Meet Bill Moench, a citrus famer from Terra Bella, California, SCI member of the California Sierra Chapter and avid volunteer.
How did you become involved with SCI? “I became interested in SCI through the encouragement of SCI Regional Rep Orville Hudspeth. He has been a member of SCI for over 12 years and is one of the thousands of grass roots members who carry on the work of SCI right where they live. I hunt in my home state of California and make an occasional trip to other parts of the U.S., but I have never hunted outside the country.”
Bill’s passion is working on a local level to promote hunting, shooting and conservation through events with the California Sierra Chapter. “I assist with our local chapter fundraiser to provide funds to help pay for our mentoring activities. One activity is organized by my wife, Linda. She teaches a Trout in Classroom program through the California Fish and Wildlife at our local school. Our chapter provides lunch and some of the activities during the “trout release” field trip. All the stations involve outdoor education.”
Bill is also instrumental in several events to educate women on shooting and give them a hands-on opportunity to shoot.“Our local chapter sponsors a “women’s only” event called Ladies Bullets and Bows. I am the coordinator of the shotgun instruction. The other stations include archery, self-defense, basic handling/regulation of firearms, how to get CCW license, and “Leave No Trace” principles. This program is primarily designed for women who have never or seldom handled a firearm. It is open to approximately 60 participants. We have had as many as 100 women attend in the past.”
Teaching new hunters is very important to Bill. He has been a California Hunter Education Instructor for 10 years. “I always talk about the benefits of SCI in the Hunter Education Classes that I teach. It is important for new hunters to understand the vital role SCI plays in preserving the right to hunt and conservation of the resources.”
Helping provide hunting opportunities for others is a big part of Bill’s life. “I’m the coordinator for a program we call Rollin’ for Ringnecks, a wheelchair accessible pheasant hunt and a Veterans hunt. I also work closely with the Southern Tulare County Sportsman’s Association with their Junior Pheasant hunt. They annually have about 200 young people participate in the event. These events would not be possible without the support of SCI members.”
Teaching youth about shotgun safety. “I work with SCI Regional Representative Orville Hudspeth, who coordinates a youth program called “Youth Education Seminar” or “YES.” I oversee the activity that teaches youth proper shotgun safety and technique. They also offer archery and several other outdoor activities at the event.”
When asked what accomplishments he has seen with his work with SCI, Bill says, “I’ve seen ladies overcoming their hesitance to use firearms without the interference of husband, boyfriend or significant other. They’ve also gained a basic understanding of conservation and general outdoors. Most importantly we’ll see a change in how they vote on firearm’s/hunting laws and who they vote for and hopefully will reach out to elected officials. They can be a huge voting bloc.”
Asked what barriers he has to overcome, Bill says, “Just about everything that is anti-gun, anti-hunting in California is definitely a challenge.”
Bill wants to continue to expand the women and youth programs through his work with SCI. When asked how others can help in his efforts, Bill said, “Volunteers are always welcome and can help by sponsoring youth and women’s programs. They don’t have to be huge events; sometimes smaller events are more effective.”
Here is what Bill says other hunters and conservationists can do to get involved with SCI. “A lot of folks are under the impression that SCI is for wealthy international hunters and that is not necessarily the case. There are many members just like myself who hunt and fish locally and take an occasional trip elsewhere in the U.S. People should know that SCI has the ability to help protect hunters legislatively and to enhance conservation in North America and worldwide.”
You can make a difference, too.
Start by joining SCI and attending the
2019 Safari Club International Hunters’ Convention
in Reno, Nevada.