Helps Kids with Trophy Hunts
|The Karl Malone Youth Conservation Initiative was launched on November 20 in Salt Lake City to give 30 youths, 14- to 19-years-old, the thrill of a lifetime opportunity to participate in guided, trophy hunts.
Thanks to a generous donation by Karl Malone, the Utah Wildlife Board supported a proposal brought to it recently by Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (SFW) and made 30 special Utah hunting permits available for youths.
These are not average hunts, according to program organizers. Youths will have an unprecedented opportunity to apply for and draw tags on the most premier hunting units in the state for trophy deer, elk, wild turkey and other game. Hunts will take place in fall 2002 and spring 2003.
Malone, an NBA star forward with the Utah Jazz and an avid hunter and wildlife conservation advocate, committed $50,000 to cover up to $1,000 in travel expenses and all of the license and guide fees for youths who are successful in drawing one of the special tags.
"There's nothing I'd rather do than be outdoors, hunting with my family and friends," Malone said. "These youth hunts will last a few days, but the memories will last forever. That's the type of thing I want to be involved in."
A number of different conservation groups will help promote these hunts to youths across the country. Applications will be available immediately at the chapter meetings of participating conservation organizations, and through national magazine advertisements. The National Wild Turkey Federation, the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, Safari Club International, Pheasants Forever, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Mule Deer Foundation have joined with SFW in the program.
"Several million youths will learn about the unmatched hunting Utah has to offer and about the conservation efforts required to help wildlife flourish like it has in Utah since the turn of the century," said John Kimball, director of the Division of Wildlife Resources. "Getting kids interested in wildlife and habitat conservation will be one of the keys to protecting the future of what Utah has built over the past several decades."
Karl Malone and SFW designed the unique program, in partnership with the Division of Wildlife Resources, to give youths the hunting opportunity of a lifetime, according to SFW president Don Peay.
"There's a lot of doubt and uncertainty in the world today, but nature is always constant," Peay said. "Bull elk always bugle in October, bighorn sheep butt heads in November and waterfowl migrate in the fall. We hope these hunts will provide youths a chance to enjoy the simple, constant things of life and quality time with their families in Utah's great outdoors."
Youth applicants must fill out and return an application to one of the participating conservation organizations by April 15, 2002. There will be a public drawing for the permits on April 30, 2002. Applications and additional details are available online at any of the following Web sites (www.sfwsfh.org, www.fnaws.org, www.nwtf.org, www.pheasantsforever.org, www.safariclub.org, and www.muledeer.org), or by e-mailing the Utah Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation at RMEFutah@yahoo.com.
The program will also be promoted at Utah sporting goods retailers and across the country during seven International Sportsmen's Expositions, one of which will be held in Salt Lake City from March 14 - 17, 2002.
The Utah Wildlife Board approved additional permits for the hunts, and did not take existing permits away from the public to provide the opportunity. Seven trophy bull elk permits and six trophy mule deer permits, as well as six wild turkey permits, one cougar permit, one bear permit and one pronghorn permit were approved for the drawing to be held among youth applicants nationwide. As part of the Malone Youth Initiative, several premier Midwest pheasant and waterfowl hunts have also been arranged by Pheasants Forever in Minnesota.
In addition to the 30 hunts offered nationwide, there will be seven additional trophy elk and deer hunts offered to Utah's youth hunters. These hunts will also be distributed via the local Utah chapters of the participating conservation groups.
For the second year in a row, Karl Malone has donated $100,000 to Utah conservation groups for various wildlife conservation projects. These $100,000 donations are in addition to his $50,000 donated for the special youth hunts.
Copyright © 2001 J & D Outdoor Communications. All rights reserved.