by Phil Phillips - Tuesday, May 10, 2022
We hunters know the key to making sure more kids get to enjoy the hunting and the outdoor life is to offer up more mentors. We also know that if this weren’t easier said than done, more kids would be hunters. But unlike activities like baseball where almost anyone can provide guidance to help a kid learn to play catch or swing a bat, an aspiring hunter needs an experienced mentor to provide the firearm safety, hunter education, marksmanship and outdoor skills training required. Recognizing the need to fill the void, the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum (HLF) announced it is awarding a $50,000 challenge grant to the First Hunt Foundation (FHF) to build on the Idaho-based nonprofit’s track record of providing education and training for young people to acquire hunting skills.
“We are excited to be a recipient of these challenge grant dollars and even more excited we get to put them to work by establishing a new Hunting Heritage Endowment,” said FHF President Rick Brazell, who is a frequent face at hunting conventions in working to promote his group’s worthwhile efforts. “As an organization, we are looking to the future and the endowment will allow others to partner with us in implementing our mission for generations to come.”
The FHF is using the NRA HLF funds to create a Hunting Heritage Endowment to help cover its costs of mentoring. By perpetuating its hunting programs, it aims to keep America’s hunting heritage strong into the future, securing long-term, mentored-based relationships for individuals and in some cases for entire families.
“The NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum is happy to support the First Hunt Foundation,” said Peter Churchbourne, director of the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum. “Our missions align, and it is only natural that we partner to provide opportunities for new hunters to experience the empowerment and personal fulfillment of hunting. I want to thank the generous Hunters’ Leadership Forum donors for providing the funds that made this grant possible.”
By partnering with the FHF, the NRA HLF is supporting the opportunity for others to learn how to hunt. This partnership is a good move in particular considering the FHF is America’s largest volunteer-based organization dedicated to providing one-on-one mentoring and hunter recruitment and education programs. It is particularly effective at reaching women and youth, who otherwise may not have the opportunity to learn to hunt. The FHF has expanded to the point it is now active in 35 states. With 800-plus mentors in its chapters, it introduces more than 2,000 people to hunting each year. All mentors are professionals who have passed a background check and agreed to a “Mentor’s Creed” prior to coming on board.
If you know someone interested in being mentored on a first hunt, or if you’re interested in making a difference by donating to the FHF or getting involved as a mentor, click here. If you want to reach out to the FHF’s Rick Brazell directly, email [email protected] or call 208-917-9700.
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