We had 15 new hunters in total, with some from Kingman and some from Wichita. The Kingman kids were mostly 7th graders who had taken hunter ed at the middle school in Kingman. The Wichita hunters had recently completed a class that Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors had helped coordinate for the FOP and their families.
Volunteers from Wichita PF, QF and NWTF chapters helped with the hunt, mentoring the new hunters as they walked the fields.
First Hunt pheasant hunts start with a review of hunter safety rules, especially as they relate to upland game hunting. We stress keeping the line of hunters straight as they walk the field, good muzzle control and gun handling safety, proper zone of fire and what to watch and look for as they walk the field. A mentor accompanies each new hunter.
Usually, the smiles on the kids faces are all the thanks we need. But sometimes, we get a nice email. Brett Garrison, Principal of the Kingman Middle School sent the following email (Kingman is one of about 50 schools across KS that offer Hunter Education in the schools; in Kingman it is offered to 7th graders):
I can not thank you and your mentors enough for coming to Kingman for the hunt. I was extremely excited when you approached me about this opportunity for the youth here in Kingman. I can now say that it far exceeded my expectation. The event was well organized and the instruction was invaluable for young hunters. The kids that participated had an amazing time and will be talking about it for quite some time. In my 16 years in education this ranks among one of the best opportunities provided outside the classroom. It was a once in a lifetime experience for some of these kids and an experience some will never forget.
We are able to host these kinds of events only due to the generosity of our supporters and sponsors. That's you. So give yourself a big pat on the back because you helped make this happen.
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. Partnering with organizations with like-minded conservation and youth participation efforts like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Pheasants Forever, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Delta Waterfowl, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the National Wild Turkey Federation, among others, volunteers with a passion for the outdoors can give a child the chance to go fish, hunt, or simply spend time in the fields with a caring adult.
For more information about Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors, please visit www.OutdoorMentors.org.