2024 Small Game Bootcamp Recap


BHA Chapters are unique due to their abilities to cast a broad focus within the conservation world. Chapters identify and engage in important topics, issues, and trends that are localized to their specific state and region. BHA chapter leaders also simply know how to have a great time while engaging on important and impactful topics! That’s exactly what the Kentucky BHA Chapter did on June 8th in collaboration with Kevin Murphy of Small Game Nation and hosting Small Game Bootcamp! This full day event was hosted at Carson Park in Paducah, Kentucky and provided numerous opportunities to engage on conservation topics and the cycle of small game hunting. Attendees had excellent opportunities to learn, network, compete, and eat while taking a chance to win over $10K worth of raffle prizes and $1K of free door prizes!



Of course, our canine hunting companions were a major focus of the event, and the morning started with a dog bench show. A handful of courageous canines took the stage and showed off their form and cunning ability to win the crowd and judges. Winners were able to take home sweet prizes including gift cards to a National BHA Partner, Sportdog. 



BHA events provide educational components to the schedules, and Small Game Bootcamp hosted sessions on several highly engaging topics.

  • Kevin Murphy awed the crowd with his quick and efficient squirrel skinning abilities… as seen on TV!
  • Adam Ziegler from Backridge Ammunition educated the crowd on best ammunition to use for small game including shot sizes and patterns (also displayed at his booth)
  • Jared Thatcher, owner of TDF Kennels demonstrated canine training skills for both advanced and beginner practices.
  • Veterinarian Vennessa Jones engaged the crowd on best practices of taking care of our canine friends.
  • Scott Cronin provided an engaging session on best conservation practices displaying excellent tools from Extreme Blower Products and partnering with Echo Tools rep Andrew Clark of Midwest Equipment & Supply.



What’s a conversation about hunting and fishing without talking about Wild Game Cooking? Small game is wonderful table fare and it’s how many folks learned to cook wild game. Many people share a common history of “Grandma’s Fried Rabbit Recipe”, so at our first Small Game Bootcamp we hosted a Wild Game Cookoff featuring rabbit! Some amazing teams spent time preparing their favorite rabbit recipe and the outcome was incredible! The winner received an 8” culinary knife from Boothill Blades plus a free entry into the World Champion Squirrel Cookoff hosted in Arkansas. Additional prizes were a 12” Carbon Fry Skillet from Made In, and a beautiful wooden cutting board from Boothill Kitchen!



Keeping in the topic of wild game, we certainly want to highlight the effort brought by the KY Fish and Wildlife Fisheries Biologists and the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Information & Education Division for providing awesome presentations on filleting and cooking carp! Asian Carp have infiltrated many of our waters and as horrific as these invasive fish can be to our waterways, they are delicious! A huge thanks to these professionals for these engaging demonstrations and carp tastings! Follow Western Kentucky Fisheries on their FB Page by CLICKING HERE



Competitions are always fun methods of testing our skills under pressure and having a lot of fun! At Small Game Bootcamp, folks had an opportunity to compete in the activity called “The McAlister”. This event is named for the late Grant McAlister, one of the Kentucky BHA Chapter Founding Members. This highly popular activity put folks on even ground with a bb gun and a recurve. One scored shot with each tool at a small game target collected a popular response and simply added a lot of fun to the day! Congrats to deadeye Randy Wilson for taking home a sweet Boker Knife for first place!



Small Game Bootcamp was completed with several awesome vendors. We want to thank all these fine folks that set up space and added value to this event! Backridge Ammo, Lewis & Grant Auctions, Boothill Kitchen, Boothill Blades, Wild Rivers Coffee, Chase’N Outdoors, Appalachian Bloom, Munchie Madness, The Catering Company, Zingara Foods, KY Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, local pecans, and Kentucky Regulators Gun Club. 


Small game hunting is how so many folks cut their teeth in the hunting. The tradition around small game is still inherently alive and Small Game Bootcamp was an opportunity to highlight relevance of small game conservation as it simply provides positive impacts for all game and nongame species.

A huge thank you goes out to those that attended the event! Congrats to those that left with some amazing raffle and door prizes. The engagement from those in attendance was fulfilling and is a great reminder of why we’re all dedicated to conservation!

Small Game Bootcamp was made possible by the contributions of these generous partners:

Event Sponsors:


Country Boy Brewing

Whuff Rod Company

Wild Rivers Coffee

Audubon Animal Hospital

Splatter Inc.

Lewis & Grant Auctions

Boothill Blades


Event Donors:

Carson Park

Atlas Porta Potties

Boothill Kitchen

World Champion Squirrel Cookoff

Paducah Shooters Supply

Purple Toad Winery

Chase’N Outdoors

Extreme Blower Product


About Kentucky BHA

Our chapter is dedicated to serving the interests of conservation and access to clean public lands and waters. Through planning, collaboration, and dedication, we will make a difference.

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