I realize Hank Williams, Jr. was singing about something totally different in his raucous lyrics about ‘The Family Tradition’. Yet, with a very similar degree of passion, Dan Cabela has poured the last decade of his life into furthering the ‘Cabela Family’s Tradition—specifically, the restoration and conservation of wildlife through utilization. As Executive Director of the Cabela Family Foundation, Dan spearheads the work begun by his Mom and Dad, Dick and Mary. In its formative years—2000-2015—Dick and Mary identified projects near and dear to their hearts, and sent funds to support those projects. Around 2015, the Foundation changed somewhat from a merely grant-giving organization, based on their heart for a project/organization, to one in which they chose ventures that would allow them to also be some of the hands and feet involved in their outreach.
I admit that when my wife, Frances and I drove onto Dan and Darlene Cabela’s Asante Ranch situated in the Texas Hill Country near Austin, I was prepared to just fill in a few gaps about Dan’s conservation work in Africa in order to write this article. Instead, like his colleagues in a massive Mozambique conservation project, Ivan Carter and Mark Haldane, I was to find Dan to be a much more complex individual than expected. Also, like Ivan and Mark, Dan communicated a driving, gut-level urgency to see wild places nurtured, and to see this done by those who have always loved those places well—hunters.
Please use this LINK to access a free pdf of ‘[KEEPING] THE FAMILY TRADITION – Dan Cabela, The Cabela Family Foundation
and the Conservation of Wildlands’