This past summer we were priviledged to meet Mr. John Stephenson in Wyoming. He came on as a photographer for us on a job. He impressed us so much, we of course had to convince him to be a technician for us. (Although that part wasn’t really hard.)
Name: John Stephenson
Position: Independent Technician Wyoming
How long have you been working for Get Bats Out?
Since June of 2015.
Where are you based and what areas do you serve for bat removal?
Removing bats in houses in Western Wyoming has a large service area considering I am 10 feet from the Idaho border. I store my ladders in an aged wood-sided shed beside a quaint A-frame cabin, remotely located at the end of a graveled forest service road along the shores of a pristine 28 mile long reservoir. The reservoir is fed by 3 blue-ribbon trout streams in a beautiful valley, surrounded by over 6 million acres of national forest, at about 6,000 feet in the outskirts of a beautiful mountain town.
Serving the immediate communities of Jackson Hole, Star Valley (Afton, Thayne Freedom, Alpine) Wyoming, and Idaho Falls, Idaho. With the limited population of this part of the American west, I have the ability to serve a vast area that includes Wyoming, Southeastern Idaho, Southwestern Montana and Northern Utah.
I also am able to service the bat-filled areas of the Texas Hill Country (west of San Antonio) in the winter months beginning in December.
Tell us your favorite on-the-job bat removal story.
Actually my first – a joint effort with Rich Littlefield out of Georgia (a very skilled technician and great teacher). Rich drove over 2,000 miles with his family (as a last minute mini-vacation for his wife and two children) with the hopes of finding time to explore Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks after the job.
I offered my assistance as an experienced guide. I made a deal with his children to locate over 30 species of animals in the park in one day. We met at 0500 to depart on our full day Yellowstone adventure, and were rewarded with a grizzly close encounter as our 31st animal species. I, as I am sure Rich is, am hoping all future jobs, provide time for exploration, new adventures and new friends. Oh, and yes, the bat removal was a resounding success.
You’re hosting a dinner party – what are you making?
As a semi-retired owner and chef of two restaurants this is a no-brainer – I cook and eat ultra healthy, and that is easy here in Western Wyoming. My favorite fare is self-harvested game meats, pared with vegetables from my massive garden, and fruits “traded” with neighbors. All served with several bottles of my home-made wines. This fall has provided a very good harvest, hence my dinner would look like this:
Appetizer: Zesty strips of wild grouse breast with bits of fresh onion and garlic set in jalapeno halves that are wrapped in bacon and grilled. Served with a yogurt-based freshly prepared ranch dressing for dipping.
1st Course: We begin with a garden fresh arugula/mixed green, walnut, scallion, cranberry and apple chopped salad served under a freshly prepared balsamic-based roasted bell pepper dressing.
2nd Course: A small bowl of spicy moose meat, stout beer-based black bean chili, served with fresh onions and coarsely graded sharp cheddar cheese.
Main Course: Medium-rare grilled elk kabobs (marinated in organic soy sauce and honey from my hive) skewered with fresh-found morel mushrooms, onions, and cherry tomatoes served over a bed of multi-grained wild rice.
Dessert: Warm, out of the oven honey sweetened cherry almond crisp utilizing the load of cherries harvested from my neighbors tree. Served with a glass of my famous home-made Kahlua mixed with fresh cream from the farmer’s market.
If we have enough wine and Kahlua there will be fresh poached Cutthroat trout in a dill cream sauce with eggs in the morning for those who desire to spend the night – Mi Casa!
(Editors side note – we are officially all inviting ourselves over for dinner!)
What is your favorite thing about the job?
Meeting new and interesting people. The challenge of planning a successful strategy of solving the clients’ bat issues. Experiencing the gratitude of the homeowner for a job well done.
Before working for Get Bats Out, what is the most unusual job you’ve ever had?
I was the Regional Executive, Asia/Pacific for the USO (United Service Organizations), and have produced shows for entertainers such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Lee Greenwood, Smokey Robinson, Randy Travis, Billy Joel, Jose Feliciano, Clint Black, Lisa Hartman, BB King, and David Copperfield.
Where would you go on a dream vacation?
I would like to return to one of my favorite beaches in the world – the Tanjung Aru Beach Resort in Borneo, East Malaysia.
Who would play you in a movie?
Brad Pitt as Paul Maclean in A River Runs Through it, or John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit.
What are three things most people don’t know about you?
- I flew an airplane solo when I was 15
- I lived overseas for over 11 years
- I sell fine art photographs in two art galleries
What is your personal motto?
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Pick one: Invisibility or Flight; and why?
Invisibility – all things are possible, including flight – albeit assisted.
When you were 6 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A Forest Ranger
What is your hidden talent?
None hidden, all of my talents are exposed.
We feel very lucky to have John on board with us. He is also a very skilled photographer. All of the photos in this blog are his and copyrighted. If you have bats in houses in Wyoming, we’ll send our fascinating character that is John out to deal with it!
Your local bat removal expert,