Jim Chapman in Passing

Jim Chapman in Passing

The Late Jim Chapman, VT
The Late Jim Chapman, VT
Outdoors Magazine
Outdoors Magazine

Vermont –-(AmmoLand.com)- The great American social reformer Norman Thomas once said, “The secret of a good life is to have the right loyalties and hold them in the right scale of values.” It is hard not to read these words and think of the late Jim Chapman.

For those not fortunate enough to know him they missed one of the men who some say had the most significant impact on the sporting world in Vermont in the modern era. Among other things he was a hunter education instructor, women's program pioneer, president of the Vermont Federation of Sportsman's Clubs (in fact he held every position there), and a devoted mentor and teacher.

The friends and family of Outdoors Magazine know his loss will be felt across the Vermont sporting landscape. They also know his values and accomplishments should live on.

To help preserve his legacy, Outdoors asked some of Jim's friends and colleagues to share their thoughts about him. By doing so, it is hoped that even in passing, Jim's example will shine and inspire future generations.

“I have extremely fond memories of Jim, dating all the way back to 1982 when I started with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. His warm, friendly smile, along with a genuine welcoming handshake will always remain etched in my mind. Jim was a true advocate of our youth and sportsmen. At many meetings throughout the past three decades, the state of Vermont could count on Jim’s support and leadership to ensure that every kid in the state of Vermont had a chance to attend the Green Mountain Conservation Camps and hunter education class. The Department’s tremendous summer kid’s camp carries national recognition today, much of that credit goes to the support of Jim and his fellow sportsmen. His quiet, yet effective and respected leadership will never be forgotten.

My sincere sympathies and prayers are with Jim and his family at this time.”

-Mark E. Scott, CWB
Director of Wildlife
Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department

“In December of 2005 I was at the Vermont Air National Guard hanger at the Burlington Airport for the return of my son from his first deployment. Jim Chapman was there working with the Vermont State Guard.

This was so typical of the way Jim Chapman lived his life. It was late on a cold Friday night, the flight my son was on was late. Jim was no youngster but there he was, as always, giving of his time to serve others.

Whether coaching a novice shooter, working a gun show, helping with the Friends of NRA to raise funds for Vermonter shooters, holding numerous offices with the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, serving with the Vermont State Guard or one of the numerous other groups, Jim always made his knowledge and experience available to our community.

My daughter, a military journalist for the Vermont Army National Guard, was on duty that night and she snapped a picture of Jim and me with our arms over each other's shoulders, laughing. I am in hopes that somewhere she has that picture, for I want to have a copy of it. A photo of a happy moment with a man who was the definition of the terms ‘great guy' and a good friend.”
-Evan Hughes
Vermont Federation of Sportsmen

“The best any of us can do is to leave people better off for having known us. In extraordinary cases a rare individual touches just not individuals, but entire communities, even a whole state. We all know Jim was this sort of rare man and extraordinary example. To say that he will be missed is an understatement, but we all know Jim will always be with us living on in the smiles and helping hand of a good friend, mentor, or neighbor. God bless his family; thank you for having shared Jim with us. We are all certainly better off for having known and worked with him—I know I am.

Thank you, Jim. Pull!”

-James Ehlers,
Executive Director
Lake Champlain International, Inc.

“Jim was a mild-mannered and kind-hearted soul who taught a lot of people how to shoot a shotgun. He even showed a stubborn bird hunter like me a few things. Jim was a patient and kind teacher of the shooting sports. It didn’t seem to matter if you were a child picking up a gun for the first time, or an experienced crack shot – Jim was nice to everyone. He was a life-long supporter of our hunting heritage in Vermont and he will be sorely missed.”

-John Gobeille
Wildlife Biologist
Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department

“Some say he was born with a shotgun in one hand and raffle tickets in another. A hunter and angler from day one, he began shooting skeet and trap in 1963 and since then has volunteered countless hours to numerous sporting clubs and organizations. A generous man, who is known for pulling sportsmen and women together in tough times, to reach common goals.

His years of mentoring and teaching has touched thousands, making him a pillar in Vermont’s sporting community.

Having shot over 69,000 registered skeet in competition, trap and skeet in heaven should be very worried.

Cheers Jim! Thank you! We’ll miss you.”

Frank Stanley
Vermont Traditions Coalition