Enhanced Youth Activities Made Possible by the Potterfields at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo


Thanks to a donation from Brenda and Larry Potterfield, hundreds of children that normally wouldn’t get to participate in shooting safety activities, will attend the event. Jon Zinnel is the youth program coordinator at the Mule Deer Foundation that is putting on the 2012 Western Hunting and Conservation Expo in February. Zinnel said said children have attended the expo with parents in previous years and while there were activities for them, they were not yet of this caliber.

Zinnel said it wouldn’t have been possible with the help of the Potterfield’s, but Mule Deer Foundation will try to arrange similar monies for future conventions to host the same extended program for children as this year.

“We’re definitely looking to do a program like this again. Hopefully for the next few years,” Zinnel said.

The shooting safety program will take place the Thursday of the expo for children in fifth to twelfth grade. But other activities and the expo are open to children of all ages. Zinnel believes the activities will reach an upward of 8,000 to 9,000 kids.

Original Press Release Issued By the Mule Deer Foundation on January 17th, 2012:

Thousands of young people will participate in the “Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience” at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo (WHCE), Feb. 9-12, 2012. Interactive programs will introduce young people to shooting sports and wildlife conservation in a fun and safe environment. Kids will receive safety and shooting instructions at the Laser Shot shooting simulation booth, Crosman air gun booth and Hoyt archery shooting range. Other activities will include wildlife identification and a habitat scavenger hunt with the Utah Division of Wildlife. There will also be free gifts and a drawing for a MDF M.U.L.E.Y. youth rifle.

Through a generous donation from Larry and Brenda Potterfield of MidwayUSA, hundreds of school-aged children will be bused to the event at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Thurs., Feb. 9, and the Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience will continue to run throughout the remainder of the Expo.

WHCE organizers Miles Moretti, President and CEO of the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF), and Byron Bateman, President of Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife (SFW), said the main goal of this year’s expanded youth program is to provide a positive experience for youngsters by offering a variety of outdoor activities and conservation related programs. Moretti added, “We also want to show these kids how MDF and SFW support wildlife conservation and protect and improve habitat. We want them to know that the future of our missions depends on them and that they can make a difference.”

The WHCE Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience activities and sponsorships include:

  • Laser Shot Shooting Simulation Booth
  • Scholastic Clay Target Program and Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation
  • Air Gun Shooting Trailer
  • Mule Deer Foundation and Easton Sports Foundation
  • Outdoor Safety (ATVs, firearms and hunting)
  • Progressive Agriculture Foundation® and Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® Program
  • Air Gun Range
  • Crosman
  • Wildlife Identification
  • Utah State University
  • Activities (Wildlife CSI and Habitat Scavenger Hunt)
  • Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
  • Free Gifts and Drawing for a MDF M.U.L.E.Y. Youth Rifle
  • MDF M.U.L.E.Y. Program
  • Archery Range
  • Sportsman for Fish & Wildlife,
  • with Hoyt sponsoring bows and Easton sponsoring arrows

Another event bringing youngsters to the WHCE is the Utah State National Archery in the Schools Tournament, being run by the Utah Division of Wildlife. This event will be on Sat., Feb. 11, with awards tentatively set for 3 p.m. There are already over 100 students pre-registered for the competition.

Admission for youth ages 11-17 is only $10 per day, and kids 10 and under get in FREE! Families won’t want to miss this exciting learning opportunity. Get more information or register for the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo at www.huntexpo.com.

About MDF

The Mule Deer Foundation is one of the key conservation groups in North America working to restore, improve and protect mule deer, black-tailed deer and their habitat. With a focus on science and program efficiency, MDF has raised millions of dollars and put countless hours on the ground for mission-critical projects. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved at www.muledeer.org or call 1-888-375-DEER.

About SFW

Headquartered in North Salt Lake, Utah, Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife is a charitable, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The mission of SFW is to promote the protection and enhancement of wildlife habitat, assist in providing quality wildlife management programs, educating the public about the role hunters play in wildlife conservation, and perpetuating the family tradition of hunting and fishing. Visit www.sfw.net or call 801-936-1386.

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