About The Director
Clay Newcomb is a native Arkansan that grew up in the Ouachita mountains, in the town of Mena. Since he was a young boy, he has had an deep appreciation and respect for the black bear. After harvesting his first bear in 2001, his passion and desire to learn more about bear increased dramatically. In 2010, as this passion for black bears and hunting merged with the recognition of a need in the state for an association for black bear hunters, thus the Arkansas Black Bear Association was formed. Growing up in the mountainous regions of Arkansas, Clay developed a deep appreciation for the mountains that has played a major part in his passion of bears and bear hunting. Mountains and bears seem to go hand and hand here in the state. Clay is a serious bowhunter and has harvested over 50 game animals in the state of Arkansas with a bow and arrow. He passionately pursues bowhunting whitetail deer, bear, turkey and wild hog. He began bowhunting when he was 10 years old and his passion and love for the sport has done nothing but increase in the last 20 years of hunting Arkansas. Clay’s enthusiasm for the outdoors and hunting has fueled his recent endeavors in outdoor journalism. His articles have appeared in the Arkansas Sportsman Magazine, Bowhunter Magazine and North American Whitetail Magazine. Coinciding with his love of bear hunting Clay is primarily a die hard whitetail bowhunter. Bear tracks, big rubs, squirrel chewed shed horns, late winter bow hunts, crisp November mornings, big whitetail racks, and short blood trails are among his favorite things in the outdoors.
Clay graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2005 with a degree in Environmental Soil and Water Science. Throughout his time at the university, Clay spent countless hours studying the doctoral research publications about Arkansas black bear made by PhD students at the university. Often times studying more about bear than his environmental studies. Jokingly, Clay likes to say that he completed a voluntary independent bear study at the university. Upon completion of the bear study and subsequent degree in Environmental Soil and Water Science, he started a landscaping company in the Fayetteville area in 2005.
Aside from his passions in the outdoors, Clay is first and foremost a committed family man. He and his wife Misty have four children and now live in Northwest Arkansas near Fayetteville. He sees the family sector of his life as his place of primary calling, responsibility and joy. Clay also functions on the 'Senior Associate Elder' of his local church community and leads the ‘Men’s Development Initiative’ there. As well, he leads the ‘Men’s Initiative’ in a national network of church communities called ‘Preparing the Way Network’. Clay views his involvement and service in his church community as his primary place of resource, personal development and strength for life.