Outdoors Notebook: MidwayUSA Foundation Grants $1.5M to Youth Teams; California Bill on Taxidermy Moves Through Committee

In the latest outdoors news, MidwayUSA Foundation is supporting youth shooting sports with a $1.5 million grant, and a bill in the California Assembly would ban the possession and importation of 13 species of African game animals.

Outdoors Notebook: MidwayUSA Foundation Grants $1.5M to Youth Teams; California Bill on Taxidermy Moves Through Committee

A bill moving through the California Assembly would prohibit the possession or importation of 13 species of African wildlife, which some say will harm conservation efforts. (Photo provided by SCI)

In the latest outdoors news ...

The MidwayUSA Foundation has kicked off National Shooting Sports Month by providing $1,511,517 in cash grants to 442 youth shooting teams across the country.

These funds are critical in investing in the future of the outdoor industry and directly support the MidwayUSA Foundation’s goal of changing the future of youth shooting sports. Cash grants assist teams with a variety of expenses.

“I am thrilled to announce the successful payout of over $1.5 million in cash grants to youth shooting teams in our June grant cycle," said Scott Reynolds, MidwayUSA Foundation Executive Director. "I am also happy to highlight that this was the first cycle completed through our new online grant system. This new system greatly reduces application and processing time while decreasing opportunities for errors and eliminating paper and postage. It’s a win for both our constituents and staff.”

Youth shooting teams applying for MidwayUSA Foundation cash grants in June reported having nearly $10 million in team expenses. The highest expenses included ammunition [$1.9 million], travel [$1.6 million], entry fees [$1.4 million], and targets [$1.1 million].

Anyone with a passion for the outdoors can invest in the future of the industry by donating to a team endowment of their choice. Every donation grows that team’s annual cash grant, which helps with these expenses.

In addition to cash grants, the MidwayUSA Foundation offers participating teams and organizations product grants to grow their endowment. These are free products, ranging from firearms to optics that shooting programs can use to conduct a fundraiser however they choose. All proceeds from those fundraisers, as well as general donations, are matched through the MidwayUSA Foundation Matching Program, funded by Larry and Brenda Potterfield, owners of MidwayUSA. Qualifying teams are eligible to apply for a cash grant once per year in either June or December.

Spypoint Introduces Insiders Club

With its LINK series of cameras and the new CELL-LINK device, which can turn virtually any non-cellular camera into a cell cam, SPYPOINT has brought new possibilities to the world of scouting and game management. Now it is introducing its new Insiders Club, designed to reward the company’s growing army of users with exclusive discounts and access to unique features. 

Membership in the club, which costs just $99.99 per year, enhances the already industry-leading multi-camera management system, and gives members 20% off any photo transmission plan, Full-HD on Request packages, and purchase of accessories on the company’s website, in addition to free shipping on orders placed there. 

Insiders Club members will also benefit from advanced scouting tools, like eight Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) filters that separate photos in the app into categories including buck, antlerless deer, boar, bear, turkey, moose and even a human activity filter that detects people or vehicles. This feature allows for more efficient sorting and viewing of photos transmitted by SPYPOINT devices, including cameras from other manufacturers transmitted via the CELL-LINK. Other benefits include 50 Full-HD on Request image transfers, 500 cloud-based favorited images, 12 months of photo history, and unlimited devices on your account.

Members will also be able to enter monthly giveaways from industry partners. In addition to the ongoing monthly contests, the Annual Grand Prize, which in 2020 will be a 2020 Chevrolet Custom Trail Boss, 2020 Side-by-Side UTV and a 2020 14’ single-axle trailer will be given to one lucky Insider Club member after the end of the year.

Consumers can learn more about the Insiders Club by visiting www.spypoint.com/insiders.

Sig Sauer, NSSF Offer Gear Box Giveaway

In recognition of National Shooting Sports Month, Sig Sauer in conjunction with the National Shooting Sports Foundation is offering an exclusive SIG SAUER Shooting Sports Gear Box.

The giveaway is Aug. 1-31.

The SIG SAUER Shooting Sports Gear Box includes the new Sig Cross, a Sig Sauer Electro-Optics SIERRA3 BDX combo kit including rangefinder and riflescope, and Sig Sauer Ammunition Elite Hunter 308 WIN ammunition, and exclusive Sig Sauer Hunt Like A Warrior Gear. To enter for a chance to win the Sig Sauer Gear Box visit letsgoshooting.org.

“SIG SAUER is proud to join with other industry manufacturers to support NSSF and all of their safety, shooting, and hunting initiatives during National Shooting Sports Month as they work to increase awareness and participation in the shooting sports and advocate for our industry,” said Tom Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Commercial Sales, Sig Sauer.

Additionally, Sig Sauer is excited to support the all-new NSSF #RangeChallenge Series launched in conjunction with National Shooting Sports Month to encourage target shooting activity and bring new shooters to the range. To support this effort and promote range participation, Sig Sauer Academy has donated a gift certificate for the weekly giveaway for a Sig Sauer Academy Class.

“With record numbers of Americans purchasing firearms and realizing theimportance of the Second Amendment, Sig Sauer is proud to be an active participant in supporting the mission of NSSF to promote, protect, and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Active participation across the industry in National Shooting Sports Month, and all of the important NSSF initiatives, is essential to ensuring that the shooting sports, and out 2nd Amendment rights are enjoyed for generations to come,” Taylor said.

Academy Sporting Goods to Sell CleanShot

Academy Sporting Goods will begin rolling out CleanShot in its retail locations, providing increased distribution for hunters and shooters. 

Ideally suited for outdoorsman who pursue waterfowl, upland birds and participate in shooting sports, CleanShot bore cleaning product is simple to use and perfect for in-the-field bore cleaning.

“Huntego Limited is excited to expand our retail outreach by partnering with Academy Sporting Goods” said Curt Whitworth, Huntego’s president. “Academy Sporting Goods is strongly committed to offering hunters and outdoor enthusiasts with the highest quality products. We look forward to introducing CleanShot to their broad consumer base that Academy Sporting Goods supports.”

CleanShot is a patented, high velocity bore field cleaning device that utilizes outward ballistic pressures to power scrub, trap particles and wipe the bore clean. Simply load a CleanShot round in the chamber like any other cartridge, safely discharge, and your gun is field cleaned in an instant. Designed to be used in the field or at a range, CleanShot allows shooters to maintain firearms with minimal cleaning equipment, effort, and mess.

Huntego Limited launched the 12-gauge model in late 2017, which uses a standard shotgun hull and is manufactured using the same process and standards as ammunition currently manufactured by the OEM brands today. In 2018, they released 20-gauge shells and is now actively working to complete the 9MM handgun and military grade applications.

SCI Opposes California Bill Banning African Game Species

Safari Club International has steadfastly opposed California SB1175, a bill that would ban the possession and importation of 13 species of African game animals and that was approved in late July by the state Assembly's Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee.

In doing so, SCI believes the committee willfully ignores the overwhelming scientific evidence that confirms that legal, regulated hunting is an irreplaceable component of any effective African wildlife conservation plan.

SCI has opposed this legislation and has done so with African wildlife officials such as Maxi Louis of Namibia and George Pangeti of Zimbabwe, who see SB 1175 as an existential threat to the wildlife species they have commited their lives to conserving.

Louis, the Director of the Namibian Association of Community Based Natural Resource Management Support Organizations (NACSO), testified before the committee to communicate the ways in which Namibia communities rely on sustainable hunting as part of a larger conservation effort that protects animal species health and wildlife habitat, while also supporting local jobs and livelihoods.

Pangeti, the former Deputy Director of Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority,  also testified and urged the committee to consider the assessment of African conservationists more seriously. He said they have clearly explained why this proposed legislation is detrimental to conservation and sustainable management of wildlife in Zimbabwe and surrounding regions.

"Revenues from hunting on state land are used to fund conservation programs and administrative services for the Wildlife Agency," said Pangeti. "At all times, there is constant communication with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure that there is compliance with the CITES regulations, the Endangered Species Act of U.S. and local Zimbabwe legislation governing trophy hunting. My plea is that such a big state like California should not be party to the reversal of good wildlife management practices and benefits that have been established so far at great cost."

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