2022 KYBHA TIMELINE EVENT RECAP
What a year 2022 has been for Kentucky Backcountry Hunters & Anglers/KYBHA! We had only 15 official events in 2021 and this year we have had 31 total official events-two of which are getting ready to happen as of this writing. This more than doubled our events from the year before, so one could safely assume our board and members are rocking it! This year we choose to continually crisscross the state with all of our events while simultaneously accelerating our speed at putting on events for our members to attend.
We started in January with both a Lexington & Louisville Pint Night. Then followed that up with a first joint event between the Indiana and Kentucky chapters. The two state chapters held a Pint Night in Louisville in conjunction with the Archery Trade Association (ATA Pint Night Jan 2021 - Backcountry Hunters and Anglers). We ended January at another Pint Night in Morehead for the Southern Musky Festival.
We then continued in February with another Louisville and Lexington Pint Night, and an additional Winchester Pint Night. We also decided like true sportsmen and women that bad weather shouldn’t deter us, so we held our first of several Public Land Work Days at Miller-Welch WMA in Richmond followed by a cookout.
We decided for March to hold another Pint Night in both Louisville and Lexington. We held our second Work Day at Veterans Memorial WMA in Georgetown followed by a cookout. Also, in partnership with other conservation groups we defeated 5 of 6 bad bills that would negatively affect our outdoor heritage – a very strong showing at the Capital indeed.
We decided in April to hold another Pint Night in both Lexington and Louisville again along with our first Pint Night in Owensboro. We additionally held our first Tabling Event of the year at the Kentucky Traditional TradFest for traditional archery shooters in Harrodsburg. We also decided to hold a morning coffee version of our traditional pint nights called Backcountry Brew in Lexington.
When May came we held another Lexington Pint night along with another Work day/Archery Event at Hisle Farm Archery Park in Lexington followed by a cookout.
When June hit us we held another Pint Night in Lexington followed by a Tabling Event at Bluegrass Trout Unlimited Fly Casting Lessons in Frankfort.
What transpired in July for us was another Lexington Pint Night with another Tabling Event at Send It Slam Outdoor Festival in Louisville along with our annual in-person board meeting.
Once again in August, we conducted what has become our signature event, a Work Day Clean-up of Peabody WMA, out largest WMA. This is where we continued our annual tradition of getting a roll-off dumpster and filling it full with debris (illegally dumped) at Peabody WMA for the benefit of all land users and of course we followed that up with a picnic and time to meet all the members who showed up to help. This year’s Peabody Clean-up was special, because a board member was able to get approval to make the event a Service Project for the Army Warrant Officer Training Class from Wendell Ford Regional Training Center. Partnering with our military is something BHA does nationally and we were proud to do it. We did another Work Day that month, which consisted of doing a “hack and squirt” to remove invasive non-native plants and trees at Higginson-Johnson Henry WMA in Morganfield. We ended that month with a R3 class of Shotguns Skills/Pre-Dove Warm-up in partnership with Hunters of Color and Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife in Lawrenceburg.
September is “Public Lands Month” and we are always excited when it rolls in. We did a joint clean-up with Bluegrass Trout Unlimited at Hickman Creek in Veterans Park in Lexington followed by another cookout. We also held our first National Public Land Day Clean-up of Buckhorn Lake WMA followed by a cookout.
This brings us to October where we had our second of our two annual signature events. This consisted of Fall Trout Stocking at the Red River Gorge in partnership with the Fisheries Division of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. We also established our first formal committee. The Legislative Affairs Committee will be Chaired by Nick Hart, with members Mike Abell and Michelle Ralston on board. Mike is a campfire circle member and original KYBHA Member. Michelle is a life member and we are proud to say our first committee member who is not on the board of directors. Involving our at-large-members has been a goal for chapter leadership for some time. The Legislative Affairs Committee will work in a more focused and efficient was, partnering with other conservation charities, to keep our membership informed, about good and bad legislation that effects our mission and heritage.
November is always slow for official chapter activities because we all want to be out enjoying all the open hunting seasons, especially deer season. Nevertheless, we were able to squeeze in a Pint Night in Morehead.
Finally in December, we held both one signature and one soon to be signature events. We held our annual Kentucky Conservation Christmas in Lexington with many conservation groups invited to briefly talk (National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Wildlife Women, KY Fish & Wildlife Foundation, KY Back Country Horseman Association, City of Lexington Parks Department and Bluegrass Trout Unlimited) along with one state official present too. We ended the year with our first successful chapter fundraiser, a Public Lands Film Festival in Maysville. A shout-out goes to everyone who helped with this event, but especially Mike Abell and Katelyn Bailey for making it happen.
Thanks to all our members and supporters for helping us to be the youngest, most dynamic, and fastest growing conservation organization in Kentucky. We cannot do it without you!