Chris Williams sits high on a ridgetop in Southeastern Montana. Beneath him, a herd of mule deer feeds, tucked in from the wind and snow in a small hollow of rock. Chris is far from being tucked away-in fact, he's feeling the full gale blast of wind and being pummeled by large icy pellets that freeze his moustache and sideburns white.
And he's smiling a huge smile, happy as he can be.
Williams grew up across the street from the track at Martinsville, his Dad ran the place, and he may be one the most versed and immersed people in racing today. As the head of merchandising for Motorsports Authentics, Williams oversees a huge operation-hundreds of semi's and trailers that all must be put up, running, and then torn down, all so they can do it again the next week. It's a big, big job.
But today Chris is overseeing a herd of mule deer, and trying to decide if the dominant buck of the bunch is worth taking, or if he should just sit up on this freezing hillside with a big grin on his face and watch. He seems to be in no hurry.
Williams is a lifelong hunter, and he's one of those guys that you want to sit around and tell tall tales with around the camp fire at night. It's obvious he loves what he does, just like it's obvious he loves hunting. In both work and around a hunting camp, Chris's good natured humor and practical jokester side show through, and even though you may be sitting on that same hillside with your hair frozen to your forehead and your toes completely numb, you can't help but smile while Chris checks out the deer.
He takes a pass at this old buck, and gets down off that windy ridge, still smiling. The trip is still early on, the NASCAR season has wrapped up, and Williams might as well be in heaven as Montana he's so happy.
The next day things start to change, the weather clears and the bucks are out feeding heavy. Chris is out the door early to get a jump on the day, and its back to the climbing and the panting to get up high and glass for bucks. Those frozen brows are now covered in sweat as you hike upward and onward through incredibly rough and beautiful country. The bucks are there, just tucked into shadows or down in narrow draws; where only luck will help. And Chris crests the hill and lets out a sigh at the endless view, that grin spreading across his face once again.