A life long gun owner, hunter, and conservationist, former Washington Redskins football standout Ray Schoenke is the founding President of the American Hunters and Shooters Association. In addition to owning a 300-acre hunting preserve on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, he has hunted throughout the United States and Europe; from the plains of South Dakota, to the panhandle of Texas, to the slopes of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, to the countryside of England.
Ray has used his sports fame and love for hunting in his quest to improve policies and programs for gun owners. Ray was appointed by the Secretary of Army to assist in the transition of The Civilian Marksmanship Program to civilian control through a new private non-profit corporation The Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety. His continued involvement in public service led Ray to be a candidate for Governor of Maryland in 1998.
Schoenke is part native Hawaiian and the son of Raymond "Snowshoes" Schoenke Sr., star of the U.S. Army’s Schofield Barracks Oahu, Hawaii, 3rd Engineering Corp baseball and basketball teams in the 1920s and 30s; and Olivia Alapa a native Hawaiian.
Ray has more than 30 years experience in business. While he played football, he began building a national insurance brokerage firm, Schoenke & Associates. In 1998, his company was purchased by Clark Consulting Inc., a NYSE company.
From 1963 to 1975, Ray played professional football for the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. In 1987, he was selected for the "50th Anniversary Greatest Redskins Team.” In 2002, Ray was picked as one of the top 100 players in the history of the Redskins. An All-American and Academic All-American at Southern Methodist University, Ray was also named to SMU's 75th Anniversary All Time Football Team. He also received the Silver Anniversary Mustang Award from the SMU Letterman’s Association which honors the character and achievements of its former athletes.
Ray has been a long time community activist, from president of his local citizen's association to working in county, state, federal and 6 presidential campaigns. Ray was a member of the transition team of Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich and serves on his Medical Malpractice Task Force. He has also served on several boards and commissions a few being Kamehameha Schools Advisory Board of Honolulu, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Caucus, and the Maryland Governor’s Commission on Gun Violence. He was appointed by the Secretary of Army to help in the transition of the Civilian Marksmanship Program to a private non-profit corporation. He was awarded the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation "Kennedy Family Award" in recognition of his role in the formation of the Special Olympics and his commitment to the mentally challenged.