Gary F. Bogner has been an avid hunter and wildlife conservationist for over 50 years. Born in Muskegon, Michigan in 1942, Gary graduated from Muskegon Heights High School in 1961. Growing up the son of a Michigan Game Conservation Officer, Gary quickly developed a deep love for the outdoors with and passion for archery that remains to this very day. By age 12, he was hunting small game and Michigan whitetail deer and by 17, he was running an area archery shop.
After his schooling, Gary went on to become a commercial pilot with Northwest Airlines during the period of government deregulation and airline cutbacks. Gary was elected by his fellow pilots to serve as their A.L.P.A. representative and councilman. He represented the Pilot’s Association through two airline mergers and three labor contracts. After 18 years of flying, he was forced to take a medical retirement. His flying experienced further gave him a greater appreciation of the diverse wildlife conservation issues throughout the country.
Gary obtained a Michigan real estate broker’s license and a general contractor’s license and after leaving the commercial air carrier business, he went on to pursue these areas of interest. He developed real estate through Western Michigan and has designed and built numerous commercial and residential properties as well as several manufactured housing communities. He currently owns and operates varied real estate properties, businesses and other investments.
Gary has actively served on numerous hospital committees, private corporate boards, and on the board of a public trading bank. He continued to be involved with charitable functions within his western Michigan community.
Gary has hunted five continents, harvested over 100 plus different species of big game animals with a bow. Gary was number 5 to complete the North America Super Slam of taking all 28 North America big game animals with a bow and with most qualifying for the record books. His travels have taken him to Africa where he became the first bow hunter to take the “Big Six” Elephant, Rhino, Hippo, Cape Buffalo, Lion and Leopard in a single safari.
In May 1991, Gary was the first bow hunter to travel to Russia to pioneer archery hunting and teaching the sport of bow hunting and Gary took a Russian Kamachatka Brown Bear and then later took a Marco Polo Sheep in Tajikistan at 15,000 plus feet. He has hunted with both compound and recurve bows. Gary feels that one of his biggest accomplishments is his taking of the first Marco Polo sheep of record in modern history with a bow at 15,000 plus feet.
Gary is a SCI/SCIF life member and has served two terms as President of the SCI/SCIF Board of Directors. He has served on numerous SCI committees and a past favorite being Chairman of the SCI Alternative Hunting and Archery Committee. Gary was President of the SCI World Bowhunters Chapter and served as a SCI Regional Representative. He is also a SCI Master Measurer.
Gary has shot Hoyt bows for over 15 years and has used Easton arrows for as long as he can remember. He also remembers in the beginning years making his arrows from many different things. He serves as a field advisor for numerous archery-manufacturing companies and also owns Arrowhead Adventures, Inc, which produces bow hunting adventure films. Gary also owns and operates Arrowhead Lodge a Whitetail Hunting Destination in Western Michigan. For more details see Arrowheadadventures.net.
Gary holds memberships in B&C, P&Y and life memberships in FNAW, IPHA, NRA, Elk Foundation, Grand Slam Club, Alaska, Michigan and Lone Star Bowhunters Associations, the Alaska, Wyoming and British Columbia Guides and Outfitters Association. However, his heart is dedicated to SCI, the conservation of wildlife and the protection of hunting. (SCI First For hunters). One of his strong beliefs is that all sportsmen must work to put back more than what they have taken and that wildlife is a renewable resource and hunting plays an important roll in wildlife management. He also believes that the heritage of hunting and its future depends on the sportsman and his actions. Gary encourages all sportsmen to work at preserving hunting and passing on the hunting tradition.
Gary and his wife Nanette, reside in Muskegon Michigan, and have three children and six grandchildren.
In 1995 Gary received the SCI World Bow Hunter’s Hall-Of-Honor Award for exhibiting the highest degree of integrity, success in the field and Lifetime Contribution To The Past And Future Growth of Bow Hunting and Archery.
In March 2002 a special honor was given to Gary during The 107th US Congress Session The Honorable James Barcia of Michigan in the U.S. House Of Representatives recognized and presented Gary with a reading of his Hunting And Archery Accomplishments into the Congressional Record and recognized him as the International Ambassador Of Bow Hunting.