Quail Forever Whistlers

WhistlersTo foster and nurture an enduring interest in shooting sports, wildlife conservation and upland game bird hunting in America's young people.

Visit the new Whistlers website:

The Whistlers website is now online at www.uplandtales.org. This is a dual website with the Pheasants Forever Ringnecks program. Check out the new website:

www.uplandtales.org


The Whistlers Program is dedicated to introducing youth to hunting, shooting sports and outdoor conservation through youth events, education, community service and cooperation with both governmental and non-governmental partnerships. Through a variety of programs, youth will gain knowledge, learn skills and develop a land ethic necessary to be responsible hunters and conservationists. As they grow up, they can in turn pass on the outdoor traditions of their youth to future generations.

The QF run Whistlers Program is an extension of the vision of Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever to start a locally driven, nationally led conservation organization that will ensure continuing the tradition of upland game hunting. By recruiting and mentoring young hunters and conservationists, local chapters will be able to develop the volunteers of tomorrow that will be needed to carry on their work. As members' ages increase and more and more people move away from rural lifestyles, it will be more important than ever to recruit a strong volunteer base. Young committee members will be needed who can step forward and take the reigns of leadership. Chapters that invest in youth programs are more apt to have that younger base of support when needed.

Whistlers is open to any young person interested in the outdoors and conservation. You do not have to be a hunter. Contact the national Quail Forever office or your local chapter to find out more information on QF youth events.

Do you have a Ringnecks photo that you would like to share with the world? Send us the photo with credit and caption

Youth Program Coordinator: Rich Wissink

Meet the new National Youth Program Manager,
Rich Wissink Email:rwissink@pheasantsforever.org

Rich Wissink joins PF after spending the last 15 years working as a biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Wissink addition comes on the heels of Cheryl Riley's promotion from the post to the new Vice President of Education & Outreach.

As the new youth programs specialist, Wissink will be in charge of PF and Quail Forever's (QF) efforts to engage youth in outdoor activities and our hunting heritage. PF/QF chapters across the country hold over 500 events a year to connect youth to the outdoors through a variety of activities. The majority of those events are chapter-hosted youth mentor hunts. At these mentor hunts, chapter-area youth are taught about gun safety, marksmanship, wildlife habitat conservation, and hunting ethics. Following these lessons, youth participate in a mentor-supervised pheasant hunt.

Wissink will also take over supervision of PF's Youth Leadership Council. Riley's brainchild, the Council includes 19 youth from 14 different states. The Council's members, all ages 10 to 16, serve as advisors and spokespeople for their age group on issues related to the outdoors, conservation, hunting, and PF. Participants in the Council offer content ideas for the PF/QF youth magazine "Upland Tales," as well as content suggestions for the PF/QF websites. The participants also discuss outdoor youth activities and youth-related initiatives for PF/QF chapters and national headquarters.

"Rich brings an enormous amount of experience and enthusiasm to our organization," explained PF/QF President and Chief Executive Officer Howard Vincent. "Cheryl has built an excellent foundation for Rich to succeed. I'm also very excited for Cheryl to take the organization another step forward in our efforts to bring along the next generation of conservationists, hunters, and land stewards. There's no secret that the future of our natural resources and outdoor heritage rests with our ability to pass on our values and passion for the outdoors to the next generation."

Wissink has spent the last 15 years working for the Wisconsin DNR. Since 1997, he has been a senior wildlife biologist for Wisconsin's Lincoln and Langlade counties. He has also spent the last nine years as a volunteer hunter education instructor and estimates having introduced over 2,700 youngsters to hunter safety and conservation during that time.

"I feel there is no greater legacy we can leave behind than protecting wild places and the critters that live there. Introducing youngsters to those wild places goes hand-in-hand with that legacy," explained Wissink. "It is my belief that the future of conservation is dependent upon passing down our hunting heritage, as it has always been America's hunters who have carried the conservation torch."

Wissink, an Oshkosh, Wis. native, is a University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point graduate. He received his bachelor's in natural resources management with a minor in environmental law enforcement. Rich and his wife, Shelli, make their home in Merrill, Wis. with their boys Casey, Cody and Corey.