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Dear hunting enthusiast

Learning to Hunt activity guide

Trends have shown that hunting is on the decline across the nation. Fortunately, in many of the more rural states, hunting remains a strong tradition. Yet as you and other hunters mature and retire from the strenuous activities afield, you leave a void not filled by younger generations. This is happening for a number of reasons.

All across America, we are part of an unprecedented exploit of open space. Cities and suburbs are sprawling into the rural countryside at an alarming rate. Farms are being carved into smaller country estates. Private lands are posted with "No Trespassing" and "No Hunting" signs. Kids living in cities or sprawling suburbs cannot simply walk down the road to an old field or woodlot to spend the afternoon hunting.

Kids are constantly bombarded with a wide range of recreational activities competing for their time, from school sports to past-times like watching TV, playing video games or surfing the web. Hunting isn't a recreational activity that a kid can decide to try out in one day. Learning to hunt requires a huge commitment of time -- time to take a Hunter Education course, time to practice shooting skills at a range, time to scout before the actual hunt and time to train a good hunting dog. The financial investment in hunting is no small matter, either. There's the cost of the gun, the ammunition, the licenses, application fees and stamps, camouflaged and blaze orange clothing, a decent pair of field boots, a good knife, a hunting dog, decoys and blinds...the list goes on and on.

You may feel a little frustrated and helpless at the situation just described, but don't despair. You and your hunting partners can have a direct positive impact on hunting in your community. The future of hunting is in your hands! But it will take a little of your time plus a lot of heart and soul to carry out. If you're a dedicated hunter, the "follow-through" will be easy.

One of the most effective and fun ways to ensure a strong future for hunting is for you to join forces with your local rod and gun club or conservation organization to host a Learn to Hunt Outdoor Skills Clinic in your local community. This manual is designed to give you and other hunting enthusiasts ideas of how to conduct such an event. Sponsoring a Learn to Hunt Program or an Outdoor Skills Clinic will show your community you care about maintaining America's outdoor hunting heritage, and that you care about kids!

So take some time to flip through these electronic pages in PDF format. Share this website of ideas with other club members or hunting partners. Put your heads and hearts together and help your community's boys and girls become inspired to learn to hunt. Remember...the future of America's hunting heritage is in your hands!

Learning to Hunt Activity Guide