The Hart of the NWTF

You won’t find a more passionate turkey hunter than Jason Hart – nor a stronger supporter of the NWTF.

Since helping found and build twin outdoor clothing companies, Nomad and Huk, Hart has been the front man for both. If you’ve attended an NWTF convention recently, you’ve probably seen him at the sport show – smiling, meeting new friends, greeting old ones, hawking both his companies and the NWTF.

But Hart has been an NWTF supporter much longer than that.

“I joined JAKES in 1989 after sending in $5 and the back of a Winchester shotgun shell box with an NWTF ad,” Hart recalls. “My freshman year of college, I attended my first NWTF banquet, then went alone, not knowing a soul, to the 1996 National Convention in Atlanta. I haven’t missed many since.”

The exposure took hold. Hart subsequently founded a local Baltimore City NWTF chapter. He’s sponsored for numerous other chapters and has been a member of the NWTF Foundation Board since establishing the Nomad/NWTF relationship two years ago.

The ink was barely dry on Hart’s Clemson wildlife degree when he joined the outdoor products industry in 2000 with Avery Outdoors.

“Every dollar I have made in my adult life came through the outdoor business,” Hart said. From Avery, Hart moved to Under Armour, where he became a self-described ‘underwear salesman.’ Next, he moved to Mossy Oak before partnering with fellow former Under Armour employees Josh Reed, Ben Verner and Doc Reed in 2014 to create outdoor clothing brands NOMAD (hunting) and Huk (fishing.) 

“First and foremost, we wanted to be authentic,” Hart recalled of that modest but ambitious beginning. “Our former employer had good products, but hunting and fishing wasn't their focus. We knew we could build a great brand and great product, but we didn't realize they’d get so big so quick.”

But they did, thanks largely to the boundless energy and enthusiasm of Hart, not to mention his unbridled love for everything hunting-related. Especially everything turkey hunting-related.

Hart came to hunting on a strange road. “I saw the movie ‘Rambo’ when I was 9,” he remembers. “Rambo shot a compound bow; that was super cool. I got a Rambo Jr. bow for Christmas that year, and I read everything I could about archery, bowhunting and hunting in general. Although my parents didn't hunt, they were supportive. About the same time, there was a TV show called ‘The Outdoor Trail,’ the first hunting show I’d ever seen.”

The show often featured Jim Crumley, who founded Trebark camouflage.

“Seeing Jim turkey hunt wearing Trebark was the coolest thing to me,” Hart said, “and from the time I was 12, I knew I wanted to be in the hunting industry.”

Not only does Hart “want to be in the hunting industry,” he also wants to hunt. And he does, with a vigor and passion equaled by few. Hart has taken 19 Grand Slams, five Royal Slams (one with a bow) and two World Slams (one with a bow.) He has also taken a black-powder Grand Slam, and Slams with shotguns from .410 through 10 gauge.

If that’s not enough, he’s closing in on the biggest slam of them all – the 49-state Super Slam. He’s doing it, he says, to honor an old friend.

“In 2013, one of my best friends, outdoor writer J. Guthrie, died suddenly,” he said. “Guthrie and I loved chasing turkeys together. Shortly before he unexpectedly passed away, we’d added up all the states we’d killed turkeys in. I don’t remember the number, but after he died, I decided I needed to do this in his memory.”

Hart recently returned to Mossy Oak as brand manager for dealers and buying groups, but still owns stock and promotes Nomad and Huk. It’s a good fit, since Nomad’s trademark pattern is original Mossy Oak Bottomland. 

And since the folks at Mossy Oak are as avid about turkey hunting as Hart, his new job is also a good fit for his Super Slam pursuit.

Before the 2019 season cycle started, his state total stood at 33. By the time you read these words, that number will be bigger. 

“God willing,” Hart said, “I’ll get it done.”

Don’t bet against him.

– Jim Spencer 

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