Elk NetworkA Big Boost for Kansas Youth

Volunteer News | November 27, 2023

Kansas has recently received $105,084 in grant funding supplied by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partner organizations. Four of the eight funded projects support youth high school shooting teams! The youth chose to pay it forward by volunteering at RMEF banquets across the state.

The Hays High Trap Team has been organized to participate in the Kansas Clay Target League for its second season. The program’s mission is to provide an all-inclusive opportunity to compete in a team atmosphere, while promoting and demonstrating the safe and responsible handling and storage of firearms and ammunition. RMEF grant funds were used to purchase competition vests and clay pigeons.

“Trap shooting has given me an outlet to release stress and relax. There is something about seeing clays and watching them break that makes me happy. Without trap shooting I would not be the person I am today.” – Morgan McCoy, age 17


Formed in 2021, Abilene High School’s Trapshooting Team provides students with an opportunity to get outdoors and learn and compete in the lifetime sport of trapshooting. RMEF grant funds helped pay for ammunition for the spring season and cover entry fees for 10 young athletes to participate in the 2023 USA High School Clay Target League State Championship.

Shotgun shooting has allowed me to connect with people. For example, meeting new people at the state high school trap tournament and the state 4-H shotgun competition. RMEF has allowed me to help the community and has helped me to pay for my discipline fees, which I am thankful for.” – Morgan Liggett, age 16

The Thunder Clay Target Club is a high school team located in Lenexas, Kansas, that serves Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte county youth. A member of the USA Clay Target League, the team participates in a fall league and competes at the regional, state and national level in trap, skeet, sporting clays and 5-stand. RMEF funds will help offset the coast of safety vests, team jerseys and hats and clay targets.

“It’s a lot of fun because I got to meet new instructors and breaking clays is instant gratification. I got an opportunity to perfect my hand-eye coordination and learned a new stance and discipline.” – Brynn Heffron, age 13

Launched in Spring 2022, the Victoria Shooting Team participates in the Kansas State High School Clay Target League. The program offers Ellis and Russel County high school youth the opportunity to learn shooting sports and participate in an extra-curricular activity. The team is working to expand during the 2023-2024 academic year to include junior high students. RMEF grant funds help purchase shells and other gear.

“We’re grateful for our volunteers and their efforts to host banquets, membership drives and for getting out on the ground to help wildlife,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We also recognize and salute youth from four trap shooting teams that volunteered their time to help at RMEF banquets in Emporia, Hays, Kansas City, Salina and Wichita.”