Lance Tracy is essentially the Godfather of SportDOG Brand. As an avid hunter and dog enthusiast, Lance knew there was a need for great products in the market. He asked Senior Staff for the opportunity to build a sporting dog brand for Radio Systems Corporation and thus SportDOG was born…and we’ve been growing ever since! Lance has gone from the Lone Ranger with a big dream to Vice President, but none of that has changed his mission: to build awesome products with an awesome team. He has 2 English Setters named Ripley and Roxey that are proud field testers for all of our products. Lance took some time to answer a few questions:
1. What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Seriously? I get to work with dogs and hunters. Period.
2. What is the most important lesson you have learned through working for SportDOG?
Surround yourself with passionate & smart people then try to get out of their way.
3. How did you get started hunting?
I started shooting crows off oil barrels, stored in the truck yard behind our house in Los Angeles, with a daisy pump BB gun when I was 8. Does that count?
4. How long have you been hunting?
Well, 45 years if the BB gun stuff counts. I started shooting varmints in Indiana about 35 years ago.
5. What is your favorite type of hunting?
Quail. A bird the size of a softball can turn a grown person into jelly in a split second. Nothing like it.
6. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever had about your dog?
‘I want a puppy from her’ from one of the top field trial trainers in the country.
7. What’s your favorite product and why?
TEK Series! I’ve lost my dogs in the Wisconsin grouse woods for a long enough period of time that thoughts of Wolves began flickering into my mind. TEK eliminates that.
8. What’s the #1 item on your hunting bucket list?
Just bagged my first Bull Canvasback, so hmmmm. If we are talking birds, then Mearns Quail. If we are talking big game, then a Leopard.
9. Share one of your favorite hunting story:
It actually just happened. The SportDOG crew and I were hunting in GA last weekend. Using my Berretta Extrema, finished in Realtree, I missed a really nice gobbler at about 40 yards. I had to leave that afternoon, but the rest of the crew stayed and hunted the following morning. I left my gun with Josh Miller, one of the SportDOG sales stars, and told Josh ‘please knock the misses out of my gun’. Like any coachable team member, proceeded to do just that. Josh whacked a really nice Tom the next morning with my gun, slaying the ‘miss dragon’ in the process. Win/win. Josh got a great turkey and I have a gun that works!
10. Share your favorite story about your dog:
While quail hunting in Tennessee, Ripley locked up on a bird. I walked in, flushed, and shot it. He did what he would rather not do, which is go pick up a dead bird. He would rather go find a live one. He disappeared in some heavy cover and after a few minutes he still was not back with the downed bird. I walked toward where I thought he was and spotted him. He had winded another bird, locked up again with the dead bird still in his mouth, and was patiently waiting for me to figure it out. Coolest thing ever!