Elk NetworkRMEF Awards Grant to Hunting Mentor Program

General | July 23, 2020

Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors received a $10,000.00 grant from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to support its new shooting sports outreach program to engage participants in high school shooting sports and hunting.

“Ensuring the future of our hunting heritage is core to our mission and vital to generating funding for ongoing and future conservation work,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “We are proud to support Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors and salute them for their dedication to engaging youth in hunting and shooting sports.”

Based in Wichita, Kansas, Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors has been engaged in recruiting mentors for at-risk youth since its beginnings in 2002. RMEF was one of the first to step up and help.

In the fall of 2019, Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors launched its shooting sports outreach program, encouraging high school and college trap shooting participants to engage in hunting.

“We were able to organize 89 different hunts, engaging over 220 youth shooting athletes from 44 different Kansas schools,” stated Mike Christensen, President of Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors. “With the support of organizations like RMEF, organizations that are leading the R3 effort nationwide, we are looking forward to piloting this same program in Iowa this coming fall.”

“Between the Scholastic Clay Target Program and the National High School Clay Target League, there are more than 40,000 high school student-athletes participating in trap shooting nationwide,” said Brittany Waldman, director of field operations. The shooting sports outreach program aims to provide hunting and fishing opportunities to as many of these youth as possible. Almost all of these youths have taken hunter safety, and have learned one of the basic skills needed to hunt. Our goal is to increase their interest and motivation to hunt by providing as many different hunting opportunities as we possibly can.”

“Making a difference in the recruitment, retention and reactivation of hunters requires partnership among all of the stakeholders if we’re going to move the needle,” said Christensen. “We’re proud to have the support of RMEF as we build this effort on a bigger scale.”

(Photo source: Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors)