Chad Poppleton – A Rising Star in Wildlife Art

Artist Chad Poppleton

Steve Sharkey is a self-admitted dweller. He’s spent his life traveling the world for business and pleasure. But in the fall there’s nothing he would rather be doing than hunting elk in the Teton Wilderness of northwest Wyoming.

“I’m not interested in always pursuing a record-book animal,” he says. “One thing I like to do is dwell, waiting and searching for a nice bull. It gives me an opportunity to draw out the moment as long as I can . . . for the hunt to go on a little longer.”

Sharkey values trophies as touchstones of his most memorable days in the field. Prominently displayed in the living room of his Jackson Hole home is the head mount of a mule deer and next to that, a 300-class bull elk standing majestically in front of his autumn harem.

The wapiti isn’t the handiwork of a taxidermist; it’s a massive 30- x 40-inch oil titled Wyoming Wilderness painted by Utah wildlife artist Chad Poppleton. Sharkey commissioned the scene because he, like a lot of collectors, regards Poppleton, 37, as one of the rising stars of modern sporting art. 

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