Photos by Josh Bent
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers' Armed Forces Initiative is a burgeoning part of our mission to engage new hunters and anglers on supporting public lands and waters across North America. Trevor Hubbs is our new AFI coordinator and has already been working on setting a vision for this program that will guide it into the next level of both outreach and outdoors skills.
I grew up in a small town in Southern Illinois at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, just south of where the Missouri meets the Mississippi River. I started hunting at the age of 7 behind our family quail dogs and started fishing earlier than that. I ran coon dogs all through grade school and trained Labs for a local duck club in high school.
After high school I joined the Army and served as an Airborne Infantryman for eight years. I was able to get my bachelor’s degree while serving as an ROTC instructor at Eastern Illinois University and went on to get my graduate degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2019.
Since leaving the Army I’ve worked for two large construction companies in the sales, marketing and project management departments.
I started working with the Armed Forces Initiative in 2021 managing dual skills camps in the Great Lakes after attending the "Train the Trainer" course in Montana. I also worked closely with other AFI leaders to develop the standard operating procedure for the AFI program and was the communications manager for the program during the 2021 BHA Rendezvous.
I have three priorities for the Armed Forces Initiative moving forward:
Dual Skills Camps
After our first 18 months the concept of taking the military community into our wild public lands and recruiting these incredibly skilled, passionate and motivated individuals into BHA and building support of our conservation is well-proven.
Moving forward we need to enable success for our state, province or installation- based leaders to recreate our success on a local level and expand the AFI program to every part of North America.
Too often in our first 18 months the AFI was stymied by lack of funding. We were turning down veterans, BHA leaders and allied partnered organizational requests because we could not afford to help.
In 2022 and beyond, my aim is creating a sustainable and replicable funding account for AFI that is robust enough that any state chapter, installation or province that wants to help their veterans become leaders in conservation will not be limited by monetary concerns.
One of the major obstacles facing the AFI is lack of clear communication and the ability to quickly and efficiently disseminate information from the AFI leadership to AFI members, BHA employees and the AFI leadership at the state, province or installation level.
In 2022 I will be recruiting a North American AFI advisory board from our leadership pipeline to help facilitate a clear line of communication from anyone in the field back to HQ. I will also be redesigning our online presence to be more user-friendly, enabling any BHA member or prospective member to easily review AFI information, events in their area, conservation projects and most importantly contact AFI leadership more easily.
Full reports and strategy outlines for 2022-2025 are available in the communications portion of our webpage. If you have any questions please reach out to me [email protected] or your local AFI Leaders.