The tragic businessman Jason Hairston seemed "normal" on his last hunt in Alaska, his friends told DailyMail.com, and he intended to go on a sheep hunt before canceling at the last moment.
Instead, he returned home to Dixon, California, where he was found dead Tuesday by a self-inflicted bullet wound. He was only 47 years old.
His friend Rick Young, 60, of Boring, Oregon, who met Hairston in 2003, said he would be remembered for the impact he had on the sportswear industry and described the father of two as a "super nice guy". .
Young told DailyMail.com: "We got along pretty well. Very good boy Obviously, he was in an industry driven by sports and his passion for hunting was phenomenal.
Jason Hairston, who had been opened about suffering from CTE, is survived by his wife Kirstyn and their two small children
His friend Rick Young, 60, of Boring, Oregon, first met with Hairston in 2003. He told DailyMail.com: "My friend was with him at the camp, he was with him on the plane up there, and everything was normal, he would talk to people: my friend did not know there was only one problem & # 39;
"The good thing about Jason for me is that his is a true American story of a guy who simply does what he wants to do.
Hairston had spent his last days on a hunting trip with his father Michael and his son Cash. Young said he seemed to be totally fine with other hunters in his game.
"When he was on the caribou hunt last week, you never would have guessed he had a problem, ever," Young said.
"My friend was with him in the camp, he was with him on the plane up there, and everything was normal." I was talking to people: my friend did not know there was only one problem.
& # 39; He did good. He got engaged, he was active, he did not hide in the back room. He was inside.
Although a spokesperson for his hunting apparel business, Kuiu, confirmed that Hairston killed himself at DailyMail.com on Friday, he was not given any reason for his suicide.
He is believed to have suffered from a degenerative brain disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. [CTE] – a condition that he first spoke about having publicly in 2016.
The best of the cocoons: Don Jr was devastated by the loss when he remembered his friend on Instagram (he mated in August)
It is believed that the disease comes from his previous career as a successful NFL player with the San Francisco 49-ers and the Denver Broncos.
CTE, which can only be diagnosed positively post mortem, slowly destroys brain cells and produces symptoms that include behavioral problems, mood swings and cognitive problems.
The condition prevails among former NFL players, including New York Jets star Mark Gastineau and Frank Gifford, the latter diagnosed conclusively after his death in 2015.
Young told DailyMail.com: "Something was causing it to not work normally and he knew it and he endured it for a long time, probably affecting the business."
& # 39; There was definitely something at stake. He had a mental disorder that those who were close to him knew. I can not say for sure, but it's my guess that that's what caused it [the suicide]. & # 39;
Baller: Hairston was a star football player at the University of California, Davis, who signed with the San Francisco 49ers and then played for the Denver Broncos.
"The good thing about Jason for me is that his is a true American story of a guy who just does what he wants to do, that's what happened," Young said from his home in Oregon.
Hairston's family requested that donations be made to support CTE-related research at the Boston University Concussion Legacy Foundation instead of sending flowers.
He is not believed to have suffered financial problems and it is estimated that his Kuiu hunting clothing company will have a turnover of around $ 50 million per year.
The 47-year-old man is survived by his wife Kirstyn and their two children: Cash and Coco.
Kirstyn was too upset to talk when she approached him at her home in Dixon on Thursday, but a relative told DailyMail.com that the family is now asking to be given space to cry privately.
At Kuiu's headquarters nearby, staff said they had been informed of the death, but no further details had been given.
Hairston is not believed to have experienced financial problems and it is estimated that his Kuiu hunting clothing company will have a turnover of around $ 50 million per year. A store in Dixon, California, shown above.
One told DailyMail.com that he had been "a nice guy" who was nice to work with, but who rarely mentioned his previous football career or his famous friends, such as Donald Trump Jr.
It is believed that Don Jr and Hairston were close for several years and enjoyed a hunting trip to Canada together in August.
He paid tribute to Hairston through an Instagram post after learning of his death and wrote: "Jason, I have no words.
"I will always remember our adventures and share a bonfire with you, they will be some of my best outdoor experiences.
Tragedy: Hairston was found dead at his home in California on Tuesday at the age of 47, a few days after hunting with Donald Trump Jr. in Canada (Hairston and his wife at the opening)
"You were and will continue to be an inspiration to all outdoor enthusiasts and women for generations to come, thanks for friendship and memories, friend, I'll miss you."
Young said his friend had been a "respectful" man who hunted and an impressive businessman who had struggled to make it to the top.
He told DailyMail.com: "I do not know if he would say it was charming, but I would say he was aggressive, he knew what he wanted, he did not know how to get there, but he discovered it.
& # 39; He had the personality to keep it going. He was not like one of those guys that when you get there, everyone else is under you, he did not have time for you, he was not that guy.
"He thanked everyone who took him there, I do not think he's charming, I think that's respectful, he was respectful of industry and the Second Amendment."
Although arrangements for the funeral have not yet been announced, Young, who runs a hunting equipment company called Rick Young Outdoors, said Hairston will be remembered for a long time & # 39; in your industry.
He said: "I think you'll remember him as an entrepreneur who opened everyone's eyes to a product that simply was not available.
"It affected everyone in the country that they hunt and fish." He will be remembered for a long time, there is no doubt about it.