Wisconsin Machinist Featured on ‘Escape to the Wild’

Wisconsin Local 655 President Pat Stashek (right) will appear in an episode of the union-sponsored TV show, Escape to the Wild, on VERSUS Country on Sun., January 17 at 9:30 a.m. EST.

As president of IAM Local 655 in Wisconsin Rapids, WI, Pat Stashek knows all about the sacrifices people went through to organize and bargain for better wages and working conditions. He believes unions have long led the fight for health care, pensions, workplace safety, a cleaner environment and job security.

What he didn’t know until last year is that the Machinists and other unions of the AFL-CIO are working to protect their members’ hunting, fishing and outdoor interests, as well. At the IAM 2008 Grand Lodge Convention in Orlando, FL, Stashek was introduced to the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance and its union-sponsored TV show, Escape to the Wild, which honors hardworking union members with trips to world-class hunting and fishing destinations.

Stashek filled out an application and, a couple months later, became the talk of his town when Escape to the Wild host Tom Ackerman showed up on his jobsite and told him he was taking him to Manitoba to hunt caribou.

“My local news station covered [the surprise],” Stashek said. “I went to our annual Labor Day picnic, and I couldn’t walk 10 feet without someone coming up and congratulating me.”

As soon as he stepped off the plane in northern Manitoba, Stashek began to take in the sights, sounds and smells of the vast landscape, but getting a bull caribou in his sights proved easier said than done.

On the last day of the hunt, they were able to get within 250-300 yards of a good size bull caribou. Find out which way the down-to-the-wire caribou hunt went by tuning in to VERSUS Country on Sun., January 17 at 9:30 a.m. EST.