Hopefully all of you are involved to one degree or another in at least one club or organization that supports hunting, conservation, and the outdoors. There are tons of opportunities out there to get involved or donate your time and money. When many of us think of these organizations we probably tend to focus on some of the larger ones (NRA, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Pheasants Forever, Quail Unlimited, etc). These are all fine organizations and I am a member of several but don’t forget about your local sportsman’s or conservation club.
You may have to seek out your local club but they are out there. The reason I bring this up is just this past weekend my local club where I’m an officer at had our annual youth fishing rodeo. Most of the other organizations I support require I send a check in and then I assume they are doing what is best for myself and likeminded sportsmen. However, when dealing with my local club I get to see first hand my impacts. This can be through our monthly club meeting where I get to interact in person with fellow sportsmen, fishing rodeos, sporting days for local youths, introducing women to the outdoors, etc. The possibilities are endless and the best part is that YOU can actually make the difference.
I am going to highlight the Eastern Illinois Sportsman’s Club annual fishing rodeo in this article but there are so many other clubs and organizations out there doing similar and just as important events. I strongly urge you to get involved because those people who you positively impact with regards to hunting and shooting may just be the ones replacing us someday to carry on the traditions we have all worked so hard to establish. Without further delay here are some photos from this past weekend in Porterville, IL.
Seeing the smiles on these kids faces just solidifies why we do what we do. Another great thing with the rodeo is the community involvement and support behind it. Local merchants and organizations donate enough items each year that every kid gets at least one prize alongside of various awards going to biggest and most fish in several categories. Along with the rodeo the EISC also provides a certified hunters education course (Illinois) each year in August at no charge to the attendees.
I’m not trying to toot my own horn or that of the this particular group, I’m merely trying to inspire you to seek out similar organizations or perhaps get more involved and increase your contributions to current clubs you are a part of. If someone had not acted as an inspiration at sometime in your life then you wouldn’t be reading this article. Get out there and get involved. You’ll thank yourself after you impact that first life.