Meet Jhett Ostrom: Cabela’s Apprenticeship Recipient

Jhett Ostrom | Courtesy photo
Jhett Ostrom | Courtesy photo

“I believe the great sports of hunting and shooting need to be conserved and passed down generation to generation and friend to friend.”

Jhett Ostrom, a secondary science education major, found a new way to expand on his hunting passion when he was approached to be the student coordinator for the startup program Collegiate Hunters of Nebraska. Having grown up loving the outdoors and relishing every moment he could escape to hunt, playing the part of college hunting recruiter for the Nebraska Wild Turkey Federation Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation program was a natural fit.

The goal of the program is to introduce those who don't hunt to the sports of shooting and hunting through a relationship with their hunting friends. This peer-mentoring method breaks down potential barriers college-aged students might face by providing education on the sport and making equipment and land accessible.

Since the 1980s, the number of permits purchased by hunters have been in precipitous decline, particularly among those age 16 to 24, putting at risk conservation successes. Revenue generated from license sales and federal taxes on firearms and ammunition funds billions of dollars of conservation projects annually across the United States, and the dieback in the post-baby boomer and Generation X demographic could impact these efforts. This makes Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation programs such as Collegiate Hunters of Nebraska more important than ever.

“Building up the number of hunters in my generation can lead to more future hunters as they in turn teach their friends and family,” Ostrom said. “These efforts also can lead to greater awareness and desire to conserve our animals and land.”

Ostrom was surprised by how many people he’s encountered that have always wanted to try hunting, but just never had the resources to get started. He’s proud to be building his interpersonal skills through his apprenticeship and hopes to see the program flourish in the coming years.

Want to hunt?
Reach Ostrom at

The Cabela’s Apprenticeship program
The apprenticeship program began about five years ago with a donation by Cabela's that now funds undergraduate research projects. The program is a partnership with Cabela's, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, and SNR at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and to date, has funded 18 student-led research projects. 

This semester, Inside SNR is featuring several of the 2018-’19 Cabela’s apprentices. To learn more about the program, click here.

— Cat Berrick, Cabela’s Apprentice