Editor’s Note: Gary Roberson has been a Mossy Oak ProStaff member since its inception. He owns Burnham Brothers Calls located in Menard, Texas
Menard County is known as the turkey hunting capital of Texas. A fellow by the name of Bruce Brady from Brookhaven, Mississippi, an outdoor writer, started hunting here in the mid 1980s around the time Mossy Oak got started in 1986. When Bruce first came to hunt here, he held the position of field staff writer for “Outdoor Life Magazine,” and he had a passion for turkey hunting. When I met Bruce on his first hunt here in Menard, he had on a suit of Mossy Oak’s original Bottomland camo. At that time, I never had heard of the Mossy Oak, but I wasn’t alone because no one else had either. Because he was from Brookhaven, he knew Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, who is now executive vice president of television and related media for Mossy Oak. As a matter of fact, Bruce knew Cuz’s dad.
After Bruce had been hunting out here for a couple of years, he mentioned that the folks at Mossy Oak wanted to come to Menard and hunt Texas turkeys. I think that hunt was one of the first hunts that the Mossy Oak team ever made in Texas. Toxey Haas, Bill Sugg, the late Bob Dixon and Cuz all came out to hunt with us. At that time, I was the president of the Menard National Bank. In 1991, I bought out Burnham Brothers Call Company, a move that put me in the hunting business fulltime. After the first year, the Mossy Oak crew came out every year. Of course, they brought me Mossy Oak camo and we all hunted together. When they decided to put together a ProStaff, I was one of the first to be invited to join. I was more or less their Texas connection.
I've been wearing Mossy Oak ever since the first time I met Toxey, Cuz, Bob and Bill. Besides being friends with the people at Mossy Oak, I discovered that their patterns fit in really well with the places we hunted in Texas. Our country had and still has large numbers of live oaks and the Break-Up patterns, Bottomland and Obsession fit in well when we’re hunting spring turkeys.
I have a TV show, “CARNIVORE TV,” on the Pursuit Channel that’s been on for the last 6 years. On the show, we strictly predator hunt. We take coyotes, bobcats, foxes, lions, bears and hogs. We take any predator that eats meat.
I've enjoyed wearing Mossy Oak camouflage, and I've enjoyed getting to know and becoming friends with all the people at Mossy Oak. It’s been a great 30 years.