Hunter had been around square dancing all of his life, having been dragged from dance to dance by his
grandparents and parents. He met and become friends with many national callers with whom he is still
friends today. After the death of his grandfather – his hero – in 2002, Hunter decided that he wanted
to do something that would always remind him of his grandfather, and decided to start taking square
dance lessons in 2004. A mere six months later he picked up a microphone and began calling.
He eventually became the caller for four clubs, the Magic Diamonds, the 59ers, the Hoedowners, and,
in 2008, revived his grandparent's old club, the Checkerboard Squares. Hunter called his first festival
in July of 2007 in California and has also traveled to Japan, Germany, Australia, Canada, Belgium, and
Taiwan to call. He has also been staff on square dance land and cruise vacations as well.
Hunter is a member of Callerlab and is a member Callerlab Ways and Means Committee and the Callerlab
Marketing Committee. He is also past Callerlab Liaison for the State of Montana and is the past Chairman
of the Callerlab Youth Committee.
In October of 2007, Hunter attended the 4Dance Caller’s Academy in Napa, California with Scot Byars as
the instructor. In June of 2008, he also attended the Yellowstone Callers College in West Yellowstone,
Montana with Tony Oxendine and Jerry Jestin as the instructors. Both of these callers colleges were made
possible by the Bob Mace Memorial Fund. Bob Mace was a caller that Hunter grew up around when his parents
and grandparents danced. Thank you to that fund for bettering callers.
After the death of his grandmother, Shirley, in January of 2014, Hunter, along with the help of Grand
Square Inc. (GSI), formed the Frank & Shirley Leenknecht Caller's Scholarship Fund. Hunter believes that
this fund will not only help preserve the memory of his grandparents, but also help callers, which is
what Frank & Shirley loved to do. Whether it was putting them up at the house, setting up a dance, or
cooking for them, Frank & Shirley believed callers deserved the best treatment possible. This fund will
continue to honor their memory and their wishes.
In 2008, Hunter was honored with a chance to become a recording artist for Royal Records. He recorded
his first song, Wild Horses, in October of 2008.
Hunter’s influences include, first and foremost, his grandparents, Frank & Shirley Leenknecht, plus
renowned callers Joe Saltel, Tony Oxendine, Jerry Story, Ken Bower, Gary Shoemake, and too many more
Hunter now resides in Southern California. He is a ten-year 4-H alumni, a past 4-H leader, and a
Jaycees Member. Hunter credits almost everything he has learned throughout the past 15 years to 4-H
and says that, if it were not for that program, he would not be where he is today.