By Tim Jones, Editor
Jack Atcheson Sr., well-known and respected founder of Jack Atcheson & Sons Inc., died at age 85 on Dec. 27, 2017. We received the news from Jack Atcheson Jr. after our March issue had already gone to print. Atcheson Sr. founded his company in 1955 in Butte, Montana, originally as a taxidermy business. Atcheson saw an opportunity in the infant hunting industry of that time and began arranging hunting trips, coining the term “hunting consultant.” As opportunities developed in places like Mongolia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania, Atcheson explored them and developed the relationships necessary to offer hunting experiences there for his clients.
Atcheson was a recognized champion of hunting, conservation and access rights. As an outspoken advocate for public land access, he was instrumental in the passage of Montana’s Stream Access Law, guaranteeing access to the public and unblocking 5.2 million acres of public state land and millions more acres of federal land. He was awarded the Aldo Leopold Award and the Outdoor Life Conservation Award, and he also was honored by the National Wildlife Federation.
Atcheson retired from hunting consulting in 2000 but continued to live according to his company slogan and personal motto: “Go hunting now while you are physically able.” He continued to enjoy hunting, fishing and traveling with his wife Mary Claire. She survives him along with their four children, Jack Jr., Keith, Brian and Kristie, along with numerous grandchildren. Instead of flowers, Atcheson requested that friends and supporters donate to his grandson Trevor Atcheson’s GoFundMe page or to the hunting conservation organization of their choice.