July 29, 2014
MADISON - If you're like me, summer is great because it is the time to plan for the best season of all - fall.
The calendar says it is high summer now. But flip the pages and you'll see fall is several weeks away, making these days the prime time to think about how you will sponsor your Learn to Hunt opportunity.
I am looking forward to hosting my own Learn To Hunt event in late September in the Madison area. Why don't you give some thought in joining me and hosting your own in your area? It is fun and rewarding to share what you know about hunting with others. Learn to Hunt events truly can be the perfect way for a novice to safely experience their first hunt.
You may be wondering how to even start such a process. Take a look around where you live. Maybe your neighbor down the block is interested. One very effective way to start a new tradition is to focus on a family that is interested in hunting and mentor them through this fall's seasons.
Get to your club or chapter and start brainstorming about how you can help maintain the hunting tradition. Can you reach out beyond the regular hunting "choir" to introduce someone new? Someone who would not get the chance to hunt any other way? That will really go a long way to making a new hunter.
Last year the final tally was about 2,500 LTH participants, a small decrease from the previous year. That is a solid, grassroots effort to pass along the hunting tradition. The decrease doesn't bother me because we've become more focused on outcomes rather than outputs. Our goal is to be effective at creating a new hunter or a new hunting family, not to post big numbers. We have really seen a growth in adults interested in hunting as a source of sustainable food. My advice is to tap into that movement and offer hunter training to your neighbors, friends and co-workers.
I know you'll take pride and step up again. You can design your own unique learn to hunt. How about a family learn-to-hunt outing? Focus on bringing the whole family out to the field and sharing our tradition and knowledge with them.
Remember, if you're hosting a LTH pheasant, sponsors can get free pheasants from the DNR game farm for the event.
As you already know, the future of hunting is up to us - those of us who hunt. Let's get in the game!
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Warnke, hunting and shooting sport coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org; 608-576-5243.