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 four months later he picked up a microphone
and began calling. He is now the caller for two clubs, the 59ers and, in 2008, revived his
grandfather's old club, the Checkerboard Squares. He called his first festival in July of 2007
in California and has also traveled to Japan and Germany to call. Hunter is a member of Callerlab
and is a member Ways and Means Committee, past Callerlab Liaison for the State of Montana and is
the past Chairman of the 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. 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 grandfather, Frank Leenknecht, plus renowned
callers Joe Saltel, Jerry Story, Tony Oxendine, Ken Bower, Gary Shoemake, and too many more to name.
Hunter is a ten-year 4-H alumni and an active 4-H leader. Hunter credits almost everything he has learned
throughout the past 10 years to 4-H and says that, if it were not for that program, he would not be
where he is today. Hunter resides in Billings with his mother, father, brother and grandmother.