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by Stan Barthlama

A brief history of the outreach program of Northern Colorado Pheasant Forever Chapter #395

In June of 2003, my brother JB contacted me and said I needed to join Pheasants Forever so he and I could start doing Youth pheasant hunts. As luck would have it, this was also the commitment of the Colorado Division of Wildlife. We met with DOW Officer Jim Bulger at his office in Denver in July 2003. We exchanged ideas on how a youth hunt should be conducted. For the next 5 years, PF and the DOW put together a great program. Our first youth hunt was the first Saturday in October 2003. It involved 12 youths, their parents, and 12 mentors.

In 2007, Travis Grace donated a 20-foot enclosed trailer to our Pheasant’s Forever Chapter. A dream had now come true. We could now have a place that was mobile to store and transport our equipment. This also allowed us to do more activities such as fishing, archery, trap shooting, 22 rifle target shooting, and hunting. We equipped the trailer with fishing equipment, 22 rifles, 20 ga. and 410 ga. shotguns, trap throwers, BB and Pellet guns, and archery equipment. This one trailer has now expanded to 4 trailers at various locations in Eastern Colorado. We even have 2 Habitat Trailers.

By the time Pheasant’s Forever started its NO CHILD LEFT INDOORS program in 2008, we were doing four outreach programs a year, two for youth and two for women. The program includes Archery, Trap Shooting, 22 Rifle Target Shooting, and a Planted Pheasant Hunt.

Our program has grown to 12 to 15 events a year. These events include two TUNE CAMPS (THE ULTIMATE NATURE EXPERIENCE). The one in July is weeklong and includes fishing, hiking, cooking, trap shooting, 22 rifle target shooting, archery, fly tying, horseback riding, and a hunter education certification program. This camp is held in the mountains at Calwood Youth Education Campus near Jamestown, CO. The second camp is the 3rd weekend of October at Camp Machasay near Amherst, CO. It includes horseback riding, ATV riding, archery, 22 rifle target shooting, trap shooting, and a planted pheasant hunt on Sunday. We do the shotgun training for the Colorado State Patrol Youth Academy in July.  In December, we take 12 Veterans and their guests on a wild pheasant hunt in Phillips, Yuma, and Saguache counties. We provide food and lodging at no cost to the participants for this 3-day outing.

In 2024, we have scheduled four youth events, three Women on the Wing events, two men’s events, a Veteran’s event, and a Sporting Clays shoot.

We involve 300-plus youth and adults in our outreach events each year. This year our youngest participant was 5 and our oldest was 78. All of this would not be possible without the financial support of our chapter and the many great volunteers who helped make us so successful.

Statistics of the 2023 Outreach Program

These are the approximate numbers for our outreach program for 2023.

  • 11 Total Events (5 Youth, 3 Women, 1 Veteran, 2 Mixed – Adult & Youth)
  • 403 Total Participants
  • 17,834 Total Miles driven by mentors
  • 2,416 Total Volunteer Hours by mentors
  • 378 Stan’s total volunteer hours
  • 2,564 Stan’s total mileage