Our Athletes

Initial Ascent Athletes


Dave Beronio

Father, Hunter, Outdoorsman, Venturesome, Spirited

Nickname: Hollywood

Did you know..? I have a wedding business, and when I'm not guiding or hunting, I'm in a suit and tie performing weddings as the minister.

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Bacon, Peanut Butter, and Nutella in a tortilla.

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry: Double Stuff Oreo Cookies. Is that essential?


Kate Small

Sarcastic, Competitive, Compassionate, Adventurous

Nickname: Kate (my actual name is Katheryn)

Did you know? I am a Registered Nurse with background in Neuroscience and Emergency Medicine. Traveling is a passion of mine and I've been to over 30 different countries. Prior to meeting my husband I would travel predominantly by myself and couch surf so I was better able to immerse myself into different cultures. I spent 3 months living in East Africa volunteering in the ER and living with a Maasai Tribe providing basic health care. Also, I am on the Board for the Foundation for Wildlife Management because I whole heartedly believe in predator management.

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Gummy Bears (trust me, it's a meal).

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry: my LuminAID or my Husband

Justin wolves

Justin Small

Trustworthy, Adventurous, Determined, Ambitious

Nickname: Smalls

Did you know? I once ate a trout eyeball in exchange for a single Swedish Fish 20 miles into the Frank Church Wilderness.

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Beef Pasta Marinara from Peak Refuel + Tortilla

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry: Nemo Equipment Fillo Luxury Camping Pillow

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Michael Batease

Driven, Giving, Caring

Nickname: Batman

Did you know? I was one step away from being on the TV Show Top Shot.

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Chicken Pesto Pasta from PeakRefuel

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry: My plasma Lighter

"Don't try to be a man of wealth. It is better to strive to be one of value." -Unknown


Rodger Holscher

Warrior, Gear Junkie, Lifelong Hunter

Nickname: Rodg

That if you aren't failing, you aren't pushing yourself hard enough. Push yourself, test your limits and don't be afraid of failure.

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Peak Refuel Chicken Alfredo/Pesto

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry:

Therm-A-Rest Z Seat.  It has so many uses so it's always in my pack.


Chris Young

Christian, Avid Outdoorsman, Dedicated Hunter, Adrenaline Junkie

Nickname: PrimeTime

Did you know..? It is definitely not a good idea to use your bugle tube to rake a tree.

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Washington Apple Oatmeal from OffGrid Food Co.

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry: A Stanley French Press. I love good coffee on the hill.


Shane Killian

3 words that describe you: Motivated, Father, Husband

Nickname: Shaner

Did you know..? When I was 15 years old, doctors had to use a defibrillator on me as I had lost a significant amount of blood due to an ulcer.

"Never forget yesterday, but always live for today because you never know what life can bring or take away."

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Either pepperoni and cheese inside a Hawaiian Roll or any Off Grid Food Company oatmeals.

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry:  Hi-chews! A tasty little treat is always nice! Also, a lacrosse ball (small and light) to help get rid of any muscle soreness.



Mike Atteberry

3 words that describe you: Athlete, Bowhunter, Filmmaker

Nickname: "Pretty Boy"

Did you know..? I was a D-II collegiate football walk-on, B.S. in Safety Management, co-founder of Built4TheHunt.com, didn't grow up hunting, and started hunting at the age of 19 with a friend helping to feed my competitive nature after sports. I haven't stopped since.

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Chicken Alfredo Peak freeze dried meal or sour patch kids.

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry:  My dog Molly is my new traveling and backcountry camp partner, I take her everywhere I can. She spent several 7-10 hunts with me in AZ deer and elk camps as a puppy. However for pack-in style hunts she wouldn't be able to come. In that case I'd say our film equipment (camera) so we can document and share our experiences with others.


2020Mule Deer

Caleb Barnhill

3 words that describe you: Determined, Reliable, Hilarious

Nickname: Barney

Did you know..? Collegiate Athlete

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Smoked Sockeye Salmon Chowder from Heather's Choice and Cliff Bars

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry: Cell phone


Jenn Becker

Jenn Becker

Adventurous, Spontaneous, CrossFit junkie

Nickname: JB

Former collegiate Track & Field athlete. After my collegiate running career, I picked up a bow and began learning about archery and hunting.

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Bacon, peanut butter and honey on a tortilla...and of course, any type of candy and oreos

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry: Hyperice

Andrew Mansfield

Andrew Mansfield

Honest, Dedicated, Bowhunter, ASCENT TEAM ATHLETE

I've been known to shake just as bad when someone else harvest's an animal.  If it doesn't make you excited, its not worth doing!

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry: The Sportsman's Bible


Ben Clarke

Hunter, Father, Guide, Dedicated

Nickname: Cec (Cecil)- a school name I inherited that carries quite a story no fit for a bio

Did you know..? I am the director of Aussie Feral Game Hunters, a business that empowers the Australian hunting scene that connects and unites hunters from Australia and the world putting you in touch with your dream hunt down under!

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Barraba Brew. It is a fine mixture of anything you can find at camp after a taxing day in the hills. A mix of meat, vegetables, canned soups, nuts and gravy or whatever you can find brewed slowly over a campfire in a camp oven. Every time it's crafted, it boasts a unique new flavor depending on what you find but always hits the spot on a growling belly!

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry: Phone. A necessary evil these days but all too convenient for documenting your hunt and sending hunt progress photos to my daughter.


Brandon Waddell

Husband, father, small business co-owner. Wilderness Attitude podcast host. Wilderness enthusiast, Archer, Train To Hunt competitor. Lives in Colorado.

Nickname: Waddle, Duck Man

Did you know? I married my high school sweetheart. We share 9 kids. Found my way back to the outdoors after beating drug addiction and a string of bad choices.

Favorite back country meal: AlpineAire Honey lime chicken. AlpineAire classic guacamole

Favorite non-essential item: My Helinox chair, Chalula hot sauce packets and my Crocs

Jessica Clawson

Jessica Clawson

Hard working Mamma-Wife-Obsessed with fitness and my bow

Nickname: The Finisher

Did you know..? I'm originally from Montana! I love backcountry Elk hunting in Montana every year! As much as I love Elk hunting I love shed hunting! I have only been archery shooting for 2 years and can't imagine life without it... I own 2 small Businesses, Cleaning and Landscaping.

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Anything OffGrid Food Co as they are a local company.

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry: My son's Stuffed Turtle


Jeff Mikus

Husband, Father, Hunter, Fish Catcher, Advocate of Agriculture, Runner, Music Aficionado, Amateur,  Foodie, Texan, ASCENT TEAM ATHLETE

Nickname: NA

Did you know..? Officiates Collegiate Football, Ran the Olympic Torch in 1996.

Favorite Backcountry Meal: BACON! Fat and protein, what else do you need!?! And, there's always some kind of candy in my pack!

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry: Satellite Phone. Hearing my family's voice always makes the day better.


Scott Blanton

Husband, Father, Firefighter, Outdoor Enthusiast, ASCENT TEAM ATHLETE

Nickname: Captain

Did you know…? Opening day 2016, my  two sons and I harvested 3 bucks in 3 minutes at "No Tell'm Creek".

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Mountain House Beef Stroganoff

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry: Fingernail clippers


Alex Blanton

College Student, Backpacking Enthusiast, Hunting Fanatic, ASCENT TEAM ATHLETE
Nickname: Ax

Did you know…? Lived in the bush in Africa for two months establishing safari camps at age 14

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Zac Griffith's oats protein mix (protein powder, nuts, rolled oats)

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry: Gum


Tom Douthit

Husband, Father, Physician Assistant, Air National Guard, Outdoor Enthusiast, ASCENT TEAM ATHLETE

Nickname: TD

Did you know…? My passion for the outdoors is only surpassed by my passion to have my girls (age 10 & 12) fill their tags. Nothing is more rewarding. They have harvested 4 bucks and an elk and I look forward to may more successful hunts with them.

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Mountain House Lasagna

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry: Book


Nathan DeNardi

Husband, Father, Taxidermist, archer, with an uncontrollable passion for everything outdoors, ASCENT TEAM ATHLETE

Nickname: Tater, Doinker, Rambo

Did you know…? The average person gives up at 40% of their true potential

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Mountain House Sausage and Egg Breakfast Burritos. Bring tortillas. They are not included!

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry: Pink lemonade water flavoring


Steve Eccard

Taxidermist, father, avid hunter and hiker, ASCENT TEAM ATHLETE

Nickname: Birdman or Capt. Redbeard

Did you know…? I've been fond of wildlife from a young age and have spent lots of time studying and trying to understand what and why animals are doing what they do.

Favorite Backcountry Meal: Tuna fish and Gatorade

Favorite Non-Essential Item you take into the Backcountry: camera