Dad taught me to hunt and fish, back when I was growing up on the farm in northeast Missouri. Things were much simpler in the ‘50s and I can’t imagine what my life would be like today, had I not enjoyed the benefit of all the instruction of those early years. I shot my first duck at age 9 and my first quail at 13 – the same year I got my first gun for Christmas - a hand-me-down Stevens 16 gauge single shot, first owned by older brother Marion.
Some of my fondest memories are the hunting and fishing stories Dad and my uncles shared with us kids back then - generally around the wood stove, and other times in the field. Unfortunately, it was pure and simple storytelling, so all I have are the memories. Now, as a father and grandfather and having hunted and fished, and been in business, most of my life; I have taken the time to write down some of my own stories – for the enjoyment of my children, grandchildren, friends and Customers.
Only a handful of the images in this book were taken by professional photographers, the rest were taken by family, professional hunters, guides and myself, with whatever camera technology we had at the time. Thanks to everyone for that. When it comes to quality images, you will see continuous improvement on the later stories, versus the earlier ones.
The very nature of a Short Story doesn’t provide an opportunity to mention all of the people who were there; my apologies to family, friends, professional hunters, guides, trackers and other staff, who were in the background or foreground of these stories, but aren’t mentioned. For most of these stories, other people were also there and possibly saw or remember things differently; my apologies for any inaccuracies or omissions. These are all real stories that I participated in, nothing is made up; and I write them purely for your enjoyment.
Founder and CEO of MidwayUSA
About the Author
Larry Potterfield often describes himself as just a “country boy from rural Missouri.” That gives him at least something in common with Mark Twain, Omar Bradley and Harry Truman. His compass is always pointed true north; he’s a role-model for personal values and the discipline to do the right thing. A husband, father, grandfather and willing mentor for many, Larry leads by example in everything he does. Through hard work, curiosity, creativity, focus and passion, he has become a real-life example of The American Dream.
It has been said that a man who likes guns is either a hunter, shooter, or gun collector; and that hunters don’t shoot, shooters don’t hunt and collectors neither shoot nor hunt. Larry Potterfield is all three: a hunter, shooter and gun collector; and you can throw in reloader and amateur gunsmith – his experience and knowledge in all of these areas is quite broad.
An adventurist by nature, Larry has been there and done things that many of us only dream about. These Short Stories, covering some of his experiences over the last fifty years, provide an interesting perspective as to how he sees the world and his lifelong love of guns, hunting and shooting – and the MidwayUSA business.
As the Founder and current CEO of MidwayUSA, an internet retailer of shooting, hunting and outdoor products – established in 1977, Larry is one of the most-respected small businessmen in the shooting sports industry.
Larry received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 1971 and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville in 1974. He served six years in the U.S. Air Force.
Larry, and his wife Brenda, have received numerous awards for leadership and benevolence from the Key Conservation Groups and the Shooting Sports Industry. They live in Columbia, Missouri and have two adult children and six grandchildren.