Chad Mendes has been a wrestler his whole life. After wrestling in high school and college, he is now ranked #3 in the official UFC featherweight rankings. When he isn’t at the gym or in the ring, Mendes can be found out in the woods. He is a hunter and a passionate one to say the least. He began hunting with his dad when he was a little kid and plans to pass the tradition down to his children. Mendes loves hunting and the outdoors so much that his friends even tease him that he “fights to pay for his hunting trips”.
Learn more about Chad Mendes and his passion for hunting!
D.C. United players Bobby Boswell and Perry Kitchen love to go to the range… the NRA Headquarters Range to be exact! Being passionate soccer players, both played growing up and in college before joining D.C. United (Kitchen actually played for the Akron Zips, whose Rifle Team recently appeared on NRA All Access!). During off season, you can find these two working in some target practice into their busy schedules.
NFL Linebacker Trent Cole has earned the nickname “Tha Hunter” and rightfully so. This blitzing specialist loves to hunt, fish, trap shoot, and hosts his own hunting show. What started out as filming hunts with his buddies has now turned into Blitz TV, where Cole chases big game all across the country. Cole is also advocate for firearms training and actively encourages fellow NFL players to undergo proper firearms training and safety courses.
When Ryan Newman isn't on the track, you’ll find him at the range, in the woods, or at Rescue Ranch. Not only does he love the outdoors, but Newman also has a passion for giving back to his community. He and his wife Krissie run the Rescue Ranch, a non-profit animal welfare organization in North Carolina. Newman has been fortunate to use his hobbies to help raise funds for the Ranch and hosts an annual shooting competition called Locked and Load for Land.
Take a look at Rescue Ranch and last year’s fundraiser!
Willie Bloomquist’s love for baseball started at a young age. He has played every position from pitcher to catcher and as been a player of the Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Royals, and Arizona Diamondbacks. During off seasons, Bloomquist spends times with his family as well as plenty of time out in the woods hunting big game.
Matt Light played 11 seasons in the NFL before starting the Light Foundation, an organization aimed towards strengthening the values of youth through outdoor learning experiences. The Light Foundation hosts Camp Vohokase, a leadership camp where youth learn about firearms, archery, and the outdoors; a youth turkey hunt; a Celebrity Shoot Out fundraiser; and many other programs that share in the outdoor lifestyle. Light has been able to take his passion for firearms and the outdoors and share it with others in the hope to make a difference in today’s youth.
Professional BMX rider Morgan Wade never dreamed he would be able to ride his bike for a living. But by continuing to do what he loves, he was able to become a professional BMX rider and win several medals for the U.S. at the X-Games. The Texas native grew up with firearms and continues to target shoot and practice self- defense drills when he’s not on the road.
Professional athletes have rigorous schedules – they usually dedicate themselves to perfecting their sport year-round. But, believe it or not, they also have hobbies outside their sport. Here are a few professional athletes you might find enjoying a different kind of sport, the shooting sports, in their free time.