I would like to introduce you to a long time customer at Bass Pro Shops. Bill Penninger has shopped in the Bass Pro Shops here in Concord, NC since the store opened. Every time that he comes into the store, he loves to share pictures of his son, granddaughter and grandson from their most recent hunt. I want to take the time to share a little with you about them.
Mark Penninger, Bill’s son, lives in Oregon where he is a forest wildlife biologist.
Forest biologist Mark Penninger works to attach bait to attract martens towards a hidden camera. (photo courtesy of US Forest Service)
He also serves as the National Bighorn Sheep biologist for the US Forest Service.
The above picture was taken by Mark while working for the US Forestry Service. (photo courtesy of US Forest Service)
Mark started hunting here locally on about 50 acres before he moved to Oregon. Jack O’Connor inspired Mark to start hunting through his articles in Outdoor Life magazine. Mark believes that you “bless it, dress it and eat all of the edible meat” when he is hunting. One of his favorite spots to hunt is in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho.
When Mark hunts there, he is 35 miles from the nearest road and is flown in to his hunting site. This wilderness is a total of 2,366,907 acres and is the second largest in the lower 48 states. Mark has hunted mule deer and small game in the Frank Church wilderness. One of Mark’s most successful hunts that Bill has told me about was the elk that he took on September 18, 2003. Mark used a Martin Lynx bow from 12 yards. The recovery of the elk was 50 yards. The elk scored 351 6/8 net score on the rack.
Mark’s children Weston and Bailey have picked up the hunting bug from their father.
Bailey, who is 16 years old, started hunting with her dad at a very young age. She was using her Dad’s 20 gauge at 8 years old.
At 11 years old, Bailey started using a Ruger 7mm-08 compact rifle. She was also taught about trapping from her father and grandfather. Bailey is an avid hunter of duck, mule deer, elk and antelope. She has harvested a cow elk, 4 deer, an antelope and a coyote. She has also bagged a turkey every year since she was 13.
Bailey goes to the rifle range with her father regularly. She and her dad are going to Alaska in August for a self-guided caribou hunt. We wish her tons of success. When she isn’t hunting, Bailey enjoys playing the fiddle, modern dance, hangs out with friends and loves going to church with the family.
Bailey on a turkey hunt, even crutches cant stop her!
Weston, who is 14 years old, uses an A-Bolt Browning 25-06 when he is hunting.
Weston and Mark after a successful Pronghorn Hunt!
He took his first cow elk on December 22nd of last year. He too has taken several turkeys since he started hunting at age 10. One of Bill’s favorite stories about his grandson is his nickname from soccer, which is “the Wall”. Bill states that Weston is called this because “hitting him is like hitting a brick wall.”
A successful duck hunt!
I hope that you have enjoyed meeting the Penninger family. I know that Bill is proud of them. Mark’s favorite quote is by George Washington…”It is better to be alone than to be in bad company.” After hearing about Bailey and Weston, I have little doubt that Mark doesn’t spend a day alone at all.
In memory of William F. “Bill” Penninger,
December 31, 1938 - July 6, 2013
"Bill was a master carpenter, building anything from schools to homes to nuclear stations. He loved to garden and share the fruits of his labors. Known as “the mayor” of Taylor Glen, he will be missed by his neighbors there. Even after his first stroke which left him in a wheelchair with left side paralysis, he adapted and kept living life to the fullest, which was a great motivator to those who knew him. He loved his family, especially his grandchildren."
I would say, and I think Bill would agree, that the best thing he ever built was his wonderful family!