by Laura Tingo
Dan Riegler’s wife, Laura, who submitted the application that won her husband a spectacular Idaho mule deer and elk hunting trip on season 7 of the USA’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV series, said he deserved the opportunity because he is genuine, hardworking, compassionate – and loves to hunt.
When the Brotherhood Outdoors team received the application for Dan, a USA member and a 15-year-member of Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 out of Pacific, Missouri, they agreed. Not only has Dan hunted his entire life, he is doing his part to preserve America’s hunting tradition by introducing his children to the sport and getting certified in taxidermy.
Dan’s pride in his union is just as strong as his love for hunting. He and his wife experienced the true meaning of union membership when Local 36 provided their family with resources and tools to help them cope with a sudden death of their daughter, Mylie.
“We never expected to be the ones who had to ask for so much help…We are forever grateful…and hope the union membership will continue to be able to help others in time of need,” said Laura Riegler.
Today, Dan and Laura help raise awareness for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) with the non-profit organization SIDS Resources in St. Louis, Missouri.
In recognition of all Dan does to pass on America’s outdoor heritage and support SIDS awareness, the Brotherhood Outdoors crew invited him to Preston, Idaho for a western hunt of a lifetime.
Upon arrival to the lodge, Brotherhood Outdoors co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen took Dan to the range to try out a couple different guns to get him comfortable and ready for the challenging days ahead. Dan discovered right away that hunting in Idaho is not like hunting in Missouri.
“This experience was much different than my normal Midwest whitetail deer hunt,” said Dan. “There was more glassing, spotting the animals, open fields and hiking.”
But Dan had spent time hiking with a heavy pack to get ready and, from the start, Julie and Daniel Lee knew he was up to these new challenges. “He was in good shape, so the brutal hikes weren’t an issue for him,” said Julie.
Dan brought his good humor to the experience as well and had the crew laughing when he spotted his first moose in the wild.
“I surprised the others by crawling up close to the animal…and imitating it,” he said.
But a moose wasn’t the only first for Dan on this trip. He also saw his first mule deer and got a sudden shot when his guide spotted a nice buck on a hillside as they were hiking to their next vantage point.
As the trip comes to a close, Dan finally gets a chance at a massive elk…perhaps one of very bulls he saw sparring with another bull earlier in the hunt.
Do Dan’s shots at the big old muley and a trophy elk ring true?
Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel to find out. See Show Schedule.