SCI Foundation Provides Opportunities to Learn to Hunt in New Mexico

SCIF and Sables recently continued our partnership the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) to provide opportunities for new hunters to learn to hunt. This time, 12 new hunters, including 4 first-time women hunters, participated in a quail hunt on public land near Roswell, New Mexico on February 9-11, 2024. The new wingshooters camped on public land, learned about the importance of hunting for the North American model of wildlife conservation, and had a chance to harvest a few of these elusive birds!

Since September 2023, SCIF has partnered with NMDGF to implement their Recruitment, Reactivation, and Retention initiative. The programs are held throughout New Mexico and are provided free to participants, with SCIF staff developing the curriculum and program offerings. The recent quail hunt follows an all-women’s waterfowl learn to hunt program for 19 women held in January.

The partnership with NMGFD is a component of SCI Foundation’s customized education programs, focused on building hunting skills and introducing participants to the integral role hunters play in conservation. SCIF staff led by Assistant Director of Education Todd Roggenkamp develop the curriculum/program offerings, coordinate the programs and provide instruction through our contracted instructors. Topics covered in this recent program included the North American Model of Conservation, firearm safety, rules/regulations, animal biology/ID, trapshooting, proper use of social media, the use of hunting dogs and how to field process game harvested; however, programs can be designed (e.g., customized) to fit a variety of needs. We try to spend as much time as possible within the programs getting participants into the outdoors and experiencing hunting first hand.

The learn to hunt quail program was highlighted by participants getting to see hunting dogs work coveys of quail and having opportunities to harvest birds. Participants all commented on how much they enjoyed the program and what they learned about conservation and how hunting plays a vital role. One participant commented, “Before coming to this program, I knew nothing about hunting and how to shoot. Now with the new knowledge I have gained, I have the confidence to go out and hunt with my husband.” Others commented about how they enjoyed the topics and appreciated how comfortable the instructors made them feel. SCIF and the NMDGF will be conducting post-surveys to determine what the participants gained from the program and how it can potentially be improved.

Additional programs in New Mexico are being planned for late 2024 and early 2025, and we plan to expand to other states. If you or someone you know is interested in participating in these programs, please monitor the SCIF and NMDGF websites/social media for future offerings and details or you can contact Assistant Director of Education, Todd Roggenkamp at 520-954-0664 or