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September 22, 2015

MADISON - Local conservation clubs, organizations, communities, individuals, governments, tribes, and colleges and universities have until Nov. 17, 2015 to apply for cost sharing to develop and conduct hunter training, development, and education programs.

The Department of Natural Resource is making $200,000 in federal Wildlife Restoration funds (Pittman-Robertson) available to ensure the development of safe, ethical hunters through the Hunter Training, Development, and Education Grant program. The projects may get underway as early as May 2016 and can cover up to two years.

The grant prioritizes funding for programs that introduce hunting to people who would not otherwise have had exposure in particular focusing on adults, females and families.

"There is a great need for strategically developed, tested programs and results on which we can base future program priorities," said Keith Warnke, DNR hunting and shooting sports coordinator.

Pilot studies have shown that there is growing interest in hunting from adults and families who have never hunted.

There is a need to expand the effort to provide effective training and education for responsible new hunters and mentors by developing a private-public partnership reimbursement grant program - similar to the shooting range grant program. This program is grounded in the basic idea that novice hunters need someone to teach skills and share knowledge with them.

This grant program will also be focused on developing trials and evaluating effectiveness of pilot projects. Applicants are advised to submit ideas for the development, piloting, and evaluating of novice hunter training systems focusing new adult mentors and hunters.

"Novel, outside-the-box ideas are needed to work this tough problem," Warnke said. "But we also need to make sure that we are measuring our results and evaluating effectiveness so we can know if something is having the desired effect."

Successful programs will be expanded in Wisconsin and can be adopted by other states.

Projects will be scored by an independent group of hunters and agency specialists and ranked by score. The office of the DNR Secretary will make the final decision on funding.

For information on applying for grants, search the DNR website, for hunter recruitment grants.

This is a reimbursement program, under with grant recipients incur and pay costs associated with the project then seek reimbursement from the DNR. No grant advances are possible. It is possible for grantees to request partial (quarterly) reimbursements from the DNR during the life of the project.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Warnke, Hunting and Shooting Sports Coordinator, 608 576 5243 or

Last Revised: Tuesday, September 22, 2015

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