By Lars Dalseide | January 25 2013 11:49

Raising kids on deer and turkey, NRA's Mid-American Youth Hunter Education Challenge Coordinator Susan Hill

An NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge in Missouri

Earlier this month, we sat down with Youth Hunter Educations Challenge (YHEC) Program Coordinator Susuan Hill. Visiting NRA Headquarters from her home state in Missouri, Hill provided us with pictures, stories and a background how it all started.

There was one request when we interviewed YHEC's Susan Hill. "Don't run pictures of me, run pictures of the kids. That's what the program is all about." A reasonable request considering her role as Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) Program Coordinator for NRA's Mid-America Expansion Project. So, with the proper photographs in queue, here we go.

Taking aim at an NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge in Missouri

Though raised in the city, Susan Hill always felt a calling for the outdoors. A need to return to the fields surrounding the family farm her parents once held. It was an adventure she would begin on her own. An impressive flash of independence for a young lady at the age of 20.

She didn't return to catch up with friends. Not to explore the family farm or take in the open air and vast silence that the city failed to provide. Hill returned to hunt.

"Not very successful at first," she said with a laugh. "It's something that takes a bit of education. But anyone can do it. That's what I tell the moms at our events — you can do it. You can always find people to help you.

Showing off a target at an NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge in Missouri

"Visit your local gun store guys, get in touch with the Hunter Education people, you'll find someone to point you in the right direction."

Eventually, she found that someone and the right direction. Growing into a respectable, efficient hunter, she made it a point to embrace her love of the outdoors with a family of her own.

"Had my little one in a blanket beside me and the other at my feet. That's how we went hunting. It's just the way they grew up."

Identifying wildlife at an NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge in Nebraska

"When they were old enough, every one of my kids (two girls and three boys) learned how to go out, shoot something, clean it, butcher it and put it in the freezer. Now it's second nature. Heck, they were raised on deer and turkey.

"We could go another way. After all, we have plenty of cows on the farm. But it's much more economical to keep those for the market and spend your time hunting. Sell the cows and shoot the deer."

We'll be back next week to tell you how Susan got started with the NRA.

Awaiting instructions at an NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge in Nebraska


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