Posts Tagged ‘new hunters’

Young, old, how do you bring them into our world?

Young, old, how do you bring them into our world?

Congratulations. My viewer survey tells me you took newcomers on their first hunt hundreds of thousands of times in the past year. But how do you get to “yes” when you’re scheming to invite a novice into the field, become a member of our fraternity?

Feasting is a way to celebrate our outdoor experience. It closes the circle of life, celebrates the tribal origins of our sport, and justifies our current rationale – we are obtaining food, among other things. Sharing organic protein with a non-hunter is a savory recruiting tool. Yep, hunters are the original locavores.

I started hunting when I watched my newly-purchased puppy point a pheasant. Wow, if he’d do that, the least I could do is learn to shoot! If I had a nickel for every non-hunter I’ve induced to take a long uphill walk in chukar country because they could watch dogs work, I’d have a lot of nickels.

Have you ever challenged a clay shooter to try the “real thing?” I wonder how they would react to an invitation to quit pretending and join you in the grouse woods.

Anglers are another source of new hunters. In fact I was casting a fly long before I shouldered a shotgun. Already familiar with some of our challenges, they might be suitable candidates. Or are they, with the catch-and-release ethic, for example?

What gets kids away from video games and social media? Hooked on make-believe games of full-auto guns and car chases, could a youngster make the transition to recoil and real blood? How would he/she explain that to his eighth grade social studies class?

Think back to your own introduction … or your introduction of someone else. What pushed you – and them – over the edge? What turned you/them into a hunter? Give it some thought, then go do it again for someone else.

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Yes, it means more trucks in the parking lot and possibly less time alone in the field. But who’s to carry on the tradition? And what of the resource … if we’re not taking care of it, who will?

Should we be recruiting newcomers to our sports, or keeping it exclusive? Whether kids, spouses, women, or all of the above, how do you feel about sharing the woods and waters, fields and blinds, with “newbies?”

Take the poll, and leave a comment. Maybe we can talk on my radio show – make sure and leave your phone number. I’ll pick a few to take our (very easy) trivia quiz, speak their mind on the air, and someone will take home a Cabela’s $25 gift certificate.

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