United States Navy Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), Platoon Commander, Veteran
With a decade of service to our Country as a Navy Special Warfare Operator, Will leverages his global deployment, combat, and training experience to assist Down East Gear with product design, development, and testing. Will’s input is invaluable to both our products and mission as a Company. His leadership places us in a unique position to provide our customers with the absolute best products available for the environments in which we hunt. Notably, Will was instrumental in the design and development of DEG’s CORE camo pattern and technical apparel.
Will is a native of Eastern North Carolina and is an avid hunter, fisherman and professional marksman. DEG is honored to have Will on our Team, and we sincerely appreciate his selfless service to our Country. If you can pin him down, have him tell you a few stories.
Founder and Owner
A native of Eastern North Carolina, Ward is an avid hunter, fisherman and competitive shooter. In 2019, Ward founded DEG based upon three (3) guiding principles:
1. Quality, Durability First; Profit Second.
2. Cut No Corners to Build the Highest Quality and Most Effective Products for the Game We Pursue and the Environments We Hunt.
3. Provide Best in Class Customer Service and Support to Each of Our Valued Customers.
Guided by these principles, Ward leverages the diverse, professional knowledge of the DEG Team to lead our product design, development, testing and market launch initiatives.
The DEG Team is excited to formally introduce to everyone the DEG Brand, and our commitment to bringing to market, what we believe to be, some of the most well-built, durable and functional technical hunting and fishing products available. What began in 2019 with an idea to build a better case for our performance shotguns has evolved into something much larger than we originally intended. The amount of time and resources we have invested in our product design, testing and prototyping is almost impractical; however, for us to achieve our goals and mission as a Company, we deemed it critical.
Turkey, Waterfowl and Deer Guide
Josh is a native of Martin County, NC and has established himself as one of the premier hunting guides in the state and arguably the Southeast. Josh’s success as both a guide and an avid hunter provides the Down East Gear Team with invaluable insight into our product design and development. Josh is instrumental in the strategic development and field testing of all DEG products, and consulted heavily in the design, development and testing of DEG’s CORE camo pattern. DEG is privileged to have Josh on our Team.
Captain Reid Jones
Professional Retriever Trainer and Waterfowl Guide
Reid is a native of Harkers Island, NC and is the owner of Core Sound Retrievers (CSR) which is recognized as one of the leading dog training programs on the east coast. During the 2021 Trial Season, Reid notched three (3) wins, 10 placements and 19 finishes. Notably, he is also one (1) of the two (2) youngest professionals to qualify and compete in the National Derby Retriever Championship. Prior to CSR, Reid worked for and studied under two (2) of the top 10 kennels in the United States. Additionally, Reid is an avid hunter and a seasoned waterfowl guide specializing in open water sound hunting. Growing up in Carteret County, Reid’s knowledge of North Carolina’s coast, waterfowl patterns and hunting techniques rivals the best. Reid consults Down East Gear on the design and development of our retriever products, technical apparel and cases. Reid maintains a United States Coast Guard 100 Ton Masters License. DEG is proud to have Reid on our Team, and we trust him unequivocally with the care and training of our retrievers.
Captain James Willis
Waterfowl and Fishing Guide
James is a dedicated waterfowl and fishing guide based in Atlantic, NC and specializes in the Core Sound area, which is one of the harshest waterfowl environments on the East Coast. James is actively involved in the development and field testing of our products and provides invaluable insight on how Down East Gear, as a Company, can continue to improve and advance our products. His time spent on the water and in the field provides us with critical feedback and unparalleled knowledge of his geographical focus. James is an avid hunter and fisherman and when not guiding clients, you will find him on the water or in the field pursuing his passion. James maintains a United States Coast Guard 100 Ton Masters License and is also a highly skilled, commercial diver. DEG is thankful to have James on our Team.