Journal Staff Tanya Manus
Outdoor enthusiast Chad Belding is addicted to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Belding is the host of “The Fowl Life”. The show’s 14th season is now airing on the Outdoor Channel and while filming his series, Belding traveled to South Dakota to shed light on the state’s hunt. Last year was his first trip to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, where he teamed up with Jack Daniel’s to raise money for the nonprofit Operation Ride Home.
Since 2011, Operation Ride Home has provided airfare and prepaid debit cards to active duty service members who could not return home for vacations or for events such as the birth of a child without financial assistance.
Belding is back in Sturgis to help raise $25,000 for Operation Ride Home. Items such as whiskey barrels and barrel heads and a variety of merchandise can be purchased at the Jack Daniel’s tent at Third and Lazelle Streets in Sturgis. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Operation Ride Home, Belding said.
People also read…
“People came out of the woodwork in support of Operation Ride Home” on the first weekend of the rally, he said.
Belding will be on hand at the Jack Daniel’s tent in Sturgis through Friday, along with Jack Daniel’s “Barrel Man,” Kevin Sanders, making appearances and signing autographs in the Black Hills. Other special guests include Tommy Miller, Jack Daniel’s sponsorship and events specialist, and Lexie Phillips, Jack Daniel Distillery’s first assistant distiller.
Belding said he was impressed with the rally’s significance to the servicemen, women and veterans he met at Sturgis.
“Of course, Jack Daniel’s and Sturgis mean a lot to our active duty military and veterans, and vice versa. … I saw how therapeutic this bike rally is. I think it’s really therapy for them to see their brothers and sisters, to see bikers who support the army. That’s what I’ve heard the most,” he said. “They can go out on their bikes and do all these different rides.”
“You talk (to active duty military and veterans) about the support Jack Daniel’s gives them. I’ve heard a ton of stories over the past two years and I know I’m going to hear more this week. They constantly come around, shake hands and tell stories,” Belding said. “It makes you feel like you’re part of a bigger picture.
“I just got caught up in all the culture and energy behind the Jack Daniel’s brand and what Sturgis meant to them and how much patriotism and respect for the military is still given by Jack Daniel’s,” said Belding. “It was so obvious to see all the soldiers, men and women come to the stand and tell stories. Knowing the story of how Jack Daniel got involved in Sturgis, and I heard more stories on Sunday evening… it was very intriguing and inspiring that this brand was part of the Sturgis family.
Belding describes himself as a Nevada desert duck hunter and said he was impressed by the warm welcome he received.
“I’m an outdoorsman and I love South Dakota and I don’t think I’ll miss the rally again,” Belding said. “I just think it’s really cool that a duck hunter is invited with open arms…to the biggest motorcycle rally in the world. … There’s so much energy and so much going on. It is truly an honor to be here. »
As well as hosting “The Fowl Life”, Belding is a foodie with extensive experience in cooking game and fish in the wild. He recently announced a line of meat and grill rubs, and he launched a premium meat line, American Almond Beef, and hopes to sell South Dakota-grown beef in the future.
Belding also hosts a podcast, “This Life Ain’t for Everybody”, and when he returns to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in 2023, he wants to bring a team and record interviews during the rally for his podcast.