Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement and Organization

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Stored off-site at LSF

Stored on-site at SRH

University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Bob Brister Papers, 1953-2005



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Brister, Bob
Title: Bob Brister Papers
Dates: 1946-2005
Abstract: Comprised mostly of clippings, published works, manuscript drafts, and photographs, this collection chronicles the career of Bob Brister. Brister served as the Outdoors Editor of the Houston Chronicle for fourty years and the Shooting Editor of Field & Stream for fourteen years. Brister wrote three books and was active in advocating for gun owners and the environment.
Accession No.: 2007-076
Extent: 11 ft., 1 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Bob Brister was born in Kerens, Texas, on January 25, 1928. After graduating from high school in Kerens, he briefly served in the US Army from 1946 to 1947. Enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin for two years as a journalism major, Brister left school to work as a reporter for the Athens Daily Review. He became the Managing Editor of the Athens Daily Review at the age of twenty-one. Brister subsequently worked for the Tyler Courier Telegraph and the Marshall News Messenger before becoming the Outdoors Editor of the Houston Chronicle in 1954. Brister stayed with the Chronicle for forty years, retiring in 1998. In the late 1960s he hosted a local television show entitled "Outdoors with Brister" and later began filming and producing movies including two award-winning big game fishing films for the Pinas Bay resort in Panama. From 1971 to 1985 Brister was also the Shooting Editor of Field and Stream . He authored three books: The Golden Crescent (1961), a collection of short stories together with paintings by nationally known painter John Cowan; Moss, Mallards & Mules (1973), a collection of hunting and fishing stories; and Shotgunning: The Art & Science (1976).

Brister traveled extensively, hunting and fishing all over the continental U.S., Africa, South America, Europe and Alaska. In 1968 he raced in the Texas Channel Derby in the fishing boat class and won first place overall. He shot and won several contests in skeet, trap, and international trap. In 1980 Brister traveled to England to learn the traditional English game of sporting clays. Upon returning to Houston he crusaded to get the gun industry and range owners interested in the sport. Brister was often called the father of sporting clays in the U.S. with many Texas sporting clays shooters referring to him as a living legend.

Brister was instrumental in the creation of the Gulf Coast Conservation Association (now the national Coastal Conservation Association), whose mission to restrict commercial fishing on the Gulf Coast and preserve coastal fishing resulted in the rebound of trout and redfish on the Gulf Coast. In 1980 he advocated non-toxic shot for waterfowl hunting; his efforts won him the National Wildlife Federation's National Conservation Award in 1988.

Some of Brister's other accomplishments include: Texas Sporting Clay Association Hall of Fame 2004; National Sporting Clay Association (NSCA) Hall of Fame 1999; NSCA National Veteran Champion 1994 & 1999; NSCA Team USA 2001 & 2003; NSCA All-American Team (6 times); Trap and Pigeon Association All -American Team (several times); World Duck Shooting Champion (twice); Argosy Magazine Award for Small Boat Design 1961; Thomas Fleming Day Award 1961; Winner of many USSCA & NSCA tournaments in Open, Veteran & Super Veteran Classification; Pulitzer Nominee for Hurricane Carla newspaper coverage 1961; Graphic Arts Hall of Fame inductee for Hurricane Carla photos 1961; Headliners Club, First Place for Coverage of Hurricane Celia 1971; National Outdoor Writers Association Excellence in Craft Award 1995; Texas Outdoor Writers Association Excellence in Writing Award; United Press and Associated Press Awards for writing/photography (many).

Bob Brister died of cancer on June 14th, 2005 at his Houston home.

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Scope and Contents

Clippings and other published works, drafts of manuscripts, and photographs comprise the bulk of the Bob Brister Papers (1953-2005, 11 cubic ft.), and document his career as a writer, journalist and photojournalist. The Brister Papers contain four series: General, Writing, Photographs, and Research.

The General series (1959-2005) contains biographical materials related to Brister's career as well as some personal letters written to him. The Writing series contains articles Brister wrote for the Houston Chronicle (1954-1993; 46 folders). Many clippings include photographs credited to Brister. Other published works are from Field & Stream , Texas Sporting Journal and other magazines (1946-2005). Materials found in the Research series (1973-1991) focus on the effectiveness, safety, and toxicity of using lead shot versus steel shot while hunting waterfowl—material collected in connection with his writing as well as a legal case in which he gave testimony, The National Rifle Association vs. Thomas S. Kleppe and Lynn A. Greenwalt (1976). Transcripts from this case are also included in the Legal Documents sub-subseries. The Photographs series contains original prints of hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities taken by Brister. Maintaining Brister's categories, the photographs are organized alphabetically by location and type of activity.

Items of note include a postcard nominating Brister for the Pulitzer Prize, the Hurricane Carla articles for which he was nominated (1961), several drafts of short fiction related to hunting and the outdoors, and a copy of his book Shotgunning: The Art and Science. Oversize materials include mounted photographs and clippings related to Brister's Pulitzer nomination and paper shooting targets depicting waterfowl.

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Arrangement and Organization

General
Writing
Photographs
Research

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions

A portion of these papers are stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.

Donor must approve publication of any material from Brister’s books.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Brister, Bob, 1928-2005.
Subjects (Organizations)
Houston chronicle (Houston, Tex.)
Field & stream.: Field & stream.
Coastal Conservation Association
Gulf Coast Conservation Association
Subjects
Fishing -- Texas.
Hunting -- Texas.
Shot (Pellets) -- Environmental aspects.
Journalism--Texas.
Newspaper editors
Authors
Natural resources conservation areas
Fish trapping
Waterfowl management
Places
Houston (Tex.)
Gulf Coast (Tex.)
Gulf Coast (U.S.)--Environmental conditions
England

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Bob Brister Papers, 1946-2005, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Matthew McKinley, Shannon Moore, Kathryn Puerini, Erin Schuelke, November 2009. Subsequent revisions were made by Christopher Orion Magee, June 2010.

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Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Stored off-site at LSF

box
2007-076/1 General
Letters, 1974-1985
Biography, 1946-2005
Writings, 1946
Magazines and Other Published Works
Field and Stream, 1972-1994, 2000-2002
Field and Stream, Carbons
Texas Sporting Journas, 2002-2005
Magazines, assorted
Magazines, clippings
Publications
Shotgunning: The Art and the Science
Bob Brister's Caddo Guide
Hurricane Carle: A Tribute to the News Media
Houston Chronicle Features
Houston Chronicle/Post Texas Mag Features
box
2007-076/2 Houston Chronicle/Post Texas Mag Features
Houston Chronicle Clippings, 1954-1993
Locations
Travel
Africa - Drafts
Africa - Clippings
Mexico
Fishing
Bass
Bass Fishing
box
2007-076/3 Big Game Fishing
Boating
Boat Show
Crappie/Panefish
Fishing Tackle and Bait
Fishing
Offshore Fishing
Trout and Fishing
Trout and Redfish
Hunting
Deer
Dove
box
2007-076/4 Duck
Goose
Quail Hunt/Dove
Quail Hunting
Big Game Hunting
Rifle
Miscellaneous Hunting
Shotgun
Squirrels
Turkey
Whitewing
Woodcock
Miscellaneous
Hurricanes
Legislation Conservation/Gun
Assorted
box
2007-076/5 Miscellaneous Notes
Drafts
Fiction
box
2007-076/6 Photographs
Africa, 1965
Africa, 1971
Africa, 1976
Africa, 1981
Alaska
Alpine Deer
Amistad Lake
Bay Mis.
Cabo San Lucas
Canada
Canyon Res.
Choke Canyon
Chub Cay
Cozumel/Yucatan
Danbury Lake
East Break
Ecuador
Fayette Co. Lake
Houston Co. Lake
Lk. Conroe
Lake Livingston
Mexico Bass
Missouri
New Mexico
Panama/Belize/Bimini
Pin Oak Lake
Pt. Mansfiel Lag. Madre
Pt. O'Connor
Sam Rayburn Res.
Toledo Bend
Wyoming
Fishing
Bass Action
Bass Baits
Bass Holdup RMB
box
2007-076/7 Bass/Innertube
Jumping Bass
Peacock Bass
Bass Fish/Scenic
Miscellaneous Big Game Fish
Carp/Grinnel
Catfish
Flounder
Gar
Kingfish
Ling
Redfish/HL&P
Sailfish
Shark
Snook
Stripers
Trout and Redfish Boat
Trout and Redfish Holdup
Trout and Redfish Wading
Hunting
Alligator
Antelope/Sheep
Big Game
Eng./Eur/Bird
Deer
Deer Hunting
Dead Deer
Deer Blinds and Stands
box
2007-076/8 Ducks
Ducks/Airboat
Ducks Ch'ship
Dead Ducks
Duck Hunt
Ducks/Timber
Dolphin
Dove
Elk
Exotic Game
Falcon Res.
Frogs
Geese
Goose Hunt
Miscellaneous Bird
Pheasant Chukker
Quail Hunt
box
2007-076/9 Snipe
Small Game
Squirrel/Rabbit
Turkey
White Bass
White Wing
Woodcock
Assorted
Boat Building
Boats Miscellaneous
Boat Racing
Hurricane
Jetties
Netting
Pier Fishing
Saltwater
Surf Fishing
box
2007-076/10 Research, 1973-1991
Steel and Lead Shot, 1973-1986, 1991
Legal Documents, 1976
Legal Documents, 1976-1981
News Releases
Reports
box
2007-076/11 Printed Materials
Photographs
Charts/Graphs
Charts/Graphs
Assorted
Other Research, 1973-1985
Assorted
Air Rifles
Travel

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Stored on-site at SRH

box
SRH 2.116/OD 1275 “Test Your Shotgun” Poster
“Lead vs. Steel” Poster
Pulitzer/Boating Authority Awards with Photograph and Clipping

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