Eleanor Marshall has been with the SportDOG team for over four years. As Marketing Specialist, Eleanor is responsible for a lot of our online activities, working with media outlets, our conservation fund and more. She’s a proud mother of a 6 year old future hunter and an avid sports fan. She was able to take a break from her schedule to answer some quick questions for us:
How did you get started with SportDOG?
I had recently left a position with a major corporation. It had consisted of more than 10 hours a day shuffling papers away from sunlight, the outdoors and my family. It also involved a lot of suits, which is just not this country girl’s style. One day I decided big business wasn’t the place for me and decided to leave the company. I didn’t know what my next move would be, but I knew I was never going back to anything like that again. I saw the SportDOG opening. It was only a contract position to fill in for Gretchen (the now marketing manager) while she was on maternity leave, but I come from a long line of hunters and outdoorsmen so I took the chance thinking it would at least give me an enjoyable job while I looked for other opportunities. Luckily, it was a great fit for both me and SportDOG and I was hired on as a full-time member of the team upon Gretchen’s return.
What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Getting to talk with customers, no question. I mean, when you hunt for a living there’s really nothing to complain about, but I have to say getting to interact with our customers in so many different forms is just awesome. Whether I’m at a show, talking online or getting feedback from our field testers, our guys and gals are some of the coolest people I’ve ever come across. You guys can be brutally honest, but that helps us grow and I know when we get compliments we’ve earned them. Plus, everyone has a pretty great sense of humor.
What is the most important lesson you have learned through working for SportDOG?
I have learned so much since joining this team that it’s hard to point to the single most important lesson, but I guess for me it would be that tough times never last…tough people do. Whether it’s in the field or in business, things aren’t always going to go exactly as you envision them. You can either dwell on the imperfections, or you can suck it up, learn from your mistakes and do it better tomorrow. That’s what has kept us growing through a sluggish economy and what will keep us growing in the future.
What is your favorite type of hunting?
I love upland hunting because I love moving. There’s something about walking the fields that really gets me going. I like hunting
on horseback as well. I was a competitive rider (mostly barrels) growing up and owned horses the vast majority of my life so getting the chance to let my equestrian and hunting sides come together is just outstanding. That’s one of the reasons I love Sinkola so much. I would like to do more predator hunting as well. I’m kind of an adrenaline junkie so hunting something that could easily kill me really appeals to me.
How many dogs do you have (include name, breed, ages)?
I recently lost my Shepherd/Lab mix, so I’m currently down to an 11 year old beagle named Blitz. He’s been my partner in crime for most of my teens and all of my adult life. I’m looking to add another pup to the brood, though. Just can’t settle in on a breed.
What is your best advice about dog training?
It doesn’t stop. I don’t care how well your dog is trained. I don’t care how perfect you think he/she is…you’ve got to stick with it. If you let yourself get out of the habit or get lazy, your dog will, too. Training is a lifelong commitment.
What something people about you that would surprise most people?
I’m blind in one eye. You can’t tell just looking at me, but when you see me shoot (or drive) you’ll quickly figure out something isn’t just right there. I’m better than you would expect being 50% blind, but there’s room for improvement…and hunting mates are encouraged to stay to the side I have vision.
What’s your favorite product and why?
I love the WetlandHunter 1825. I could hook both of my dogs up to it, set their individual levels and be ready to roll. Plus, it’s compatible with our 425 systems so when we introduced the new, even smaller collar with the SD-425, so now my beagle gets a tiny collar and the shepherd had the full sized and it all works off of one transmitter. Could not be happier with it. Even with my Shepherd having gone to the great fields in the sky, I still think the customization options of the 1825CAMO makes it awesome for one dog.
What’s the #1 item on your hunting bucket list?
It’s hard to narrow it down to just one. Most of the game I’m looking for requires international travel. I’d really like to down a Lady Amherst Pheasant. There is just something about them that captivates me. Another huge item is to do Markhor hunt in the mountains of Asia. I’m not sure what I want more, to actually get a Markhor or just to be able to tell my kids I braved the venture. Either way, I think it would be an amazing experience. Also, wild boar hunting in Australia is way up there. A lot of our Australian field testers are boar hunters and they make it sound like the experience of a lifetime in the Outback. I’d also like a chance to take a shot at an Asiatic buffalo while I’m there.
How do you spend your time when you are not hunting/training?
I love being on the lake with my son. Hiking and camping are also big favorites. I’m a huge Braves, Broncos, Colts and Vols fan so we spend a lot of time watching sports if we’re inside. Cooking is probably my absolute favorite past time. Cannot get enough of cooking, especially for others so my house is the place to be for any sporting event because I will feed you well…as long as you don’t try to touch the remote.
Share one of your favorite hunting story:
I have a lot of great stories about myself, but I love getting to brag about my family so I’m gonna go ahead and brag on my amazing little cousins. When my little cousin Dagon was 9 years we took him on a kids hunt in East Tennessee. The hunt was two days, limit two. Dagon was super pumped to be out and able to show off the skills over the weekend. However, 3 hours after arriving, before any other child had hit anything, Dagon was on his way back home because he’d hit the limit with two beautiful button bucks. Amazing! I have another little cousin that earned his first hunting story Dove Season opener last year. It’s the wee hours of the morning and everyone is getting ready to head out the door when my little cousin Caleb comes running out begging to join. His dad thought he was still a bit too young and told him he could join next year. Caleb disappears and we all figure he’s gone back to bed. We are literally walking out the door when he comes bursting in, dressed head to toe in camo and is ready to go. Needless to say, he earned his first day in the field with that move.