5 Ways You Can Help Save the Hunt
With nearly 2,000 NWTF chapters, more than 20,000 active volunteers and approximately 225,000 members across North America and beyond, the NWTF is prepared to tackle the decline in hunter numbers, as well as habitat loss that threatens the hunt.
How? With the new Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative.
It’s the NWTF’s commitment to raise $1.2 billion to conserve and enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, create at least 1.5 million new hunters and open access to 500,000 new, additional acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment.
NWTF hunting heritage programs are poised to lead the charge in the Save the Hunt portion of the plan, doing all we can to bring new folks into the hunting fold.
Here are five ways you can be a part of this game-changing initiative that will make a huge impact in preserving our hunting heritage.
1. Set hunting heritage goals
Determine your chapter’s outreach goals and put them on paper. Without specific objectives, your committee meetings may produce great ideas, but no plans to put them in action.
2. Identify state hunting heritage coordinators
Volunteer state outreach coordinators provide assistance in growing strong outreach programs in your area. Identify an individual or individuals who have the leadership skills to guide your state’s efforts to produce results. This volunteer will mentor new event coordinators, develop new ideas for participant recruitment and assist with identifying leads for potential events. Contact your NWTF regional director for more information. (Find his or her information on page 106.)
3. Become a hunter education instructor
If each NWTF chapter has certified hunter education instructors within its ranks, we are positioned to create new hunters. Not only does it provide an opportunity to work with wildlife officers and state agency educators, it allows us to take our message to a wider audience of new hunters. Learn how to become a certified instructor at www.ihea-usa.org/instructors.
4. Focus on families
Successful hunter recruitment programs are family oriented. Plan events that include Mom, Dad and the kids. If your goal is to have a shooting event for youth, incorporate a hands-on learning station for the parents as well. Everyone will leave energized by the new experience, more likely to try it again together.
5. Educate and create experience
NWTF hunting heritage programs were set up to facilitate daylong “round robin” learning events. But as our programs have evolved over the years, they have become more hunter-centric. Many NWTF chapters now offer events like Turkey Hunting 101, where participants learn the basics of turkey hunting, then go on a mock turkey hunt. Other chapters have partnered with state wildlife agencies to host Learn to Hunt courses that involve weeks of classroom and hands-on instruction, followed by a mentored hunt.