Layne and Tiffany Lowery are typical of many parents who want to plan a family vacation. What sets the Lowery family apart is that most of their vacations are literally adventures, with hunting and fishing at the core of their travels.
From Africa’s Namibia, riding camels and hunting big game, to Alaska and Canada’s Saskatchewan, reeling in halibut or on a goose hunt, this Cullman County family’s tradition is rich in the outdoors.
Hunting goes deep into Layne’s childhood, from which he remembers, as early as 5 years old, learning to shoot and safely use a gun. His wife, Tiffany, caught on through quail hunting after the two married.
“I just fell in love with it,” Tiffany said. “After that I learned more about hunting, and then we had kids and that’s been passed on to them. We also, for the last eight years every summer, go to Alaska to fish.”
The trip to Alaska is a guarantee each year, and so is duck hunting in Arkansas during Christmas break. The Lowery’s four children - Hannah, 20, Justin, 19, Lindsey, 17, and Jackson, 16 - are all in college or high school and they help pick where other hunting and fishing adventures will lead them.
“It’s something we all take part in deciding,” Tiffany said. “We backed out of going to the Amazon because the children were not wanting to take all the shots. But everyone seems to be in agreement at trying New Zealand for hunting. We hope that’s the next trip overseas.”
Just a sampling of their hunting and fishing success includes geese and Sand Hill cranes in Canada; impala in Africa; ducks in Arkansas; bone-fish in the Bahamas; halibut and black cod (caught between 1,800-2,000 feet deep) in Alaska - and, of course, deer in Cullman County. But there’s more to the adventure and thrill of hunting and fishing as seen through a parent’s eyes.
“The most important part of it is to get to spend time together as a family. This keeps us close; connected,” said Layne, CEO of Personal Liberty Media Group. “Two of our children live out of state because they’re in college, but we’re always in touch, and planning one of these trips is important to them. A lot of families have certain activities they do that keeps everyone close, and this is ours. It’s something everyone enjoys, from discussing where to go, to getting there and seeing new places, or revisiting places like Alaska or Arkansas.”
Tiffany is quick to note that a trip to the beach or Disney World is always something the family enjoys when there is time, or when everyone’s home.
“I know I just love to travel, and this has been great, hunting and fishing, because of so much you see,” Tiffany said. “I know the girls always go whale watching in Alaska and they visited a cheetah rescue facility in Namibia.”
After so many adventures - and perhaps with New Zealand on the horizon - what other destinations are in the discussion?
“The Aleutian Islands is one we’ve talked about; Argentina,” Layne said. “We’ll see what everybody else thinks.”
This article first appeared in the Fall 2019 Cullman Magazine.