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First Hunt Foundation offers hunting mentorship across the U.S.

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Through countless volunteers, the First Hunt Foundation (FHF), a nonprofit organization out of Kamiah, Idaho, provides education and training for acquiring hunters. The organization’s main emphasis is on mentoring new hunters through mentor-based experiences.  

The organization has over 787 mentors scattered across the nation in 35 states. 

FHF programs 

FHF offers a Connecting Heros and Hunters Program and a Hunter Appreciation Program. 

The Connecting Heroes and Hunters Program is a new, targeted mentor and mentee recruiting program. FHF has tremendous respect and admiration for national and local heroes. 

According to FHF’s webpage, all Veterans and first responders understand mission, teamwork and desire to serve. Through this program, FHF connects heroes to a new mission of recruiting new hunters and helping those in their own ranks to learn about conservation and hunting. 

For more information about FHF’s Connecting Heroes and Hunters Program, contact Rich Cotte by e-mailing 

Through the Hunter Appreciation Program, FHF works alongside the Rocky Mountain Foundation Torstenson Family Endowment and Outdoors International to seek successful first-time hunters to award them a certificate of appreciation. 

Through this program, FHF congratulates each hunter for successfully completing a milestone in their hopefully long hunting career. Each is species specific, so whether the new hunter harvested an elk or a rabbit, FHF wants to celebrate with them. 

The successful hunter does not have to have participated in a FHF mentored hunt to receive a certificate, and awards will be given as long as supplies and funding lasts. 

A hunting certificate application can be filled on a first come, first served basis by visiting FHF’s webpage.

Upcoming events 

In the state of Wyoming, FHF is hosting a Wyoming Outdoor Expo in conjunction with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, tentatively scheduled for May. The expo helps participants of all ages and abilities develop knowledge and skills to enjoy and respect Wyoming’s outdoor resources. For more information about this event, visit 

In addition, FHF has hosted a PEAK Fish Camp, Spring Creek Pronghorn Hunt, Heart Mountain Bird Hunts, Wood River Deer Hunts and Wood River Turkey Hunt. 

Currently, FHF is holding an African Safari Fundraiser, allowing FHF the ability to continue to teach, train and coach new hunters. The fundraiser requires a $10,000 donation and will provide four people a 10-day lodging trip. 

Lodging, hunting guides, meals, beverages, laundry services, caping, skinning and salting of trophies, $500 credit per hunter to trophy fees and 10 percent discount on trophy fees is included in this donation. 


FHF continues to establish chapters of mentors across the U.S. Each prospective mentor must pass a criminal background check and agree to a mentor’s creed to participate. 

The foundation holds their mentors to the highest standards of good hunting ethics and follows safe practices when working with mentees. 

“FHF believes the heritage of hunting in the U.S. is a vital part of the culture and the American experience,” says Rick Brazell, FHF hunter, founder and president, on FHF’s webpage. “We recognize many have no desire or interest to hunt, but we feel strongly even those folks need to understand the important role hunting places in the lives of millions of their fellow citizens. Often misunderstanding or a simple lack of knowledge about hunting causes some people to find fault with hunters and agencies managing wildlife and regulating hunting activities. Our mission is to keep the hunting heritage alive in America.” 

He adds, “We hope to provide qualified, background-checked mentors so all who have a desire to learn about hunting can have the opportunity. We believe a mentor-based program can reach thousands of people each year across the nation.”

Several Wyoming-based mentors include Gloria Courser, Maureen Renkes and Susan Muncaster of Jackson; Danyel Staley and Kason Hall of Rock Springs; Brenda Sportsman, Bruze Salzmann, Curtis Southern, Jr., Duane Feick, Jerry Anthony, Kathy Crofts, Katrina Southern, Leonard Fortunato and Lindsay Wion of Cody and Calvin Piper, Frank Gonzales, Merle Potter and Tanya Lewis of Casper. 

In addition to mentors, FHF welcomes volunteers to help the foundation in various other settings. Volunteers participate, when available, in their area of interest. FHF encourages anyone who wants to help keep the hunting heritage alive to volunteer.  

For more information on being a mentor, or for a complete list of mentors, visit

Brittany Gunn is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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