Don McHugh is a native of Oshkosh, Wisconsin and upon high school graduation enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served more than 20 years while advancing to the highest enlisted rank prior to receiving a line commission. The second half of his naval career was in the submarine force and included teaching mathematics at the U.S. Naval Academy. After retiring from the naval service he returned to his Alma Mater, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. There, he joined the systems Analysis Department, retired in 1994, and was subsequently designated Professor Emeritus.
A move relocated him to Hickory, NC in 1996. In 1999 he started carving, completed classes and workshops taught by regional and nationally known carvers. A 2007 Regional Artist Project Grant supported study with World Champion Robert Guge. He is a member of the National Wood Carvers Association, Core Sound Decoy Carvers Guild, and a charter member, past secretary, and past president of the Catawba Valley Woodcarvers Club, Hickory ,NC.
Don prefers carving realistic three dimensional projects such as waterfowl, birds, aquatic and land animals, and human figures. Lately some of his works are moe stylized and more often porjects are painted using an air brush.