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January 24, 2012

Event reimbursement, electronic applications ease the process for clubs

MADISON -- Now's the time for hunters and conservation groups to start planning Learn to Turkey Hunt events for spring, and a streamlined application process, reimbursement for costs, and options for insurance make it easier than ever to get started.

"Now is the time to step up to the challenge to protect your hunting heritage," says Keith Warnke, hunting and shooting sport coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources. "Sponsoring a Learn to Hunt event is a great way to help new people experience hunting and we've made it easier to do.

Girls participating in learn to hunt tukey program
Ashley Wery, left, got a 24.8-pound tom on her first wild turkey hunt in 2011 in Door County. Friend Chloe Volkman, right, talked Wery into the hunting trip after Volkman enjoyed a 2010 Learn to Hunt class and got her first tom that year.
WDNR Photo

"We've streamlined the application process and have made it so you can fill out many of the forms online. We can help you pay for the event, and we can help you find insurance."

Learn to Hunts events combine classroom instruction and field work before an actual hunt with a mentor. The idea is to reach people who otherwise likely would never have a hunting experience and teach them what it takes to get started, Warnke says.

Learn to Turkey Hunt events can be scheduled before, during, or after the six spring turkey hunting time periods. But most are held in late March and early April, and interested individuals and clubs will want to get started now to complete the necessary steps. Learn to Hunt events can also be held to hunt for small game, waterfowl and deer.

Information on the processes and application forms sponsors need to organize a Learn to Hunt event are available on the DNR website.

Sponsors will need to submit a completed application form to the local wildlife biologist for approval, and make sure at least one of the event instructors is a certified Hunter Education Instructor.

Sponsors can apply for reimbursement for event costs, with reimbursements based on $25 per student at your event. The form is on the web page cited above.

There also are insurance opportunities, with details provided on the web site. .

The Learn to Hunt program started in 1998 to provide youth and adults opportunities to experience a genuine hunt with an experienced hunter. In the last two years alone, nearly 4,000 novice hunters have participated in a Learn to Hunt event.

"Hunters have shown they are willing to rise to many challenges," Warnke says. "I am confident they will eagerly embrace the challenge of building the next generation of hunters, and we want to help them succeed."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Warnke, Hunting and Shooting Sport Coordinator, 608-576-5243

Last Revised: Tuesday, January 24, 2012

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