From an overzealous hunter being cited for shooting from the road at an elk decoy, to a father and daughter having a memorable pronghorn hunt on a walk-in area in Weston County, to young hunters from across the state competing in the Youth Hunter Education Challenge last May, Bowhunters of Wyoming is giving back.
The Bowhunters of Wyoming not only has ownership in all these projects, but 86 others including many habitat improvements - since 1989. The ultra-charitable organization, with a membership of 400 archers and 16 affiliated clubs across the state, has contributed just short of $120,000 to Cowboy State wildlife projects over the last 22 years.
"Even if the Bowhunters of Wyoming channeled all their generous donations to getting more hunting access for members or improving habitat for their main quarry of elk, deer, and pronghorn, that would be more than admirable," said Bill Rudd, former assistant Wildlife Division chief. "But, BOW's contributions have covered the spectrum of Game and Fish projects from big game enforcement decoys to conservation education to goose nesting structures and beyond."
Specifically that has included contributing $9,875 to seven big game decoys scattered across the state, plus $1,500 for two enforcement cameras. Conservation education projects have included being one of the first supporters of the Hunting & Fishing Heritage Expo, plus backing for the Paintrock Hunter Mentor Program, archery in the schools, Becoming an Outdoors Woman, and the Outdoor Hall of Fame display in Cody.
"BOW understands the importance of young people to the future of hunting and fishing," Rudd said. "They have contributed over $22,000 to support the Hunting and Fishing Heritage Expo."
And habitat, the foundation of wildlife populations, has been the beneficiary of at least 34 BOW contributions ranging from burns, to seeding, to guzzlers, to nearly every aspect of habitat improvement this state's experienced the last two decades.
"BOW has been a great long-term partner of the department," Rudd added. "They go the extra mile to make sure their organization is an important part of wildlife conservation in Wyoming."
Rudd also cites BOW for helping take turkey management to a new level in Wyoming. They donated $3,000 to research the intricacies of a potential two-gobbler limit in northeast Wyoming. "That donation was vital in the telemetry studies and surveys that helped establish the viability of the new regulation," he said.
BOW's funding and support has brought the International Bowhunter Education Program to Wyoming. BOW would like to see the class become mandatory for all bowhunters in Wyoming, as it is in several neighboring states.
BOW officers are grateful to Game and Fish commissioners for donating their big game licenses for BOW to raffle and raise funds for projects.
"Those license donations have been vital in meeting our goals of access, habitat improvements, youth outdoor education, and law enforcement," said Jeff Capron, BOW public relations chairman. "BOW looks forward to working with the Game and Fish Department in the future on these same issues and making bow hunting even better in Wyoming."
For more information about BOW and their affiliate groups across the state, visit their website at http://bowhuntersofwyoming.com .
(Contact: Jeff Obrecht (307) 777-4532)