Souris River Basin Longbeards
Town: Minot, N.D.
President: Percy Ottmar
Vice President: Peter Yung
Banquet Chairman: Brian Lokken
Created in: 2001
Banquet: Feb. 14, 2009
Your chapter puts a lot of its focus on outreach programs. Why?
We are very involved in getting youth engaged in outdoor sports because we want to do our part to help ensure the future of hunting and conservation. So many kids spend too much time indoors on the Internet or playing video games and we want to show them the joys of the outdoors. To do so, we conduct shooting, hunting and fishing events, including ice fishing events such as the one we have coming up this weekend.
Outreach is our priority. We're involved with the NWTF because of its outreach programs designed to encourage kids, women and people with disabilities to get outside and enjoy the outdoors with events such as our disabled fishing event that we conduct with the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge on the first Saturday of June every year.
What avenues do you use to get the word out about outreach events in your area?
We have a Web site where we publish event dates and after-event photos, and we contact local news groups, but its mostly done through word of mouth. People who come to the events tell others about the events and how much fun they have while they're there.
What partnerships really benefit your chapter's outreach efforts?
We work a great deal with 4-H and the National Archery in Schools Program to promote shooting in the area. Together, we purchased a trailer that we turned into a 4-H Shooting Trailer that we could take to fairs and outdoor shows to promote safe shooting.
How does your chapter encourage young people, women and people with disabilities to participate in the outdoors?
Mainly, we try to make our events fun so people will want to come back and bring their friends, and it seems to be working. We have had more repeat attenders than we thought we would. Everyone really seems to enjoy themselves at the events, and we hope for this to continue.
How important is Turkey Hunters Care to your chapter and in your community?
This year, we donated 265 frozen domestic turkeys to community groups in our area. Most of them went to our local Community Action Group, which knew the families who needed the help. We started working in Turkey Hunters Care four years ago, and it has really grown in support. We raise the money through donations and raffles, and purchase the frozen turkeys from local grocery stores to help those who need a little bit of extra support. And, every year, we receive thank you cards from people who are so grateful.