Oct. 21, 2008
Chris Wood, (703) 284-9403
Scott Stouder, (208) 628-3990
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Trout Unlimited mourns passing of Tony Dean
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Members and staff of Trout Unlimited today mourn the loss of a great sportsman and a tireless conservationist who led fellow hunters and anglers in efforts to protect fish and wildlife and the places they live so sportsmen may enjoy them for generations.
The legendary Tony Dean, who died Sunday, Oct. 19, from complications following an appendectomy, will be sorely missed by his fellow outdoorsmen and women, but his booming voice and his steadfast conservation ethic will surely endure, said Chris Wood, chief operating officer for the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization.
“Tony was larger than life,” Wood said. “He was a mentor to me and to so many other hunters and anglers. He taught so many of us to stand up and speak for fish and wildlife and the habitats they depend on. He was a giant of conservation and an inspiration to everyone who cares about the outdoors.”
Dean, 67, was perhaps known best for his hunting and fishing television programs based out of his home state of South Dakota. He had perhaps the most distinctive voice of any outdoor communicator, and his Saturday afternoon broadcasts were widely anticipated by a generation of hunters and anglers who came to value the conservation philosophy of the famous hunter and angler who brought the outdoors to them.
“You couldn’t say no to Tony,” Wood continued. “He actually convinced me to come and speak to a group of dentists that he took fishing in Manitoba every year—that I was to be on my honeymoon at the time was incidental to Tony. He said, ‘Chris, you’ll be married for the rest of your life. How many times can you catch 20-plus-inch trout from prairie potholes?’”
Dean was a long-time member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and one of just a few recipients of that organization’s prestigious Jade of Chiefs Award. Fellow Jade of Chiefs Award winner Scott Stouder, a field coordinator for TU based in Riggins, Idaho, noted Dean’s impact on the sporting life and on conservation.
“I’m very grateful to Tony for showing so many of us the importance of protecting the places we fish and hunt,” Stouder said. “He was one of my heroes for that—he had a profound influence on me and countless hunters and anglers who carry on his work today.”
Fittingly, before he died, Dean was considering the creation of a conservation think tank that would focus on protecting the hunting and fishing values of his beloved prairie.
“You don’t have the opportunity to meet people like Tony very often,” Stouder said. “I am extremely honored to have had the opportunity to not only know Tony, but to get to work at his side to protect the hunting and fishing values that go hand-in-hand with conservation in this country. He will be deeply missed, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends who, like me, are just devastated at the loss of such a great man.”