2011 - Edward D. Yates

Edward D. Yates lives in the lower Susquehanna Valley in the small town of Wrightsville, PA, with his wife, Arlina. His daughter and son-in-law have a nine-year-old son who looks forward to hunting with Grandpa in Africa someday.

Ed’s father worked on ocean-going freighters. Because of his father’s interest in the sea, Ed sought and received a Congressional appointment to the United States Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point upon graduation from high school. He postponed attending the Academy in order to go to sea and gain some practical experience. As an 18-year-old, he sailed for Getty Oil Company: the experience was enough to convince him that King’s Point and he would not be a good match.

Before long, Ed took night classes in accounting at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and found his niche in life. Working full-time, his post-secondary school education was gained entirely through evening school, where he showed a hunter’s determination by going year-round and never less than three nights a week. Today he holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, Widener University, and York College of Pennsylvania. In addition to his MBA, he is a CPA and has received the Elijah Watt Sells Award from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Recognizing the importance schooling has made in his life, Ed is a long-time trustee at York College and has served three terms on the local school board. He is also interested in working with at-risk children, and has long been a volunteer for Big Brothers. He has served on the board of Junior Achievement, and also volunteered to assist at various Hunter and Trapper Education courses conducted by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Prior to retiring in 1998, Ed was the CFO/Senior Vice President of Dentsply International, the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products. Ed was instrumental in taking the company public through a reverse merger, and today it is traded on the NASDAQ. Before becoming CFO, he served in several different positions including Treasurer and Controller.

No one in Ed’s immediate family hunts. His interest in the outdoors stems from the years he spent as a Boy Scout. The desire to be a hunter came late in life and was sparked by the writings of Robert Rourke, Ernest Hemingway, and others. Ed’s first successful guided hunt came at age 46 and was for elk.

Growing up, Ed and his three brothers heard stories of the many exotic lands visited by their father. Ed didn’t know it then, but he would have the opportunity to see many of the same countries, and more, during his 129 hunts on six continents in 48 countries. During these hunts, he has taken 21 different spiral horned antelopes and earned both the OVIS Super 30 and Capra Super 30 from Grand Slam Club/OVIS as well as the International Hunting Award from SCI.

Ed’s hunts have allowed him to see the beauty and endless variety in nature in some of the most remote areas of the world, and these experiences have strengthened his faith. He has also seen the suffering endured by many people and has contributed to numerous missions in third-world countries as well as to the needy in America. He has served as an elder in his church.

Many of Ed’s hunts have turned into real adventures. On the first day of his very first African safari, while pictures were being taken of his impala, he was poked in his shooting eye by its horn and, pirate-like, had to wear an eye patch while he was stalking a lion. Fortunately the lion disappeared into the brush. That didn’t discourage him and neither did being chased by drunken cow elephants in Zambia, escaping from a burning hut in Mongolia, or almost sliding off an ice-covered mountain in Alaska. The hunts have also come at a personal cost. Ed has permanent heart damage from a tick bite in Cameroon, was evacuated from a brown bear camp in Alaska due to a badly broken ankle, and is missing a big toe from when frostbite in the Arctic turned into gangrene. Even with all this, he feels it has been worth it.

When not hunting big game, Ed still likes being in the outdoors. At home and in season you can usually find him in the field with his favorite hunting companion for the past ten years: his Gordon Setter, Pip, a very stubborn dog who has helped teach Ed the patience he has had to use many times when confronting different cultures and customs.

Achieving the Weatherby Award has been a long-time goal of Ed’s. His wife said he actually seemed taller after hearing he was the 2011 winner, and she had never seen him smile so much. Happiness can do that to you!