Learn to Hunt Program Launched in Pennsylvania
L.L.Bean and the National Wild Turkey Federation have partnered to launch a new Learn to Hunt pilot program in Pennsylvania.
The creation of the Learn to Hunt program was made possible by L.L.Bean’s donation of one of only two prototypes of its 100th-anniversary Merkel Model 147SL 20-gauge shotguns to the NWTF, which was auctioned in March 2013 and raised $11,000. The proceeds from the rare collector's firearm were used to launch the Learn to Hunt program in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania NWTF State Chapter members have developed four regional events across the state to introduce young people and their parents to hunting through hands-on experience. The events will include instruction on safe hunting and firearm handling. Participants will also learn to shoot on a trap range. The final will be the participation in a hunt. The first three events will feature pheasant hunts and the fourth will feature a wild turkey hunt.
“We are excited about the opportunity that our partnership with L.L. Bean has created,” said Mandy Harling, NWTF manager of hunting heritage programs. “Not only will this program get new, young hunters into the field, but it will help build a support system to keep them in the field for years to come.”
Each event will allow 25 youth and a parent or guardian to experience hunting firsthand and a through education on hunting ethics and safety. By educating and introducing both child and parent, this program will help build a foundation for future hunting experiences as a family, increasing the odds that event participants will become long-term hunters.
"For decades, L.L.Bean has always been about making it as easy as possible for people, especially our youth, to engage in outdoor activities like hunting,” said Mac McKeever, L.L.Bean senior public relations representative. “Our company began over 100 years ago from a love of hunting and we're eager to continue to share our passion for hunting with future generations.
NWTF volunteers will work in partnership with state agencies to guide youth participants on a follow-up mentored hunt.
One goal of the NWTF’s new Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is to create 1.5 million new hunters to ensure the continuation of our hunting heritage. This program can serve as an example for other states as NWTF volunteers across the nation work to create new hunters.