Dennis Tester has been a hunter most of his life. But the Casper, Wyo., Local 322 member had never hunted black bears until June, when he went on a three-day trip to Idaho that will be featured on the latest episode of the Union Sportsmen Alliance’s “Brotherhood Outdoors” television series.
|Casper, Wyo., Local 322 member Dennis Tester.
He founded it enjoyable, especially for someone who also considers himself an avid conservationist.
“What was nice is Table Mountain Outfitters [which hosted the trip] provided dogs that would cross the trail and chase the bear,” he said. “You could go up to it, and if it was a baby, or a mom with her babies, you could pass on the shoot. You could be selective with your shots and I really liked that.”
“Brotherhood Outdoors” is shown on the Sportsman Channel, with the episode featuring Tester airing Friday, Sept. 4 at 11:30 a.m., with re-airings on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 1:30 a.m. and Sunday, Sept. 6 at 11 a.m. The show also includes a segment following Tester and fellow IBEW members as they fire-proof utility poles in brushfire country. The episode also will be part of a “Brotherhood Outdoors” marathon on Saturday from 5-8 p.m. on the channel, with Tester’s episode scheduled to air at 5:30. All times are EDT.
Tester, 65, has enjoyed a 47-year career and now is a working foreman for Lower Valley Energy. He grew up in Washington state and began his IBEW career when he joined Seattle Local 77 and worked in construction. He eventually became a journeyman lineman and joined Tacoma, Wash., Local 483 and later moved to Wyoming and transferred his membership to Local 322. He lives in Bedford – population 200 – in the western part of the state near the Idaho border.
“I come from a family of 10 and we hunted to have meat when I was younger,” he said. “You just acquire a taste for deer and antelope and that kind of stuff. Hunting has been in my life as long as I can remember. It allows me to get out in the nature. I don’t need to shoot anything. I just enjoy being out there.”
He was encouraged to apply for a spot on “Brotherhood Outdoors” by Local 322 organizer Bruce Johnson, who was named the IBEW Conservation Steward of the Year in 2019 for his work in organizing volunteer projects to protect elk and their habitat.
“I just really like that they are conservationists,” Tester said. “They love hunting but they want to conserve it for the future. It’s a good group to be involved in and I appreciate how much they support unions.”
The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance is a union-dedicated, non-profit organization whose members hunt, fish, shoot and volunteer their skills to improve public access to the outdoors, conserve wildlife habits and mentor and engage youth in the outdoors. The IBEW is one of its charter sponsors.
Past episodes of “Brotherhood Outdoors” can be seen at www.myoutdoortv.com. The show’s website can be seen here.