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A student fishes at the G.H. Gordon Bio­logical Station. | Hillsdale College 

The Nimrod Edu­cation Center will offer up to four one-year fel­low­ships and schol­ar­ships in hunting and fishing this fall. Stu­dents have until Friday, April 22 to apply.

“You could have years of field expe­rience or be just getting started in the sport,” said the center’s director, Al Stewart. “More than any­thing, we need can­di­dates who want to learn more about how we can promote and pre­serve hunting and fishing in America.”

According to Stewart, the fel­lowship hopes to expand to eight stu­dents in the future. Appli­cants will be required to have a valid hunting and fishing license or be willing to work toward getting one as part of the fellowship.

“We estab­lished the Nimrod Fel­lowship to educate stu­dents and cit­izens about the ben­efits of hunting and fishing,” Stewart said. “The fel­lowship idea is a great way to involve stu­dents in the work of the center.”

Once accepted, fellows will help at Nimrod Center events and attend the Nimrod Practicum, a non-aca­demic course that will teach the prac­tical aspects of hunting and fishing. They will also be required to take two of the fol­lowing courses that may be com­pleted anytime during their four years: Intro­duction to Shooting Sports, Intro­duction to Archery, Basic Shotgun, and Conservation.

“We did not want the fel­lowship to become an onerous respon­si­bility for already busy stu­dents,” Stewart said. “Rather, we want it to be edu­ca­tional and exciting.”

Fellows will also have access to Stewart’s numerous con­nec­tions in con­ser­vation and wildlife man­agement, according to Morgan Mor­rison, a staff writer for Insti­tu­tional Advancement who is assisting with the fel­low­ship’s launch.

“Al Stewart worked for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for many years as an upland game birds spe­cialist,” Mor­rison said. “He knows everyone worth knowing in the field. In the office, when we need to contact someone new from the NRA, Ducks Unlimited, or other similar orga­ni­za­tions, we always say, ‘Just ask Al,’ and he almost always knows them. Nimrod Fellows will cer­tainly benefit from Al Stew­art’s industry knowledge and contacts.”

The Nimrod Center was founded after Alan N. Taylor, pres­ident of the Nimrod Society, left a large endowment to the college.

According to its website, the Nimrod Society is a non-profit foun­dation “aimed at encour­aging state and federal wildlife man­agement and con­ser­vation agencies to adopt self-sus­taining revenue models to fund ongoing, com­pre­hensive media-based edu­cation cam­paigns tar­geted at the general public.”

The Nimrod Center at Hillsdale specif­i­cally aims at fos­tering hunting and fishing, according to Morrision. 

“Hunting and fishing instill virtue, and that is what our country lacks most,” Mor­rison said. “To have a republic, you need cit­izens who are strong, skillful, vig­ilant, and decisive — the virtues of hunting. When you learn to hunt, raise, and gather your own food, you are not beholden to a gov­ernment or an increas­ingly fragile supply chain. It is not a coin­ci­dence that regions known for hunting, like the Upper Peninsula, Texas, and Appalachia, are also the most defensive of their natural rights.”