FROM LEE'S DESK - AUGUST 2018

Our MHHF Hunter Education Clinic model continues to receive strong praise from our participant families as well as other youth education and outdoor organizations. To assure that we continue to provide the best possible experience and increase involvement, MHHF recently introduced another event that is enjoying a high degree of success – it’s our New Mentor Orientation. This casual get together provides potential volunteers an in-depth understanding of how our clinics work and the thinking behind its design.

This year’s orientation will be on Thursday, August 22, 5:30 p.m. at Brewbakers in Belton, MO. Our New Mentor Orientation has been especially beneficial in helping prospective mentors and other volunteers learn enough about our clinics to make a decision to become an MHHF member. At 5:30 participants will have the opportunity to order food and beverage. At 6:00, Director of Clinic Operations Steve Rulo will present an outline of our clinic process. This includes a step-by-step walkthrough that demonstrates how easy it is to be a clinic volunteer.

For those new to MHHF, and even our seasoned veterans, these evenings prove to be thought provoking and enjoyable while raising awareness and goodwill for MHHF. If you, or someone you know, might consider becoming an MHHF member, or wants to become more involved as a mentor for our fall clinics, please consider joining us for our third New Mentor Orientation on August 22. RSVP by emailing execdir@mhhf.us.

FROM LEE'S DESK - JULY 2018

A new wild flower appeared on the west facing hillside at our hunting lodge this April. Red Indian Paintbrush is the first of what I’d hoped would be many native wildflowers I planted almost two years ago. Then last month Black-Eyed Susan, Wild Bergamot and Gray Headed Coneflower appeared.

Obviously, this has nothing to do with attracting mallards in the fall but there is a connection.

Two years ago, our creek bottom stayed too wet to plant milo for the waterfowl season to follow. Frustrated and looking for something to do, I worked with a private lands conservationist from the Missouri Department of Conservation to develop a plot of native wildflowers. It’s a long process taking anywhere from 18 months to two years. First, you have to kill off the cool season grasses by mowing, spraying and burning. Then you purchase the seed (available only certain months of the year), broadcast it between September and April with the intention of placing it on the ground with 60% soil contact. Yes, 60% is what the biologist advise. No more. No less. Then it’s up to the winter weather to freeze and thaw the ground, expanding, contracting. Depending on weather and water they will hopefully germinate and start to bloom in April through the fall.  

In addition to looking pretty, native wildflowers support pollinators, which have been in decline. Pollinators, like butterflies and bees, play an important role in private and commercial food production.

My stepfather passed away fourteen years ago. Neither he nor I could have anticipated the random chain of events that happened when he introduced me to duck hunting when I was 11. That simple gesture has turned into a lifetime passion for hunting and conservation, that now includes me growing native wildflowers in my 60s.

When our MHHF members take a weekend to introduce a half dozen young people and their families to hunting, conservation and getting outdoors, we have no idea what interests, passions, hobbies or potentially, careers will germinate from that first experience.

Thank you for your support.

FROM LEE'S DESK - MAY 2018

Between hunting seasons, the MHHF Board and volunteers take time to evaluate what we’re doing and work on other projects that support our long-term goals. The list below highlights a few of the things we’re working on. If you see something you’re interested in, please let me or Stacie Hubler know. We’re always looking for new ideas and appreciate the extra support.

 

Clinic Manual: The committee has completed revisions to our Clinic Manual. Over the years, both regulations change as do our processes. The Board of Directors will review for approval at the next quarterly board meeting in July. Copies will be available for all members.

 

MHHF Annual Report: Is in production and the mailing date to all members and supporters is scheduled for the beginning of July. If you would like extra copies to share with others who might be interested in the mission of MHHF, please let me know at president@mhhf.us

 

Expansion/New Clinics: Director, Sean Flanagan is coordinating a new clinic this fall in Henry County during the special Youth Waterfowl Season October 19-21.  If you would like to volunteer, contact Sean at Sean.t.Flanagan@gmail.com . If you know of a youth who would be interested in signing up, direct them to http://www.mhhf.us/clinics

 

Director, Rehan Nana and I will be meeting with a landowner near Urich, MO later this month to discuss a new Henry County Upland Game clinic for 2019.

 

Marketing: Conservation Federation of Missouri’s (CFM) Explore the Outdoors-Kansas City is being held Thursday evening, May 31st at Boulevard Brewing. Former Missouri Conservation Commissioner Anita Gorman is speaking. Please consider attending. Enjoy a fun evening and support CFM! More information is available at www.confedmo.org.

 

Gentlemen’s Wild Game Dinner, Banquet & Benefit for MHHF is set for Thursday, November 8 at Affäre. Do you know someone who should be invited? Please contact Director, Steve Bramlett at (816) 214-8095.

 

Member Development: The Annual Hunter/Mentor Rendezvous will be held Saturday, June 16 at Baiers Den Kennels and Hunting Preserve, 25219 S Baiers Den Rd, Peculiar, Missouri 64078. This meeting provides our mentors and volunteers the opportunity to discuss the prior year’s Clinics and share best practices. All active members who volunteer in any way at our clinics are encouraged to attend.

 

New Mentor Orientation, Wednesday, August 15th, Brewbakers in Belton. Do you know someone who’d be a great mentor, instructor or clinic volunteer? This event is a terrific opportunity to learn about our clinics and what we do. Please put this on your calendar and bring someone to this orientation. The folks who join will be our ‘new people’ for the fall Clinics.

 

Member Recruitment:

We are looking for a dedicated individual who can help organize our Annual Sporting Clays Benefit, Shoot for the Future. Do you have a knack for detail, relationship building and organizing a fund raiser, or know someone who does? If so, please contact President-Elect, Stacie Hubler at stacie@dhrestoration.com.

 

I know I speak on behalf of the entire MHHF Board when I say, thank you for all that you do! It is through your support of both time and money that MHHF is able to continue to introduce youth to Missouri’s outdoor way of life.

 

Have a great holiday weekend,

Lee

FROM LEE'S DESK - APRIL 2018

Last month, two MHHF members received formal recognition at our annual meeting.

David Wyatt received the Keith McCanse award, recognizing pioneers in modern day conservation and defenders of our hunting heritage. David has been involved with MHHF since before our formal beginning in 2007. Working with Allan Hoover, and others, he helped define the concept of the Federation. From 2011 thru 2014, he served on the Board of Directors. From those early days to now, he continues to be an active volunteer and support our clinics and events.

The MHHF President’s Award was presented for the first time. This recognition is determined by (and only by) the Federation President to recognize any individual or entity for whatever criteria he or she chooses. During the last five years, Stacie Hubler has contributed more hours to MHHF than anyone. In addition to being our Events Chair since 2013, Stacie has been an at-large Board Director, Board Secretary, and President-Elect. Additionally, on three different occasions Stacie has taken over the duties of Executive Director handling the day-to-day business of the Federation (which she is still doing today). She is the first recipient of this award Recognizing Extraordinary Support of the Mission.

Congratulations David and Stacie. Thank you for your support and helping MHHF achieve our goal. And thank you to all of you who attended the meeting. We had a record turnout!

To date, MHHF members, sponsors and volunteers have completed 78 Clinics and introduced 465 families to Missouri’s hunting tradition.

Please take a look at the photos from our last clinic in this Update. At any given clinic you have no idea how much you may impact a young person’s perception of the outdoor world or know how that impact may be paid forward in the future.

Now is the time of year to turn our focus on growth for the future. Take time to consider hunters, landowners, or others who would enjoy helping the next generation to learn about Missouri’s outdoor way of life and hunting tradition. If you know someone who can help, please contact me, Stacie Hubler or any of our Directors to share their name and make an introduction. To show our appreciation, we’ll send you an MHHF decal for your car.

Thanks again for all YOU do!

FROM LEE'S DESK - MARCH 2018

This past weekend, the 82nd Annual Convention of the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) was in Jefferson City. It may go down in history as one of the most significant for Missouri Hunting Heritage Federation.

Years ago, when Allan Hoover and I were just trying to ‘get the word out,’ we set up an exhibitor table at this event. We wanted to educate Missouri’s stakeholders and influencers of MHHF’s intentions to take youth beyond simply receiving their hunter education certification. With MHHF, youth get hands-on training in firearms and the experience of a mentored hunt. Through CFM we hoped to gain support, potential members and create awareness for our commitment to ensuring Missouri’s hunting heritage.

Friday night, I had the great honor to be presented with CFM’s 2017 Hunter Educator of the Year award. I’m the third MHHF founding member to receive this recognition after David Rush and Allan Hoover. MHHF was well represented at this event. Thank you Stacie Hubler, Karen Hoover, Steve Bramlett, Steve Rulo and his dad, Mark Rulo, Bryan Flanagan, my wife Allison, Jerri Lynn Keith and Bruce Keith for your commitment to MHHF and your participation at the Convention.

CFM members represent every individual and group who holds a stake in the health and wellbeing of Missouri’s fish, forests and wildlife - from the governor, Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) to local bird watchers, and sportsman’s club. It’s this type of commitment that makes Missouri a model for conservation.

At the Affiliate Luncheon on Saturday, MHHF was announced as one of the 11 recipients of a grant from the new David Risberg Memorial Affiliate Grant Program. John and Mary Risberg created this memorial for their son, David, an avid outdoorsman who was lost in an automobile accident last year. Stacie and I had the honor of meeting them and learning more about their son. It did not take long to see the Risbergs are very gracious and noble people. It was a truly moving experience, not only to have the efforts of MHHF recognized and encouraged in this way, but to be a part of this inaugural grant giving event. 

Hal Herring, contributing editor to Field & Stream, was the keynote speaker at the Saturday banquet. He also took the opportunity to say a few words at the Affiliate Luncheon. As a reporter and writer, he has traveled the world, covered wars and “…written hundreds of articles about conservation and the environment.” He is a very interesting individual. Originally from Alabama, a major theme in his remarks is the lack of knowledge by the general public of the significant strides the concerned citizens of America have made toward restoring and preserving the quality of our soil, water and air and how this is a contrast to much of the rest of the world, or to put it more succinctly:  “Too many folks don’t know how they got what we have.”

During his address, Missouri Department of Natural Resources Deputy Director, Dru Buntin, announced preliminary investigation into the creation of a second state trail corridor utilizing 144 miles of the old Rock Island Rail line. He also mentioned properties recently acquired for four new state parks; Bryant Creek, Eleven Point, Jay Nixon and Ozark Mountain. These projects will be years in development, but when complete, will provide additional recreation and outdoor opportunities for Missouri residents and visitors.

In her remarks, MDC Director, Sarah Parker Pauley, mentioned Missouri HB 1873 regarding  poaching penalty provisions and H.R. 4647 Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.

Don’t forget, CFM Executive Director, Brandon Butler will be joining us at our annual Business Meeting and Spring Fling Trap Shoot Benefit on Sunday, March 18. In addition to Federation business, we’ll share more details from the convention at the meeting. If you haven’t already, please click here to register.

See you there!!!!!

FROM LEE'S DESK - FEBRUARY 2018

I often take the opportunity in February to reflect upon the bigger picture. My step-daughter, Amanda, recently shared a story with me and, once again, I’m inspired to reflect on how fortunate we are to be citizens of this great country.

Amanda spent the holidays in Europe, visiting her cousin in France and some girlfriends in Germany. While in Germany, she stayed with a host family, which provided her a great opportunity to visit casually and get to know the people and their culture.

One evening the conversation touched on holiday traditions and celebrating the incoming New Year with fireworks. Apparently, this is common in Germany. Fireworks are available for a short time in in many stores and folks can set them off anywhere. When asked if this occurred in the U.S., Amanda reported that the sale of fireworks was highly regulated, could only be purchased and ignited in restricted areas and tolerated over a limited period of time during our celebration of Independence Day.

Later, Amanda’s hosts asked about her parents. She told of my involvement with MHHF and how we introduce youth to hunting. They thought this very strange. “You mean, your country strictly regulates the use of fireworks, but you teach children how to hunt animals with guns?!” Amanda had to laugh but acknowledged, “Yeah, that pretty well describes it.”

Two things come to my mind immediately. First, the number of burns treated at hospital emergency rooms during any given Fourth of July is numerous and (thanks in great part to hunter education) cases involving treatment for hunting related firearms injuries is very few over the course of an entire year. Statistically, you are much safer in the field during season than you are igniting a roman candle.

Secondly, I’m reminded that there are aspects of our culture and laws that are not common in other parts of the world. Early immigrants landing on the shores of this continent and later the frontier families settling this country had to learn to hunt game in order to eat. This tradition has been handed down through generations and is part of American culture. Not so in all other cultures.

In many places, outside the U.S., there aren’t public hunting spaces. Wildlife is generally considered part of the land and therefore the property of the landowner. Historically, landowners were wealthy (often “royalty”). The commoner needed permission from the landowner to harvest game. If game was harvested without permission there could be consequences, potentially deadly.

When our nation was very young, it was determined that the wildlife was the property of the people and was managed in trust for the people by the state (to learn more, do a search for Marten v Waddell 1842 or North American Model of Wildlife Conservation).

Today, Missouri residents can go online, purchase a $17 deer tag and head out to the family farm or State public land and bring home dinner. Folks from most other lands have never been able to do this. For them, the idea of us teaching our youth woodsmanship, sportsmanship and marksmanship must appear very strange indeed.

Perhaps a little bit of the spirit of the Frontier; the self-reliance, the connection to the wild, is still with us. I like that. We are fortunate.

As always, to our sponsors, members, volunteers and participant families, thank you for your support of MHHF and for all you do to keep our great hunting traditions alive for future generations.

See you at the Business Meeting March 18th!

FROM LEE'S DESK - JANUARY 2018

Happy 2018! And what a year it is going to be!

This can be a tough time of year for those of us who thrive on being outside. The extraordinarily cold temperatures have caused me to pass on the last two weeks of deer season. Our floating duck blind is trapped in four inches of ice delaying my ability to drain the flooded field. Even cutting firewood and burning brush piles has been a challenge with below zero wind chills.

The best way I know how to cope with cabin fever is to throw myself into doing activities I can do from the warmth of indoors while I wait for the weather to turn nice. This includes working on MHHF planning initiatives, going to meetings of other organizations with similar goals as MHHF and participating in conservation conferences.

Please mark your calendars now for our Annual MHHF Membership Meeting, 12:30 p.m., Sunday March 18th at the Lake Lotawana Sportsmen’s Club. Immediately following the meeting MHHF will host our 7th Annual Spring Fling Benefit Trap Shoot.  

During the Membership Meeting we’ll review the progress we’ve made last year, recognize your contributions and visit with the movers and shakers in our Hunter Education and Missouri Conservation community. Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) Executive Director, Brandon Butler, will be sharing remarks about current topics impacting Missouri’s outdoors. Our meeting is a week after the CFM annual convention, so I’m sure there will be much to hear about.

Speaking of which, please check out CFM’s 82nd Annual Convention details below. I have been able to attend many of these events and it is a very rewarding experience.  The CFM non-member registration rate to the conference includes an individual membership at a discounted price. The special rate at the Plaza Capital Hotel is very reasonable, too!

I look forward to seeing you in March and celebrating another successful year of MHHF! Thanks for all you do and stay warm.

FROM LEE'S DESK - DECEMBER 2017

What a month! What a year!!!!

In the first two weeks of December, MHHF staged two clinics:

  • Waterfowl in Henry County with seven youth participants, and

  • Our first Crossbow Deer/Turkey clinic in Cass County with five youth.

All our participants successfully completed the Missouri Hunter Education Certification course, proved proficiency at the supervised live-fire session and enjoyed a personally mentored hunt. Congratulations and “Thank You!” to our member volunteers.

This brings our total number of clinics to 75 and youth graduates to 451 since we started more than 10 years ago. We are on our way to achieving our goal of 500 “families served” by January 1, 2019.

Turning to the business of doing business - nominations are now open for Board of Director and officer positions. Presently, your Board has two nominations to recommend:

  • Mike Borgerding to a re-elected three-year term as Treasurer

  • Rehan Nana to an elected three-year term as At-Large Director

Both of their profiles can be found on our website.

All MHHF Members in good standing will receive an e-ballot soon.

The officer position of Secretary, a two-year elected term and two positions of At-Large Director are currently open. The descriptions of responsibilities are stated in our By-Laws which are available for download.

We are also updating our MHHF By-Laws. As soon as the wordsmithing is complete, we will share the changes with the membership for review. Any members wishing to comment prior to the Board vote is encouraged to attend our January Board of Directors Meeting, Thursday January 11th, 6 p.m. at Jess & Jim’s Steak House, Martin City.

Next month we will publish our calendar of events for 2018. Meanwhile, Safe and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

FROM LEE'S DESK - NOVEMBER 2017

The third annual Gentleman’s Wild Game Dinner was quite the success, with no shortage of great food, beverages, cigars and fellowship. This year’s event will be remembered for a very high level of energy. The silent auction included a number of new and unique items including a silver liquor flask from Meierotto’s with an engraved MHHF logo adorning the front. I hope something like that is available next year since I did not have the winning bid.

Dinner committee chair J.D. Selby stepped in as auctioneer for the live auction and demonstrated considerable prowess in keeping the bids and laughter coming. Three beautiful CZ long guns and an elegant dinner for four at Affare were snatched up! Funds from the event will be used to support future MHHF Clinics. Thank you to all who joined us for dinner, participated in the auctions and showed your support for Missouri’s hunting heritage.

While enjoying fine dining and city life with friends is fun, few things this time of year beat sitting in a quiet deer stand in the wooded bottoms of Big Creek. From my perch, I had time to reflect on  Missouri’s hunting tradition and all it encompasses. Those who don’t hunt, can’t imagine how this activity connects individuals with each other and with nature. The active, face-to-face fellowship within the brother and sisterhood of hunters is becoming increasingly important at a time when “connectivity” is so often limited to text, social media, emails and telephone. When we teach hunter education we are reminded of all that goes into the hunt, from planning and preparation to important choices we make in deciding to harvest or “let one pass,” to the responsibility to locate, process and use the gift of game. No matter how much we know, there is always more to learn, right?

Another aspect that I feel has become even more important today is the opportunity to sit in the wild, often for hours at a time reflecting and connecting with the natural world. We know (and the studies back this up) that having that ‘downtime’ is important to maintain mental balance.

As we enjoy this November season of gratitude, thank you for being an active supporter of the efforts of MHHF to preserve this wonderful hunting tradition. And thank you for your friendship.

 

FROM LEE'S DESK - OCTOBER 2017

The temperatures may be dropping outside, but it’s been a hot time for MHHF members and supporters in the Kansas City area. And, with all that’s on the calendar, it doesn’t look like it’s going to cool down soon.

Thanks to all who joined us at the Sportsman’s Gala and congratulations to our MHHF 2017 Volunteer of the Year, Karen Hoover, and MHHF Allan Hoover award recipient. Wayne Baier. Thanks to all who participated in the silent auction and congratulations to all who had the winning bids. There were some terrific prizes awarded.

More thanks to everyone who joined us for the 7th Annual Shoot for the Future and congratulations to the high scorers who are listed on our website www.mhhf.us/news and Facebook page. Combined, our volunteers drove 1,851 miles and dedicated 125 hours creating these two spectacular events. Thank you to all the volunteers and sponsors who made this event happen.

Kudos to our Cass County chapter for the outstanding chukar clinic noted at the top of this update. This was our 73rd clinic since we were founded and brings the total number of families introduced to Missouri’s hunting tradition through the efforts of our volunteers to 438.

As you can see from our calendar of events, all clinics from now through January are fully booked. It’s great to see that so many families are interested in experiencing the outdoor way of life. However, in order for MHHF to continue to meet this growing demand, we need to grow our chapters. On Saturday, October 21 at 7:30 a.m., I will be a guest of Jeff Leonard on the Roads End Outdoors radio program on KFEQ 680 AM, St. Joseph. I hope this conversation, and extra publicity, will generate enough interest to support the creation of a new MHHF chapter in Northwest Missouri. If you know people who live in that area, please reach out to them an encourage them to listen and help promote MHHF.

We’re looking forward to seeing many of you Thursday, November 9 at this year’s Gentlemen’s Wild Game Dinner – A Hunting Affare Benefit. Invitations are mailing this week. Please come support us at this fun and unique event. Details and tickets are available www.mhhf.us/events.

Again, thanks to all for your support!

FROM LEE'S DESK-SEPTEMBER 2017

For supporters of Missouri Hunting Heritage Federation, this time of year is a lot like the holidays for everyone else. There are parties, events and opportunities to have a good time and celebrate the season… as in the upcoming hunting season(s).

September’s calendar of events is packed and includes a little something for everyone:

·        Sept. 9-10: First MHHF Clinic of the season took place at Settle’s Ford Conservation Area.

·        Wednesday, Sept. 20: Our first-ever New Mentor Orientation at 5:30, Brewbaker’s Bar & Grill in Belton. (More about that later.)

·        Thursday, Sept. 28: MHHF Sportsmen’s Gala saluting our 2017 special event sponsors at The Emaline Ballroom.

·        Saturday, Sept. 30: MHHF’s 7th Annual Shoot for the Future Sporting Clays Tournament/Benefit is at Powder Creek Shooting Park.

Looking beyond September, we have our Gentleman’s Wild Game Dinner at Affäre Restaurant on Thursday, November 9. Surrounding that are several more youth hunting clinics.

All this during what many consider to be the most wonderful time of year in Kansas City with mild days, cool nights and spectacular fall colors. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

To help introduce people to our clinic model, we have historically asked prospective members to come to a clinic and observe what we do and how we do it. That practice has served us well. As we focus on growing MHHF, waiting for hunting season to audit a clinic becomes somewhat limiting for folks who would like to actively participate in the four remaining clinics we have scheduled this fall.

If you’re interested in learning more about MHHF or volunteering at one of our upcoming clinics this fall, please join us this Wednesday, 5:30 at Brewbaker’s Bar & Grill in Belton. Clinic organizers, directors and other members will present an introduction to our clinic model and outline our procedures. New members, with a filled application and first year’s dues, will receive a hardcopy of our procedure manual, no downloading and printing necessary!

Whether you are a veteran or prospective member, I hope you will join us. More information about these events and upcoming clinics is on our website and Facebook page.

FROM LEE'S DESK-AUGUST 2017

Passing Along- the Fifth Component

When MHHF first created our clinic model we saw three primary components:

  1. the Missouri Department of Conservation hunter education certification class,

  2. the supervised live-fire session, and

  3. the mentored hunt.

Very soon thereafter, the MHHF founders recognized that the after hunt camp lunch, where the kids told each other their tales of the hunt, was another important part of the traditional hunting experience. At that moment, we considered the camp lunch a fourth component of our clinic.

Several years ago, we stuggled with a concern that introducing youth to hunting was not enough. We felt we needed to do something more to assist our clinic graduates with finding opportunities to connect with like-minded hunters for continuing education and friendship. To that end we welcomed hunting organizations like Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation and Pheasants Forever to partner with us.

“How?” you might ask.

First, they provided MHHF a $250 donation to assist in offsetting our hard costs of running our clinics, things like eye and ear protection, shells, targets and hot dogs.. Additionally, we encouraged a representative from one of those organizations to join us the day of the hunt. In some cases, that person was one of our mentors. During the camp lunch, we recognized this individual for their service, and their organization as an association that supports youth and Missouri’s hunting heritage. He or she is given a few minutes to share the value of becoming a member of their organization. Collateral material and contact information is provided.

In this way, MHHF plays the role of the “farm team,” for the partnering organization, providing a flow of new member prospects fresh from their first time afield. We are also providing an important next step for our clinic graduates so, if they choose to continue to pursue hunting and the outdoor way of life, they have somewhere to go.

It is our hope to have a partner with every hunter education clinic and hunt we provide.  If you are a member or on the board of a related organization and would like to learn how to leverage the value of MHHF as your “farm team”, please contact Jerri Keith soccerboys@comcast.net

 

FROM LEE'S DESK-JULY 2017

I’d like to take a minute to comment about the new Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) all-online hunter-education course , launched this month. Like many new ideas, it’s easy to be against a concept at first blush. My first thought upon hearing about this at the Conservation Federation of Missouri conference in March was “Are they nuts? What are they thinking?” My mind jumped to memories of youngsters, sitting at the back of the hunter ed class, messing around who would later fail the test or be asked to leave. The human component of watchful instructors was critical to making sure those who displayed behavior showing a lack of appreciation for firearm safety should be denied hunter education certification. This human monitoring can’t take place online and who knows who is really filling out the test, right?

My second concern was where does MHHF’s hunter education clinics fit now that people can be certified not only without a supervised live-fire session and mentored first hunt, but without participating in-person in a class?

I spoke with MDC Deputy Director Aaron Jeffries during a visit in April and on the phone last Monday. Some points he made…

-The big objective is to create a variety of opportunities for new hunters to get certified in order to counter the declining number of hunters. That is something on which I think we can all agree.

-Students must be 16 years of age or older. It is designed for a slightly older demographic than most MHHF clinic participants. Aaron said in the first week the majority of online students were over 21, definitely not our target market.

-The department will include verification as to how a shooter was certified in any hunting incident investigation. In other words, the department is watching. If incidents grow with this new means of getting certified, they will not hesitate to make changes.

Although I can’t say I’m totally comfortable with this new certification option, I applaud the Department’s continued, and innovative, efforts to keep the hunting tradition from fading away. As to where MHHF’s efforts fit in, I believe we provide the best and safest way to introduce a young person, who lacks access and opportunity, to Missouri’s hunting heritage.

Once again I’m excited to report how our Directors and members are engaging in MHHF’s Mission the last several weeks. Here are just some of the results of their efforts…

  • Treasurer, Mike Borgerding completed and submitted applications for two grants for MHHF.

  • The Cass County chapter has added two new clinics to the fall schedule.

  • The Board of Directors have added the Joplin/Webb City, MO area to our list for chapter development.

  • The board has updated our Purpose/Mission/Vision statements. You can review these statements on our website under ‘what we do’ which is being updated by new member, Bruce Keith.

 

  • Director Emeritus, Sam Goller has been keeping our Facebook page current.

  • Director, Steve Rulo and Clinic Coordinator Jerri Lynn Keith represented MHHF at Cabela’s Family Outdoors Day, last month. The event had over 300 attendees.

  • The Instructor Mentor Rendezvous will take place Sunday, August 13th from nine to noon at D.H. Restoration in Grandview. This provides an opportunity to review the operations of our clinics, capturing new, best practices and creating solutions for problem areas. We will also introduce some new and improved plans for gathering participant feedback and promotion of future clinics.

  • President-Elect and Event Chair, Stacie Hubler has announced this year’s Sportsmen’s Gala September 28th will be at the Emaline Ballroom in Lee’s Summit.

  • Director J.D. Selby, and the committee for the Gentlemen’s Wild Game Dinner fundraiser (Thursday, November 9 at Affare Restaurant), announced the ticket price has been reduced to $150, one hundred dollars less than previous years. Invites will be in the mail soon.

Whew! That’s a lot going on during a time of year when we are not even staging clinics!!!  Soon, we will be holding a New Mentor Orientation meeting in preparation for the fall clinics. If you know someone who would be interested in participating in any of the above activities please have them contact me at president@mhhf.us

Thank you for all you do to support and help grow Missouri Hunting Heritage Federation.

FROM LEE'S DESK, JUNE 2017

Summer Reflection

Summer is an important time for MHHF. It’s when we look back on what we’ve done, plan for the upcoming hunting seasons and, of utmost importance, focus on recruiting – both volunteers and sponsors. Without either, MHHF’s opportunities for growth would be limited.

Last month, I shared information about our strategic plan for the future. Part of that plan includes expanding the number and location of MHHF Clinics. In addition to our Annual Henry County Waterfowl Clinic the 2nd weekend in December, we plan to premier a new Annual HC Waterfowl Clinic during the Middle Zone Youth Hunting Season, October 28 and 29. To be successful, we need your help and are looking for volunteers in the Harrisonville, Clinton and surrounding areas.

Recently, the Missouri Department of Conservations has modified the game laws to allow the of use crossbows during regular archery seasons. In the past, providing archery clinics was difficult. Since youngsters vary in size, we would need to have on hand many different traditional bows. In contrast, half dozen youth crossbows can be adjusted to fit youngsters of varying height and size. This change in regulations allows us to offer a new introduction to yet another aspect of history and hunting! So we are also planning a new Archery Deer Clinic using crossbows. To support this effort, we are looking for new volunteers to help us develop this clinic in the Cass, Jackson or Clay County areas.  

Mentors are always a priority and to provide expedited training in the MHHF Clinic model we are developing a New Mentor Orientation event to be held sometime in the late summer or early Fall.   

Additionally, we always appreciate support in the classroom, at the range and around basecamp the day of the hunt. So, even if a person doesn’t have an instructor certification or hunting experience to share, there are plenty of other important ways to help out.

Please give some thought to someone you know who might be interested in joining us. Membership dues are $20 per year or a Life Membership is available for a one-time donation of $250.

Member perks? There’s only one – and it’s a big one – it’s the satisfaction of mentoring youth who find greater ways to appreciate the outdoors and enthusiastically embrace Missouri’s hunting tradition. Every clinic we stage concludes with appreciative parents and happy kids who have made new friends, gained confidence from learning new skills and knowledge. Every time I participate in one of our clinics I come away with renewed enthusiasm, wanting to do more. It’s fun and rewarding. We want to share that experience with you. I hope you will consider supporting MHHF with the gift of time or your membership. For those of you who already give, THANK YOU!