Jacob Young Emerging Leader Spotlight

After joining the Idaho State Chapter Board, I’ve been lucky enough to get acquainted with the University of Idaho (U of I) Collegiate Chapter and their powerhouse of a President Jacob Young.  We first met when he graciously invited me to attend a duck call build he solicited and organized for the club. The event was a perfect combination of team building, learning about the pros and cons of a niche outdoor industry, and plain old loud “quacky” fun. During this, Jacob and I hatched a scheme to get their members out duck hunting with their new calls and complete a stewardship project I wanted to get done that fall.  (See BHA Blog post from Nov 27, 2023 Calls, Quacks and Barbed Wire Hacks.


When Jacob arrived at the U of I in the fall of 2021, the collegiate club for BHA hadn’t been active since 2019. While attending a Ducks Unlimited Banquet dinner in Moscow, Jacob met the former president of the Washington State University (WSU) BHA club and was bit by the mission and possibilities for having a BHA club at U of I. He reached out to the Idaho State Chapter about restarting the club and was able to convince the former faculty advisor to step into the role again, who suggested they partner with the WSU club (20 minutes across the border in Washington) to hold joint meetings. Jacob was elected President of the U of I Chapter in September of 2022. Soon there were more U of I students attending the joint meetings than WSU students and Jacob started having their own club meetings in Moscow. In his tenure as president, he build the club list of students up from 20 to over 150. He was able to attract all those fellow classmates by organizing and hosting over 20 events on a wide variety of aspects of hunting, fishing, and conservation.

Since the call build, I have attended several more of the events Jacob has organized. The biggest one being the first annual Habitat for the Future Banquet. Jacob was the driving force behind the conception, planning, acquiring of sponsors, and execution of the banquet. The night was a huge success, in fact it is the single largest fundraiser in the history of the Idaho BHA Chapter! The money raised at the banquet is all going back to habitat restoration: the U of I club has purchased seedlings of elderberry, serviceberry, and snowberry which they will be planting in migration areas for deer and elk on the Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area outside of Lewiston, Idaho.

Jacob is in his final semester for a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Science with an emphasis in conservation law enforcement, already having completed an associates degree in Criminal Justice. His goal is to become a conservation officer with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG).  He currently works in the education department of IDFG teaching trapping and hunters education classes.  He and his wife life in Moscow, Idaho and are an active part of the greater BHA community in North Idaho. As a testament to all his hard work and dedication, Jacob was awarded with the Rachel L. Carson Award for 2024, which is BHA’s Emerging Leader Award intended to acknowledge a young leader who has gone above and beyond in their contributions to the conservation, hunting, or angling communities. Jacob is well deserving of this honor and I can’t wait to see where his future takes him. 

About Melissa Hendrickson

Melissa grew up in Northern Maine generally spending a lot of time outdoors. She started hunting after moving to Idaho for work in 2014. Melissa is a former public land hydrologist, current North Idaho Co-Chair of the State Board and SAHM.

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