Hank is a native of Sublette County, specifically Pinedale, Wyoming. His parents, Henry and Helen Ruland, worked on a ranch just out of Pinedale several miles. He is the youngest of five children. Hank grew up cowboying, and working on the ranch during his youth. Hank served during the Viet Nam and served his overseas duty in South Korea, then went into law enforcement for thirty-three years.
Hank still calls Pinedale home, however he enjoys warmer winters in Arizona. In the summer he holds down a job he created during his sheriff days, doing "forest patrol". That entails looking after campgrounds in the county and trail heads. He also helps with search and rescue operations.