I had the chance to catch up with Drake Clark, a U.S. Air Force veteran, retired law enforcement officer and the owner of the High Bar Homestead, to ask some questions about the facility. His understanding of and passion for the firearms/outdoor industry truly came through in his responses, although the facility speaks for itself. —Lauren Young
Ballistic: Tell us a little about yourself.
Drake Clark: I’m a 41-year-old, happily married father of two. I joined the U.S. Air Force right out of high school and worked as a civil engineer for four years. After my honorable discharge from the Air Force I pursued a career in law enforcement. During that time I served as a patrol officer in the Oakland Police Department and a sheriff’s deputy at the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office. I’ve worked in the firearms industry with Magpul for the last 14 years, managing all things sales and business development.
Ballistic: What is the High Bar Homestead, and how did you choose the name?
DC: The High Bar Homestead is a 250-acre professional firearms training facility. We provide a full-service destination and turnkey solution for firearms industry professionals and enthusiasts. With 20 ranges and close to 1,000 steel targets, onsite lodging, upscale ranch meals, ground transport and a professional, knowledgeable staff, there’s not a need we can’t meet for our customers.
I chose the name for a couple of reasons. “High Bar” because the bar is set high with our business, and “Homestead” so it feels like a second home. Too often people call large spreads of property out in the country, ranches. Where we come from, ranches have cattle and there’s a deep respect for that.
Ballistic: How did this place come to be? Give us the background story.
DC: I wanted to make a change in the firearms industry. In the last decade, I realized many of the venues I had attended for firearms-related business and recreation were boring. Many also lacked the level of professionalism I would expect and did not make business convenient, efficient and fun.
My goal was to change all that for firearms industry professionals and enthusiasts by creating a unique experience where we handle the small-but-important details at a location that increases efficiency, whether for business or leisure.
For 10 years I had been looking for a location that was remote enough to provide a private, exclusive venue but close enough to a servicing airport. In April of 2016, I settled on a property in northeast Wyoming previously owned by SureFire. The dilapidated property had been abandoned for nearly 10 years.
We reinvented the entire property within the first year. The process involved scraping the land of trash, debris and old buildings, creating ranges, constructing our 6,000-square-foot lodge. We also hired salt-of-the-earth employees who understood what I was trying to achieve.
Ballistic: The staff is world class. Can you tell us a little more about them?
DC: The employees I have brought on board to interface with our customers understand, share and execute my passion.
Ryan “Tex” Yarnell and I met through a gun manufacturer who hired him in our early days prior to the lodge being built to provide meal service. I found Tex to be a stellar human being with a background in outdoor industry service and who was not only a hell of a chef and an avid outdoorsman but who had an impeccable work ethic and an infectious personality. He was an easy choice to bring on as High Bar’s general manager, allowing me to continue to focus on the day to day at Magpul.
Kolton Brinkerhoff is a Wyoming native who has a background in firearms and ranching, dabbles in knife-making and is an avid hunter. With an amazing work ethic and attention to detail, Kolton is a valued member of our team, providing all things with a focus on range safety.
Jeff Carroll, a retired Casper, Wyoming, firefighter, is High Bar’s master range safety officer. An avid shooter and outdoorsman, Jeff juggles the range logistics and adds value by way of his EMT training and lifesaving skills.
Margie Nelson is there to service your hunger needs. She’ll no doubt have a tale or two about her hunting adventures while cooking your supper.
Ballistic: Why should people come here and not somewhere else?
DC: For the firearms professional, we provide turnkey solutions. We are your sales and marketing team’s dream come true. Work is work, but it can be comfortable, convenient and efficient, too. That’s what we strive for. Typically, industry pros stay at a Hampton Inn and eat at Applebee’s or sleep on a cot and eat prison food during photo shoots and product launches. They have to rent cars, drive long distances and navigate unfamiliar areas while spending their days on a flat range with other looky-loos shooting paper targets from a steel awning—same boring thing over and over. Not at the High Bar Homestead. We cover all the little details so you can focus on your business and eke out as much as possible without breaking the bank.
For the firearms enthusiast, we provide an experience. We have got you covered, from pistols to carbines, and long-range precision to shotguns. Oh, and all of the ranges are full of MGM steel targets. The lodging and meals are top notch, too. Most who visit don’t want to leave.
Ballistic: What makes High Bar unique?
DC: It is all in the location. We are only 30 minutes from the airport, yet still secluded. All of our ranges are close to the lodge, and we are remote enough to not be bothered by neighbors. We are turnkey by providing all the services needed for a successful experience. The people: Our folks determine their success by the success of our customers. And range uniqueness: From the 1,000-yard KD range to the natural-terrain ranges, we offer a different approach to what you know as a great place to work and train.
This article is from Ballistic magazine, Fall 2018 issue. Subscriptions are available at OutdoorGroupStore.com.