Wichita, KS- Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors announced Thursday the Iowa Chapter of SCI has awarded a 2-year grant to Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors to further their Shooting Sports Outreach Program in Iowa. Launched in Kansas in 2019, the Shooting Sports Outreach Program engages student-athletes involved in the shooting sports with hunting and fishing opportunities.
“Last fall, we piloted our Shooting Sports Outreach Program in Iowa at the request of the IA DNR” stated Mike Christensen, President of Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors, Inc. “Now, with the continued support of the IA DNR and with the additional support of the Iowa Chapter of SCI, we have a Program Coordinator on the ground in Iowa, working to give trap shooting high school and college youth opportunities to go afield, hunting.”
“The Iowa Chapter of SCI is excited to work with Pass It On-Outdoor Mentors, Inc Program in Iowa. We believe this mentoring program will be instrumental in increasing hunter participation in Iowa which is one of our Chapter’s primary goals.”
“In 2019, Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors kicked off the Shooting Sports Outreach Program with 89 hunts involving over 220 youth from 44 different high schools across Kansas. During the 2020 hunting seasons, we added one part-time coordinator and boosted the number of hunts to 206, engaging over 600 youth,” said Brittany Waldman, Director of Field Operations for Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors. “For 2021, we expect to field 300 hunts in Kansas and with our new staff on the ground in Iowa another 60 hunts there.”
There are approximately 4,000 high school and college trap shooting athletes in Iowa. The Shooting Sports Outreach Program aims to provide hunting and fishing opportunities to as many of these youth as possible.
“Many of these youth have taken hunter safety, they have been taught hands-on safe gun handling and have learned one of the basic skills needed to hunt,” Brittany said. “Our goal is to increase their interest and motivation to hunt by providing as many different hunting opportunities as we possibly can.”
Brittany further indicated that, “Our goals with this program are to 1) recruit new hunters by giving those who don’t currently hunt opportunities to pursue upland game, waterfowl, turkey and deer; 2) retain current hunters by giving those youth trap shooters and their parents who are currently hunters the opportunity to engage in more hunting activities; and 3) to reactivate parents and coaches who want to participate in these hunting activities. This model can be applied to numerous different cohorts in hopes to inspire others to have a passion for hunting and fishing.”
To accomplish this, Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors partners with local chapters of NGO’s, the state fish and wildlife agency and private landowners to provide access and volunteers and mentors who assist with the events.
The Iowa Chapter of SCI
The Iowa Chapter of SCI is a group of Iowans working to protect our and your right to hunt and to conserve wildlife-in Iowa, around the US and internationally.
We support many projects and activities that educate and recruit hunters, support hunting as essential tool of wildlife conservation and promote a positive image of hunters through good citizenship. IOWA SCI, FIRST FOR HUNTERS.
About Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors
Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors is a Wichita, Kansas-based national organization dedicated to providing children with mentors who will share with them the experiences of traditional outdoor activities. The heart of the group's mission is to give children opportunities to connect with nature that they more than likely won't have without a mentor showing them the way. For more information about Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors, please visit http://www.outdoormentors.org.