APPEARS IN News Contributor Wins National Award Contributor Wins National Award

For the second straight year, the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum (HLF) website is pleased to announce that one of its contributors has earned national recognition from the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA). On June 19, Phil Phillips was presented with an Outstanding Achievement award at POMA’s 2019 Pinnacle Awards ceremony during its annual business conference in Wichita, Kan. Phillips won in the Newspaper/Web category for his article “Another Grizzly Mauls a Hunter as the Recovered Species’ Population Expands.” Last June, contributor Keith Crowley received recognition for an article he wrote in the conservation category and I was singled out for an article I wrote on lions.

In step with’s mission to report on the news and issues impacting the future of hunting and wildlife conservation, Phillips shared the account of Facebook friend Bob Legasa who was mauled by a grizzly bear in October while bowhunting for elk in Montana. The attack made headlines as yet another example of what happens when wildlife management decisions are based on emotions rather than wildlife science.

“Once again, the emotion-based actions of animal rights extremists have had devastating consequences,” Phillips wrote. “…The attack follows last month’s decision by Federal U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen to side with animal rights extremists and overturn the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) decision to delist recovered grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) from Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections, though the bears exceed carrying capacity and grizzly bear maulings are on the rise.”

When Legasa and a friend encountered a sow and her cub on their hunt, the sow charged from 12 feet away and Legasa had no time to react. He posted his account from the Bozeman hospital where he gave thanks for his friend’s quick actions in fighting off the grizzly bear with bear spray. Phillips noted the attack occurred just three weeks after reported a hunting guide had been mauled and killed in Wyoming. He emphasized that article’s point about how wildlife managers have found that making sure predators have a healthy fear of people reduces attacks on people. “But with no hunting season, grizzly bears have nothing to fear.”

Commenting on the POMA award, Phillips said, “I am excited to be recognized in the Magazine/Web category, which had well over 100 entries from some of the top writers in the outdoor industry.” A strong voice on this website on predator issues and in support of the role of legal, regulated hunting and science-based wildlife management, he continued, “I am pleased this article was chosen because of its important safety message to make hunters aware of the dangers of being in bear country. Bear encounters only will get worse if bear populations are not soundly managed.” Giving a nod to the website, he added, “I also am happy that for the second year an award was given to a writer contributing to the NRA HLF website because it is the best place for hunters to go for the most up-to-date hunting and conservation news.”

Congratulations to All Recipients
In order for hunting to not just survive but thrive, it must master telling its many rich and varied stories. That takes talented writers, orators, photographers and video production crews. congratulates all the POMA 2019 Pinnacle Award winners and wishes them continued success in their creative fields of choice.


Winner - Tim Christie "A Look Best Heeded", Wyoming Wildlife
Outstanding Achievement - Tim Flanigan, "Sunspot Buck", Bowhunter Magazine - Whitetails Special 

Winner - J. Wayne Fears, "The Scouting Guide to Survival", Skyhorse Publishing 
Outstanding Achievement - Robert Ford, "Beagle Tales 7", Sunbury Press
Winner - Nick Hoffman, "Nick's Wild Ride - The Stuff That Can Kill You", Outdoor Channel
Outstanding Achievement - Allan Smith, "Lead Faucet Tactical", YouTube, Facebook
Winner - Gabriella Hoffman, "Judicial Review Shouldn't Trump Wildlife Management", Sporting Classics Daily
Outstanding Achievement - Nick Hoffman, "Nick's Wild Ride - Colorado Grind", Outdoor Channel
Winner - Lindsay Thomas Jr., "Yes, CWD Kills Deer. A Mississippi Hunter Just Watched it Happen", Quality Whitetails Magazine 
Outstanding Achievement - Tim Flanigan, "Learning to See", The Upland Almanac Magazine
Winner - Brandon Butler, "Missouri Supreme Court Rules All Deer Are Wildlife", Jefferson City News Tribune
Outstanding Achievement - Phil Phillips, "Another Grizzly Mauls a Hunter as the Recovered Species' Population Expands", NRA's Hunters' Leadership Forum website

Thank You, Mossy Oak!
Sponsored by Mossy Oak—maker of Overwatch, the NRA’s official new camouflage pattern unveiled in January—POMA Pinnacle Awards honor journalists for excellence in traditional outdoor sports-focused communications including writing, art/photography and broadcasting, as well as content specifically focused on wildlife conservation. The awards were presented by Kevin Tate, a past POMA president and vice president of media productions for Mossy Oak, who noted his company appreciates the outdoor writing community’s efforts to foster our outdoor heritage and is proud to have been the presenting partner since the Pinnacle Award program’s inception.

Unique in the realm of hunting websites, was launched in 2016 as a tool for hunters to remain aware of the issues impacting hunting’s future on the state, national and international levels. Material exposes the lies of animal rights extremists who push emotion over science-based facts and explains why hunters are America’s leading conservationists as hunters’ dollars overwhelmingly lead the charge in funding and securing wildlife conservation and habitat enhancement programs into the future.

Sign Up for NRA HLF E-Newsletters and Social Media Alerts!
To receive NRA HLF bi-weekly e-newsletters and social media alerts, email Erin Healy at [email protected]. In the meantime, please continue to visit and share the story links.

Follow NRA Hunters' Leadership Forum on Twitter @HuntersLead.