Photo by David J. Sams
Edited by LSON
Fifth generation Texan, Mr. Whitetail, Larry Weishuhn, has been named the winner of the Zeiss 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in outdoor writing, speaking, wildlife education /habitat conservation and for his dedicated work with disabled veterans and others. This prestigious award was presented on January 18, 2016 at Carl Zeiss Sports Optics annual writers party in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Born July 24, 1947 to Lester and Lillie Weishuhn, this fifth generation Texan could hardly speak English before he started school. Who knew that this boy would contribute so much! Larry’s dad worked in the oil fields, but also ranched for cattle. During his absence at night, while waiting up with his mother for his dad’s return, she would read to him about hunting big game from the pages of Outdoor Life, Field & Stream and Sports Afield. This instilled in him a love of reading and a desire to someday become a writer.
As a sophomore in college, Larry married his high school sweetheart, Mary Anne Potter. After two years in junior college, he transferred to Texas A&M and studied wildlife science. Larry started working with Texas’s Wildlife Disease Project, a joint research project between Texas A&M University’s Department of Veterinary Pathology and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Soon Larry was put under contract to assist in and conduct wildlife research involving whitetail deer, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, desert bighorn sheep and many other game animals.
After graduation from Texas A&M with a BS degree in Wildlife Science, Larry continued working under contract as an assistant project leader for the Wildlife Disease Project, in charge of Texas statewide projects. During his tenure Larry was involved in various research regarding whitetail deer nutrition and antler development projects. He developed a natural means of vaccinating desert bighorn sheep against bluetongue. This lead to authoring and co-authoring numerous technical papers which were published in various professional journals.
Hired directly by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department working statewide, Larry served as a liaison between landowners, hunters, biologists and game wardens. As a biologist he was selected as one of four US biologists to be involved in international snow geese banding projects. Appointed as Technical Assistance Biologist for South Texas, he assisted landowners and hunters in establishing quality wildlife management programs across the south Texas brush country. He worked at this position for 5 years until he was told he was being promoted to Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s headquarters. Larry did not want to leave field work, so he decided to quit state employment and enter the private sector as a consulting biologist, writer and speaker.
While working for U.S. Resources, Larry set up his own wildlife management consulting company, Quality Management Limited, which he continued until about 1995. He spent months each year in helicopters doing game surveys. During this time, he was involved in and survived 13 helicopter crashes. After the last one, which put him in the hospital with back injuries, he thought “OK Lord, I get the message. Time to quit flying in helicopters!”
In his writing, Larry sold his first national magazine article and cover in 1970 to a publication known as National Sportsman Digest. Weishuhn has held the role of Staff or Freelance Writer, Field Editor, Editor, and Columnist and has written over 3,000 magazine articles and columns. Larry has also written 7 books with the eight one scheduled to be released this year. He has also supplied chapters to numerous other books. Various authors have written about in many other books.
Larry has been a speaker at many national and international wildlife management symposiums. He has been a featured speaker for the NRA’s Great American Hunter’s tour, the NRA National Convention, Dallas Safari Club Convention, Houston Safari Club Convention, Wild Sheep Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Northeast Sports Show and many of the various Deer Classics.
In television, Larry did his first guest appearance on an outdoor television show in the fall of 1970 with Larry Godfrey Outdoors on KAMU (Texas A&M’s television station). He again became involved with outdoor television in the 1980’s and was a regular guest on Realtree Outdoors. As a member of the RedHead Pro Hunting Team, Larry was instrumental in starting their hunting television show and was a regular of that show. Larry’s first personally owned and produced show, “Hunting the World” on the Outdoor Channel was nominated and received numerous national awards. When Larry went to work doing PR/media for Thompson Center Arms, he gave that show to T/C which became Game Trails and eventually HuntMasters.
He was also a regular on Whitetail Country , serving as a co-host of North American Hunter and a regular member of the 3 member team which did North American Hunter’s extremely popular “You Call the Shot” segment. Larry served as a co-host of “Whitetail Revolution” and was the only one to appear in all the “Whitetail Challenges”. He also hosted “Winchester World of Whitetail” and “A Hunter’s Life”. Larry currently hosts and owns “DSC’s Trailing the Hunter’s Moon” which appears on Sportsman Channel in its fourth year as of 2016. Larry has been directly involved in as a host or owner of TV shows that have been awarded numerous Telly Awards and been nominated for Emmys. Larry has served as a guest on scores of outdoor television shows.
Larry is a professional member of Boone & Crockett Club and a Life Member of the following organizations: National Rifle Association, Wild Sheep Foundation, Houston Safari Club and Dallas Safari Club. He is also co-founder of Texas Wildlife Association, a Texas premier outdoor organization which just celebrated its 30 year anniversary.
In recognition, Weishuhn has received the following honors: Charlie McTee Award – Texas Wildlife Association, Hal Swiggett Award – Trophy Game Records of the World and was inducted into the National Legends of the Outdoor Hall of Fame – 2007.
One of his greatest achievements would come from his peers, as they refer to him as “Mr. Whitetail”.