The Colorado chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) started off 2020 with a bang, if not shotgun blast volley, by setting up camp at the International Sportsmen’s Expo (ISE) in Denver during January and spreading the word about BHA’s wildlands and wildlife conservation efforts (and other work) across Colorado, the country and continent.
The chapter had a booth at the ISE from Thursday, January 9, through Sunday, January 12, which was spearheaded by our Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) Liaison, Ryan McSparran. We also hosted an ISE Public Lands Pint Night on Friday evening. In addition, we ran a membership sweepstakes for a Weatherby Shotgun and Artiodactyla Euro Mount Package, sold the latest BHA merchandise and screened BHA’s Public Land Owner Films.
“I wanted to send a THANK YOU to everyone who helped with the International Sportsman’s Expo in Denver over the weekend,” Ryan McSparran said. “During the four days, 27 individual members came to help staff our booth. It was fun and encouraging to see so many folks get involved. Thanks to all the CLT members who helped out. You anchored the event.”
“A big thanks to Kassi Smith, Elena Reynolds and Don Holmstrom who worked multiple shifts throughout the weekend,” Ryan added. “Elena and her family drove from Steamboat to participate. Kassi additionally organized all the merchandise and booth setup. The teamwork, enthusiasm and professionalism really showed—we brought in about 70 Memberships and grossed just over $4,000. Our volunteers truly rocked it!”
“I would like to echo Ryan’s thank you to Kassi, Elena and Don,” BHA Program Manager Brien Webster said. “We couldn’t have pulled this off without you and we’re fortunate to have you as part of the team! I’d also like to acknowledge Ryan’s efforts. Ryan led this from the very beginning, organizing volunteer shifts, providing training, coordinating with ISE organizers and being present during the show. Fantastic work all!”
“Congrats to Zack Vosburg for winning the Weatherby Inc. Element and Mike Terpstra for winning the Artiodactyla Euro Mount Package,” Brien added. “Thank you to everyone who signed up to support BHA and our work for public lands, waters and wildlife! … Finally, we had over 25 volunteers come out to help us at ISE. To all of you, THANK YOU! You are the heart of BHA and your support means more than you know!!”
“Another exceptionally well planned and executed operation, one our military members would be proud of,” chapter co-chair, David Lien (a former U.S. Air Force officer) said. “Outstanding planning and leadership combined with our boots-on-the-ground members rising to the occasion and executing the plan. Well done!”
In the words of BHA founder, Mike Beagle (a former U.S. Army field artillery officer),
“We must continue on a path of articulating clear, commonsense … solutions as we defend wild habitat and fair chase hunting and fishing … We can distinguish ourselves by focusing on our values and standing up to those who would defile them.” “Think about what we leave for our children,” Mike added. “That’s enough motivation for me. Let’s make it happen.”
For additional Colorado BHA and related information see:
-“Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers End of Year Report.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 1/15/20.
-“Backcountry Hunters & Anglers 2019 Policy Roundup.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 12/23/19.
-“Third Annual Public Land Owner Film Fest.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: November 2019.
-“Fall 2019 Colorado Chapter News.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 9/16/19.
-“Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Mid-Year Report/Update: June 2019.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 7/1/19.
-David Petersen (founder of the first BHA chapter, here in Colorado, and a former U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot) books: www.davidpetersenbooks.com
Founded by Mike Beagle, a former U.S. Army field artillery officer, and formed around an Oregon campfire, in 2004, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the voice for our nation’s wild public lands, waters and wildlife. With over 40,000 members spread out across all 50 states and 13 Canadian provinces and territories—including chapters in 45 states, two Canadian provinces and one territory, and Washington, D.C.—BHA brings an authentic, informed, boots-on-the-ground voice to the conservation of public lands. Since the Colorado BHA chapter was founded by David Petersen (a former U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot) in 2005 (the first official BHA chapter), they’ve grown their boots-on-the-ground presence to some 3,000 dedicated hunters and anglers.
 Mike Beagle, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) Chairman. “Reasons or Results.” Backcountry Journal: Fall 2006, p. 1.
 Mike Beagle, BHA Chairman. “Nothing breeds success like success.” Backcountry Journal: Spring 2007, p. 1.