Rob Protzman with a cinnamon teal that he took in Texas. Courtesy Rob Protzman

From the field: Hunters embrace their avocations

LOVELAND — Rob Protzman had a non-traditional path to becoming a hunter. Rather than growing up hunting, he didn’t come to the sport he loves until later in life. 

Protzman, since 2009 the owner and president of IT company Chartered Technology, instead got into hunting about a decade ago, shortly after he was married. At that point, Protzman enjoyed shotgunning and sport clay shooting, but had never hunted. Then his new father-in-law invited him on a pheasant-hunting trip to South Dakota. He was hooked.

“It was a whole different game,” Protzman said. “I got hooked from a combination of multiple things. The game of it in general was more exciting than shooting a clay target. The camaraderie of being with friends and family outdoors. Going after game that I could harvest myself and then eat and feed to my family was really intriguing. It was a combination of all of that. It all culminated.” 

Since then, Protzman has been an avid duck and pheasant hunter. His favorite locations are northcentral South Dakota, where he tries to go once or twice a year, and Canada, which he said has incomparable natural beauty. Protzman also loves making January trips to hunt along the Gulf Coast of Texas.

“Texas is really a wonderful, fun trip,” he said. “There is something about sitting in Texas in January that is nice compared to being a muddy, frozen popsicle.”

Even within the regulations for how much game hunters can take, hunting trips result in far more game than one can eat in a sitting. Protzman will clean and process the meat after he hunts it, then freeze it to bring home. Protzman doesn’t hunt big game often, but he said he once harvested an elk that fed his family for a very long time. Pheasants don’t last as long, but still make for great meals; Protzman said that his favorite is his mother-in-law’s pheasant casserole.

“That is probably something I’ll never turn down,” he said.

Protzman may not have grown up hunting, but his kids might. His oldest daughter is 10 years old. She started coming on his trips last year. Right now, she takes pictures, but she’s expressed interest in wanting to hunt. Protzman said she’ll start when she’s a little bit older. 

“As a dad of two daughters, I’m excited for anything I’m into that they express interest in,” Protzman said. She wants to be into it with me, and we can spend time enjoying each other’s company. It’s fun because it’s a really important part of my life and a big part of my life. For her to want to explore that as well is really cool.”

Protzman also wants to encourage adults who have never hunted before to give the sport a try if they’re interested in it. Getting into hunting as an adult may seem intimidating when many people grow up doing it, but Protzman said the hunting community is open and helpful to people of any age who want to hunt.

“I got into it at a later age,” Protzman said. “I didn’t shoot my first duck at 6 years old like a lot of people have. It’s one of those things that can look really hard to get into if you’re not born into it. I would just say that it’s not. It’s a historic national pastime, and if you’re not born into it, I’ve found that people are very welcoming and encouraging. If you want to explore it, the hunting community likes to pass that on.”


LOVELAND — Rob Protzman had a non-traditional path to becoming a hunter. Rather than growing up hunting, he didn’t come to the sport he loves until later in life. 

Protzman, since 2009 the owner and president of IT company Chartered Technology, instead got into hunting about a decade ago, shortly after he was married. At that point, Protzman enjoyed shotgunning and sport clay shooting, but had never hunted. Then his new father-in-law invited him on a pheasant-hunting trip to South Dakota. He was hooked.

“It was a whole different game,” Protzman said. “I got hooked from a combination of multiple things. The game of it in general was more exciting than shooting a clay target. The camaraderie of being with friends and family outdoors. Going after game that I could harvest myself and then eat and feed to my family was really intriguing. It was a combination of all of that. It all culminated.” 

Since then, Protzman has been an avid duck and pheasant hunter. His favorite locations are northcentral South Dakota, where he tries to go once or twice a year, and Canada, which he said has incomparable natural beauty. Protzman also loves making January trips to hunt along the Gulf Coast of Texas.

“Texas is really a wonderful, fun trip,” he said. “There is something about sitting in Texas in January that is nice compared to being a muddy, frozen popsicle.”

Even within the regulations for how much game hunters can take, hunting trips result in far more game than one can eat…