Hunters Helping Hunters USA is an organization developed to assist families that have had an interruption in the family structure or support. Founded by fellow hunters and outdoorsmen from across the country, Hunters Helping Hunters USA will assist families associated with hunting with medical or funeral costs due to a family member’s death or medical situation.
The assistance will help offset the family’s financial burden caused by the cost of such an interruption. Through contributions, donations and other financial aids, HHH-USA's goal is to provide the funds to help alleviate some of the financial issues during these critical times, thus allowing the family to focus more on rebuilding the family structure and support system.
A Hunter's Vision Becomes a Common Mission
On May 4, 2001, Gordon Countryman sent his first email to North American Hunting Club (NAHC) Life Member, Rod Chainey, outlining his idea to start a charitable organization to assist hunters and their families. With Mr. Chainey's encouragement, he posted a message on the NAHC bulletin board on May 14, 2001 outlining the details he discovered from researching the internet and libraries on organizations that help people in times of need. He asked his fellow members from the NAHC to pull together and start a not-for-profit organization to help families involved in hunting during troubled times. He immediately received over two hundred emails and sixteen posts on the NAHC bulletin board asking him to move forward with his idea.
After many emails and messages on the NAHC bulletin board, 30 fellow members of NAHC volunteered to found and build a nonprofit organization for hunters, making a total of 31 founding members. On July 22, 2001, this small, but dedicated group of hunters started working in earnest to form an organization.
An Executive Board was set up with members Dustin White, Sean Tierney, Shawn Haley, Ken Zeringue, Marland Sample, Rod Chainey, & Gordon Countryman, with Phillip Foreman as the facilitator.
It was agreed all founding members would have input on how the organization was to be developed and run. The board and members met daily via the internet. Mr. Foreman set the ground rules and over saw daily activities. The founding members were assigned jobs and research projects to accomplish during the initial establishment of Hunters Helping Hunters.
Everyone worked diligently taking time from their families and jobs to accomplish something that they truly believed would be a benefit to society. At the first meeting on September 5, 2001, the name Hunters Helping Hunters was voted as the official name of the newly founded organization. Also at this meeting the Chairman of the Board was elected. Mr. Dustin White became the first chairman of Hunters Helping Hunters. On October 25, 2001, due to the hard work and dedication of the Founding Members, Hunters Helping Hunters was incorporated in the state of Iowa.
Throughout the remainder of 2001, members spent their time trying to bring in sponsors and raise funds to apply for Hunters Helping Hunters not-for-profit status. In January 2002, the Hunters Helping Hunters by-laws were voted on and approved. In February 2002, two things happened that would help shape the course of Hunters Helping Hunters:
- The Board received its first request for help from a hunter who had lost his wife, the mother of his two children,
- Russell Ponds Outfitters in Maine offered to donate a bear hunt as a fund raiser for Hunters Helping Hunters. This hunt was for the 2002 Bear-Season in the state of Maine. Hunters Helping Hunters elected to hold a raffle to start in April of 2002, and the winner was drawn in August 2002. This turned out to be a tremendous success.
Other raffle prizes where donated by Natural Gear, Bass Pro Shops, and some of the members themselves. This along with donations from fellow hunters across the country helped Hunters Helping Hunters to assist their first family.
As word spread of this new and unique organization, others in the hunting community took notice. Dave Watson hosted a segment on Hunters Helping Hunters during his television program, Bushnell's Secret of the Hunt. Periodicals such as Petersons, Bow Hunting, and North American Hunter have all published articles on Hunters Helping Hunters in their magazines.
On January 9, 2003, Hunters Helping Hunters received its Not-For-Profit status from the IRS. The organization has since grown to over 100 members from around the United States and Canada, to include (before his death in 2013) the World Renowned Shooter, Tom Knapp.
World Renowned Shooter,
Tom Knapp – Former member of HHH-USA.