The Legend Continues: Third Coast Outfitters Joins Run-N-Gun Arkansas
Nick (fifth from left, first row), me (second from left, back row) and my grandson, Walker (fourth from left, back row), after a goose hunt last year in Arkansas
I've got some exciting news to share. Third Coast Outfitters, the hunting company I've owned for 20+ years, is joining forces with Run-N-Gun Arkansas. But don't worry because this old hunter isn't hanging up his parka just yet. I'll still be out there, chasing snows and creating unforgettable hunting experiences with Run-N-Gun Arkansas!
Run-N-Gun Arkansas is a new entity for Run-N-Gun Adventures based in Matagorda County, Texas and is owned by some friends of mine, including one in particular who has a special place in my family's heart.
Back in 2003, an unexpected meeting with a tired and hungry young man named Nick Stillwell forever changed the course of both our lives. Nick had been working as a helper for another outfitter, but unfortunately, the promises of proper room and board turned out to be empty words. Cold, hungry, and tired, Nick stumbled upon our home in Bay City.
Enter my wonderful daughters, who opened their hearts and our kitchen to this weary traveler. Nick, fueled by my wife's delicious cooking and embraced by our family, found solace and refuge under our roof. And so began a lasting friendship that saw Nick stay with us for many years, even as he pursued his education at the University of Houston Victoria, where he graduated with a business degree.
A young Nick with a nice strap of geese in the early 2000s.
As Nick shared our home, I saw a spark in his eyes whenever the topic of fishing or hunting came up, especially snow goose hunting. His enthusiasm was contagious, and I was more than happy to take him under my wing and share my knowledge and passion for the sport. I saw that Nick had what I called the “IT” factor. He had an uncanny instinct for finding game – either fish or wildfowl – and always came home with game. Nick quickly became a valuable member of Third Coast Outfitters, guiding hunters with a dedication that earned him a special place in our clients' hearts.
Old photos of Nick (far left) with me and customers in Matagorda County, circa early 2000s.
Nick also is an excellent dog trainer and over the years has helped me polish my four-legged hunting companions. His influence helped us successfully breed and train six generations of intelligent and best-behaved Labrador retrievers ever, beginning with the first of my “Ch” dogs, Chodney, down to (probably) the last generation of pups – which, by the way, will be eight weeks old on July 28 and are available for good homes (click here for photos).
Nick with one of his prized hunting dogs.
One of my wife’s favorite stories about Nick is about a fishing adventure. Accompanying a client on the client’s new boat, Nick was unaware that the plugs keeping the water out hadn't been properly secured. The boat began to take on water and started sinking rapidly. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Nick reached out to my mother-in-law, June (the grandkids called her Junebug) because he knew she would be by her phone and would answer it. She promptly alerted the Coast Guard.
Despite their best efforts, the Coast Guard struggled to locate Nick and the stranded fishermen in the vast expanse of the Gulf of Mexico. Nick kept his cool, ensuring his clients did not panic while they waited for rescue. Soon a passing fishing boat spotted them floating in the water and swiftly came to their rescue. It could have been a harrowing experience, but because of Nick's resourcefulness in a time of crisis and his faith that my mother-in-law would be awake and ready to answer her phone no matter what time of day, everyone returned home safe and sound.
Fast forward 20 years to today, and Nick Stillwell, armed with his business acumen and an unyielding love for hunting, has founded Run-N-Gun Arkansas. With his extensive experience and the shared values of integrity and passion for the great outdoors, it was only natural that Third Coast Outfitters would join forces with Nick and his team in this Snow Goose Haven of northeast Arkansas.
So, what does this mean for all of you avid hunters and adventurers? Well, fear not, because Run-N-Gun Arkansas is committed to upholding – and exceeding – the level of excellence, personal attention, and thrilling experiences that you've come to expect from Third Coast Outfitters. Our team will continue to provide exceptional hunting trips, guided by skilled experts who share a deep appreciation for nature and the pursuit of game. Run-N-Gun Arkansas also is adding four-star lodging accommodations to the hunting experience, with meals whipped up by Nick’s favorite cook – my wife, Judy.
As for me, "The Legend" Randy Triplett – I'll still be out there in the wild, doing what I love most – goose hunting. With Run-N-Gun Arkansas, I'll have more opportunities to explore new hunting grounds, conquer fresh challenges, and share my knowledge and passion with hunters from all walks of life.
Two of my grandsons, Brooks (on the left) and Nolan (on the right), who, along with their father, Clint, joined me last year for a memorable hunt.
I hope my blogs have been informative and entertaining. I'll continue to post blogs on the Run-N-Gun Arkansas Instagram and Facebook pages. To see pictures of the lodges, get notified when our new website launches and to keep up with our latest news, including my blogs, please follow Run-N-Gun Arkansas on Facebook (Click here) and Instagram (Click here).
I look forward to seeing you this season and hope that you share my excitement about this next chapter in my hunting life.