A Hunt For Meaning With Outdoor Guru Jason Hairston
Jason Hairston was always up for a challenge. As an undrafted free agent seeking a spot in the National Football League, as an entrepreneur looking to build his business, and as an experienced hunter stretched to his limits somewhere above the treeline. And by the time he was 47 years old he had overcome his fair share to become a family man, successful CEO of outdoor apparel giant KUIU, and a guru to thousands of like-minded men all looking for their own personal, primal experience on the hunt.
But to the shock of many who knew and loved him, there was one challenge Hairston simply couldn’t overcome. Hairston took his own life in September after suffering from symptoms of CTE, the degenerative brain disease found in athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma. He left behind a wife and two young children, and a worldwide community of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts in mourning.
In his final in-depth interview before his death and one of Paternal’s most intimate episodes to date, Hairston discusses all the experiences that shaped him as a father and a son. The devastating injury that ended his football career. The unexpected and very public takeover of his first hunting gear company. The moment he learned he would be a father. And his relationship with his own dad, who turned him on to hunting as a little boy, taught him how to play football, and then joined Hairston and his son on a three-generation hunting trip just weeks before Hairston’s passing.