Overland Park, Kan.
established the Bushnell Bill McRae Lifetime Achievement Award to honor the legendary writer and photojournalist for the vast contributions he made to the optics and outdoor industry throughout his 50-year career. Introduced in 2011, the annual award was established to both honor McRae and recognize journalists who have made a profound impact in the industry.
This year, Bushnell has recognized Wayne van Zwoll with the 2014 Bill McRae Lifetime Achievement Award. Over the course of his extensive career, van Zwoll has published almost 3,000 articles and twice that many photographs in more than two dozen magazines, including Field and Stream, Outdoor Life and a number of other leading publications. His “Rifles & Cartridges” column in Bugle is the longest-running feature in the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) magazine.
In addition to his thousands of articles, van Zwoll has authored 16 books on topics including the history of firearms, ballistics and sporting optics. An avid shooter and sportsman, van Zwoll has hunted nearly half of the United States, spent time afield on five continents, and guided hunters in Utah and Wyoming. He is a professional member of the Boone and Crockett Club and a Life Member of RMEF and National Rifle Association.
Motivated by his studies in natural resources at Michigan State University, van Zwoll began his career with the Bureau of Land Management and Washington’s Department of Game. He later secured a position as a contract photographer with the U.S. Forest Service before becoming one of RMEF’s first field directors. Driven by a lifelong passion for learning and wildlife management, van Zwoll earned a master’s degree from Oregon State University and later obtained his doctorate from Utah State University.
Well known for sharing his passion for shooting and hunting with others, van Zwoll is a former Safari Club International marksmanship instructor, certified hunter education instructor in five states, and introduced and now teaches the National Archery in the Schools Program in Bridgeport, Washington, where he resides with his wife Alice. He also founded and oversees High Country Adventures, a program to acquaint more women with field sports.
In addition to the lifetime achievement award, Bushnell endowed a scholarship at the University of California, Davis for students pursuing a degree in optical science and engineering. The $7,500 annual scholarship at UC Davis, a nationally renowned optics institution, was the College of Engineering’s first corporate-sponsored scholarship named for an individual.