Five young conservationists will receive the gift of a lifetime for a passionate hunter -- a Missouri Lifetime Hunting Permit.
Pheasants Forever (PF) and Quail Forever (QF) received a grant for the permits from the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation.
The permits will go to Missouri PF and QF chapters, based on their work providing conservation education events and hunting opportunities to Missouri youths.
"These grants build stronger relationships with our non-governmental organization partners and help all of us deliver conservation education to Missouri youth," said Elsa Gallagher, a wildlife ecologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation. "We look forward to working with PF and QF chapters to provide additional youth hunting opportunities."
The resident lifetime small game hunting permits can only go to youths under age 16. They are valued at $275 each.
"Our chapters and volunteers will use these donations to increase interest and youth participation in conservation, shooting sports, and hunting," said Jim Wooley, QF's field operations director. "We cannot thank the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation enough for their commitment to youth and continuing small game hunting traditions. These permits commit youth to a lifetime of education afield through environmental conservation and hunting."
The first permit went to the Ozark Plateau chapter of QF in Springfield. Chapter President Mike Brooks said his chapter plans to use the permit as an incentive to get more youths involved in local conservation efforts.
Every new youth member who joins the Ozark Plateau chapter over the next year will have a chance to win the lifetime hunting permit, which will be raffled off at the end of the year.
Additional PF and QF chapters will be identified as recipients of lifetime permits this summer. Chapters receiving permits can grant them to youth hunters within their chapters.
Missouri currently has six PF chapters and six QF chapters with more than 1,500 members statewide.
Those chapters have spent more than $250,000 for habitat work on more than 16,500 acres.
Anyone interested in starting a PF or QF chapter in Missouri can contact Wooley at 641-774-2238 or firstname.lastname@example.org.