With a professional artist mother, a father who was an avid outdoorsman, and born and raised along the banks of the Platte River in Eastern Nebraska, it’s no wonder who Steve Farris is. By age 3 he showed an intense fascination with everything wild. By age 5 this attraction to nature was coupled with a noticeable ability to draw, such that it inspired notes from teachers to his parents asking if they knew. At age 6 he saw the Beatles on “Ed Sullivan”… (significant!). And at age 9, Steve started what would later become the mastering of 2 instruments, the guitar, and the duck call. Both would serve him well!
While growing up if Steve Farris wasn’t chasing turtles, snakes, or anything else with a pulse, he was learning the latest Hendrix song on a three-quarter-sized Gibson, or daydreaming in class while drawing pictures of ducks… friends and family certain that he would later attend art school. But at age 18, after soaking in applause earned from performing in a band across Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota, his decision was other. Music and “making it”, became Steve’s single purpose in life. The result was a career that included being the guitarist and founding member, co-writer, and co-producer, of the 1980s rock group Mr. Mister – two #1 hits, one #1 album, two Grammy nominations, and over 4 million albums sold worldwide. Has also played and/or recorded with over 150 artists including KISS, Rod Stewart, Eddie Money, Dolly Parton, Madonna, and Whitesnake.
Steve then embarked on fulfilling a second life-long dream to have his own hunting property, “We never owned land or had a lease. My need to hunt was only met through occasional invitations, working in summers for a guide in exchange for a trip to the blind, or walking through a generous farmer’s field to a cattle pond, hoping to sneak a mallard or flush a pheasant along the way”. But skills in art and hunting met up when Steve began to purchase lands along the North Platte River in the year 2,000. “After searching 3 states for over 5-years, who’d believe I’d actually fall in love with a property that had no huntable water features? Being a duck hunter, this made no more sense than the fact I had also bought something that cost twice as much as I could afford. By necessity, I had to make it into a duck property through wetlands development, and as much, some sort of financial sense out of it. Both were accomplished, and I am convinced, this was God’s plan for the next phase of my life. Though I was looking for land only as a recreational toy, it quickly turned into a way to make a living, but also a huge creative outlet… neither did I see coming”.
With his first piece of ground, Steve honed the art of developing property for wildlife and hunting, with a particular emphasis on migratory waterfowl. He meticulously designed, restored, enhanced, and transformed one and a half miles of raw bottomland into a world-class duck, goose, deer, and turkey facility as well as a successful hunting club. Now with a waiting list, its annual members have ranged in residence from California to Florida, Michigan to Mississippi, Arizona to Georgia, and Alabama to Nebraska!
In 2002, Steve formed Farris Hunting Development LLC and went on to identify, purchase, design, and develop 6 additional North Platte River properties for maximized wildlife usage and hunting potential, making it a total of 7 that he has either owned or been an owner of. For some of these, he also crafted effective frameworks for fractional ownership that promote and protect the quality of experience for participants. Steve has also improved properties in 4 other states having worked for clients that include dedicated conservationists such as National Board Members of the Nature Conservancy, the CEO of Orvis, and one time hired by a governmental agency when the US Fish & Wildlife Service brought him to Oregon’s Upper Klamath Basin, to design and implement a 26-acre riparian wetland restoration along the Wood River.
In addition to waterfowl, Steve has more recently gained a passion for hunting whitetails, having taken 3 giants off of his own properties, 2 in the B&C 190s! Not growing up hunting big game, this came about as a result of nurturing tremendous deer ground. He has also become accomplished at guiding turkey hunters to their spring tom acquisition. This too, was a product of owning great land, and also realized later, since turkeys didn’t exist yet in the places of his youth.
Steve has now hunted in 3 continents, 7 countries, and 29 states – the gamete from the hard work and competitive hunting on public ground, to ritzy private clubs, and doing so in about every type of duck habitat and hunting style offered in North America.
Today, Steve continues to rely on artistic ability, 56 years of acquired hunting expertise, and 22 years of solving challenges to transform lands into personal paradises that provide exceptional hunting results.
As a realtor, Steve specializes in recreational properties, most often those with waterfowl components.
Steve’s entertainment background, combined with hunting expertise and passion, has made him the host or guest of various television hunting shows. Beginning in 2005 this opportunity fell into his lap after being asked By Chris Dorsey of Orion Multi-Media (now Dorsey Pictures) to appear. He has filmed waterfowl, upland game, and big game episodes in the US, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and Zimbabwe and has appeared on the Outdoor Channel, Sportsman’s Channel, Versus, NBC Sports, and ESPN including a 5-year run as the waterfowl host of “Winchester Legends”. Other shows include: “RAM Outdoorsman”, “Elk Fever”, “Beretta’s Bird Hunter’s Journal”, “Ruger’s Outdoor Adventure”, “World of Beretta”, “Escape to the Wild”, “Turkey Revolution”, “Waterfowler’s Edge”, “Browning Expeditions”, “Dangerous Game”, and “America’s Outdoor Journal”.
Retired from the rigorous music life, Steve still takes on select opportunities to play guitar for short tours or an occasional recording session. He also continues to do a select amount of development work for hunting land improvements. He is happily married and he along his wife run a successful hunting operation. Steve lives now selling real estate and taking care of his hunting lands and operations year-round.