional services. Not only should feral hogs be nervous about his expertise, they should be nervous about the people trained in the “One Mind, Any Weapon” philosophy pioneered by Mr. Mastison.
Brian McCombie, Professional Career Outdoors and Hunting Writer
An NRA Field Editor, Brian McCombie is one the top writers in the outdoors and hunting industries. With more than 1300 published articles, he’s a true heavy-weight, bringing a breadth of experience and expertise to readers everywhere. His engaging work can be found in publications including Outdoor Life, SHOT Business, Gun Digest, Handguns Magazine, Guns & Ammo, Field and Stream, Sports Afield, Turkey and Turkey Hunting, Ducks Unlimited, and more. Brian loves hunting with AR-style tactical rifles, and his work for SHWAT™ will include firearms and new gear blogs, cutting edge hog hunting tactics, and tactical hog hunting reports from the field.
Kevin Reese, Professional Career Outdoors and Hunting Writer
Kevin resides near Corsicana, Texas with his wife, Kelly and 11-year-old son, Jacob and is an award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, videographer, seminar instructor and public speaker. He also hosts Global Outfitters TV Show’s GO Tips. Kevin enjoys hog, deer, elk, turkey, duck, dove and predator hunting with rifles, shotguns and bows. He also loves to spend time on the water bowfishing or fishing. Kevin also handles outdoor industry clients for The Media Group, a successful public relations (PR) agency based in Illinois and serves on the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) Board of Directors.
Dylan Saunders – Wilderness Tactical Hunter
Dylan grew up on a homestead in the bush in Alaska. Living in a village with a population that ranged from about 50 in the winter to about 100 in the summer, he grew up without electricity. His family ate what could be caught, shot, or grown. Mail came in once a week on a float plane, and only non-perishable bulk food like powdered milk and flour could be ordered in. Hunting was a matter of survival. Dylan lived and worked in several states and in New Zealand as a graphic artist. He is a combat veteran and served as a company-level sniper in Iraq, where he was injured, causing him to leave the military. He has been an explosives engineer since college, which has given him the opportunity to work and hunt in remote locations all around the state of Alaska. You’ll appreciate the scope of his hunting stories and experiences, from hunting Wallaby in New Zealand to all kinds of North American animals.
Bill Wilson, Founder, Wilson Combat
Renowned as one of the all time greats of 1911 pistol refinement, Bill got his start as a competitive shooter. He’s traveled the world shooting, competing successfully at the highest levels. That success mindset and competitive drive created Wilson Combat, a top tier maker of 1911 pistols, AR-15 Rifles and Scattergun Technologies shotguns. Bill’s been a hunter for a long time, and it won’t surprise you to find it he’s accomplished there, too. While he’s hunted game across the globe, what he loves most is wild hog hunting. With more than 1000 hogs personally harvested, there’s not much in the way of weapons and tactics that Bill hasn’t tried. Now, you can draw on his vast experience here at Special Hog Weapons and Tactics.
Dr. John J. Woods, PhD, Professional Career Outdoors and Hunting Writer
Dr. Woods is an award winning outdoor writer and photographer having published over 3000 articles with credits in over thirty publications and books since 1978. His real passions are hog, deer, turkey hunting, and western hunting. John is a certified hunter safety education instructor in Missouri and Mississippi and a NRA certified firearms appraiser. He also writes on small business development issues related to outdoors entrepreneurism and economic development. John holds a bachelors and masters degree in wildlife science and a doctorate in industrial psychology from Missouri University.