Family, wildlife and wild places drive Tyler Baskfield. These influences took effect on Baskfield at an early age in the woods and on the lakes of Northern Minnesota. “We had this little duck hunting cabin on a lake in Northern Minnesota that had been in my family for a couple of generations,” said Baskfield. “We would go up there on weekends and take walks in the woods, fish or hunt together. There weren’t any distractions when we spent time there. The cabin taught me how wonderful my family was and how fascinating nature could be. Even as a young kid, I couldn’t imagine a lifestyle that didn’t have outdoor recreation or nature as a significant focus. ” After graduating from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Baskfield worked at the Craig Daily Press in Craig Colorado as the Outdoor Editor and Staff Reporter. After working for the newspaper for a couple of years honing his writing skills, he went to work for the Colorado Division of Wildlife in the media relations department. He spent the next 10 years at the Division working to educate the public about Colorado’s wildlife resources and promoting outdoor recreation opportunities in the state. By the time left the agency he managed the Public Affairs Department. “It was a great experience working for the Division of Wildlife,” said Baskfield. “There were a lot of great people who worked at the agency by design in order to dedicate their professional lives to enhancing the wildlife resources and opportunities in this state.”
Baskfield left the Division to start his own company, but didn’t cut ties with the outdoors. “I had this idea for a motion duck decoy,” said Baskfield. “I was consumed by it. I had to take a shot at putting it in the hands of duck hunters and Duck Creek Decoy Works was built to help people have more enjoyable hunts.” Baskfield has spent the last year obtaining a patent and engineering the decoy. It is expected to hit the market sometime this fall. “We have created a product that will help hunters be more successful,” said Baskfield. “It will be extremely rewarding to help an inexperienced hunter have a better day in the marsh and perpetuate the great tradition of waterfowl hunting.”
Baskfield looks to take his entrepreneurial spirit to his new role at Trout Unlimited as Colorado Sportsman’s Coordinator. “Working with the sportsman’s community to protect areas of the state that are cherished by hunters and anglers is a mission that I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of and TU is an effective organization that I am thrilled to work for,” said Baskfield. Baskfield’s long track record of communicating with hunters and anglers will help him be effective in his new role. His passion for the wild places and the people who enjoy them provides the motivation for getting some big conservation wins. “Hunters and anglers all have certain places that have given us wonderful memories and experiences,” said Baskfield. “There is an inherent bond among the sportsman’s community derived from our knowledge of how critical it is to protect these great places and the experiences they provide.”
Baskfield lives in Denver with his wife Heidi, their two boys, Gray, 3 and Hank, 1, Lou, a high-strung mutt that loves riding shotgun in the family pickup and Dutch, a bird hunting black lab who has Baskfield almost completely trained. When Baskfield isn’t hunting or fishing he enjoys working on his farm located on the Platte River south of the town of Platteville. “My family’s duck hunting cabin in Minnesota taught me how important it was to have a place where my family could go to focus on enjoying each other and the outdoors,” said Baskfield. “Before I even had kids, I wanted to provide them with a place where I could teach them a good work ethic and about nature first hand. I want my boys to learn about wildlife by holding a frog or a turkey feather in their own hand or seeing a deer or an owl in the river bottom, Not by looking at a photo on an iPad.”
Tyler Baskfield can be reached at Tbaskfield@tu.org.