Two new clubs added to the Collegiate Program
BHA recently welcomed two new clubs to our Collegiate Program: Auburn University in Alabama and Holland, Michigan. Both efforts were led by dedicated student leaders, and we are looking forward to working with them to bring BHA’s mission and work to new audiences at each university.
Officers: Clay Colley, Tyler Stephenson, Ross Travis, Katlyn Boyle
Auburn University club members held their first meeting in mid-February where they invited guest speaker and Southeast chapter leader, Andrew Maxwell, to present on BHA’s mission as well as public land and water issues throughout the country, the southeast and Alabama in particular. They are currently competing against BHA’s Mississippi State club in the “Tree Rat Classic,” a friendly competition combining squirrel hunting with trash pack outs. Auburn club leaders also volunteered at the Barbour County Youth Hunt where kids got to participate in a variety of learning stations and small game hunts. Looking forward they hope to host a turkey hunting event (“Gobblers and Garbage”) and continue to grow their membership and involvement to increase our voice and work on behalf of public lands in the South.
Clay Colley, the club’s current president, led the efforts to bring BHA to Auburn.
“I joined BHA for my love for public lands. I grew up hunting a wildlife management area in Central Alabama and continued to watch its decline in landmass from year to year. This struck me, and when I found BHA this past summer, it was an instant match. I loved the idea of active advocacy for public lands, like-minded people, and absence of political views.”
Holland Officers: Cameron Wright, Greyson Chatfield, Tim Bott, Kelly Gryniewicz, Deanna DeLeeuw, Peyton Scogin, Isaiah Nutt
A group of students from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, also have started a club, though it is not currently affiliated with the university. The students are passionate about hunting, fishing and getting people outside. Along with tabling and general recruitment, they hope to partner with the Michigan DNR this spring to host a trash cleanup in the Allegan State Game Area. They also have hopes of hosting a Learn to Steelhead Fish event due to Michigan’s legendary steelhead runs. They have focused their first months as a club focused on creating relationships with local businesses within their community for future collaborations and club support. Cameron Wright led the efforts to bring a BHA club to Holland.
“As to why I wanted to start a BHA club simply comes down to how difficult it was for me to continue hunting in college. I originally went to a college in Naperville, Illinois, but transferred after my first year to Hope College mainly because of how much I missed hunting! At Hope, I had a heck of a time figuring out where to go hunting, where to store my firearm, what to do with the wild game I did harvest, and so on. It took me until my senior year to finally have that all figured out. Once I had, I wanted to share this knowledge with people in similar situations as myself, so I decided to start a hunting club.”
If you are interested in learning more about our Collegiate Program, please contact Schumacher@backcountryhunters.org