Donald Allen: In the Great Outdoors

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Donald Allen of D.O. Allen Homes in Lynchburg, Va., gets away on as many as six full hunting trips each year.

July 01, 2003

 

Donald Allen poses with the brown bear that stands 11 feet tall.

Donald Allen of D.O. Allen Homes in Lynchburg, Va., gets away on as many as six full hunting trips each year.

In September, he and friends will spend a week in British Columbia on the trail of stone sheep. From there he will travel directly to Montana for elk "bugling" or mating season. After a week at home for work and his daughter's wedding, he'll travel to Kodiak Island, Alaska, to hunt blacktailed deer.

Hunting holds a number of attractions for Allen, a hunter for 12 years. The biggest: unplugging from the stress and strain of leading a large home building operation.

"I like the challenge of the hunt and the preparation," he says. "But what I like most is just being completely in touch with nature. That's the only time I get completely away from my business. There are no cell phones at 10,000 feet on a mountaintop in Montana."

No need for exaggerated tales in this sport. On an African hunt, a charging wildebeest took three shots before falling only 30 feet from Allen, his wife and daughter. Allen also has been only 50 yards from two bull elk "fighting to the death." The topper? Bagging an 11-foot, 2-inch brown bear that now stands in his Lynchburg office. "He's humongous," Allen says.

Have an interesting off-hours hobby? E-mail Patrick O'Toole at potoole@reedbusiness.com.

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