Why MOGA members are are uniquely positioned to provide high-quality outdoor trips to deserving folks identified by our National partners?

MOGA outfitters are licensed, insured, and regulated.  They are in the business of providing professional assistance to those who seek an outdoor adventure.  In many cases MOGA member outfitters have special accommodations for those who face physical impairment.

Our members have the specialized equipment, the knowledge and ability to provide the kind of trips being requested by our national partners.  We recognize that many private individuals and sportsmen’s groups work are involved in this great work as well.  It is our intent to build on those efforts so that together we are providing for the needs that exist.

The cost of these trips can be large. How are the costs and expenses managed?

A fully outfitted and guided trip can cost thousands of dollars.  It is generally more than a single family operated business can routinely provide.  To ensure a steady supply of high-quality trips for our partners use MOGA fund raises to help off set the outfitter expense.  Each participating outfitter donates to the effort but MOGA is there to help offset some of those costs.  By approaching the project in this manner the organization can share in the financial burden and ensure that trips will always be available for qualified folks.

The Big Hearts under the Big Sky program is unique in the nation and has been called a “National Model” by some affiliates. Why?

The partnership between MOGA and the four national affiliate organizations has resulted in a streamlined approach to matching deserving people with outfitters who can provide the trip of their dreams.  Instead of each organization having to randomly cold call an outfitter seeking a donation, MOGA maintains a ready list of donated trips and can connect the outfitter with the organization very quickly.  In many cases time is of the essence and this model is very efficient.

Is it new for MOGA members to be involved in charitable giving for years – this program just helps organize the effort.

Some MOGA members like Russ Greenwood have been involved in donating trips for 26 years.  There have always been outfitters who recognize the responsibility we share to give back to our community and nation.  Big Hearts Under the Big Sky by nature of its structure, organization, and affiliation with national organizations, makes this process more easily managed and raises the awareness of the needs that exits.

What is the value of having relations with recognized charitable organizations that can do the medical and technical screening?  value.

MOGA members excel at providing a safe and enjoyable outdoor opportunity.  We prefer to have our partner organizations approach us with a deserving veteran or child facing a life threatening illness who has met their standards.  That way we can focus on what we do best and that is to provide the trip.

Can all deserving people get the required licences to be served by this program?  Montana code is very narrowly written and many deserving people can not be served because they do not qualify for a license.

Montana code is very narrowly written and many deserving people cannot be served because they do not qualify for a license. Montana law requires that for a person to qualify for a license they must be 17 or younger and must be terminal.  This law needs to be reviewed and softened.  There are many case studies where deserving people are turned away because the doctor (and family) considers the situation to be life threatening rather than terminal.

Military veterans who have been wounded in battle or may have won the Medal of Honor can not qualify for an elk tag under existing law.

The demand for these types of trips are relatively few (less than 25 per year) but under the current laws Montana turns away more than they serve.  MOGA and others will be working this legislative session to see what, if anything, can be done to address this problem.

How can individuals or companies help?

To ensure a steady supply of high quality Outfitted hunting, fishing, and outdoor trips are available for use under this program, MOGA has launched an aggressive fund raising campaign Big Hearts Under the Big Sky whose proceeds will be placed in the Associations 501 (c) (3) Educational Institute.  We seek a combination of sponsorships, donations, and sales to generate the money necessary to cover outfitter hard expenses for those who provide these trips.

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