Create new Hunting Traditions
It seems that almost every club, organization, and even some state groups are scrambling to grow hunter interest and eventually hunter numbers.
You name it and it's a method that has been suggested and most have been tried, including reducing the cost of licenses for some and changing hunting rules in the face of science, safety and probably management.
How about reinventing tradition? How about establishing a tradition of something as simple as inviting a person to accompany you on a hunt?
This could be a person who has lost his or her place to hunt. Or it could be a young person who wants to find out what hunting is all about. Remember, too, in most situations these people are not likely to ask for help. You have to extend a hand, an invitation.
On a larger scale, many who believe hunting is important to their recreation and lifestyle already have land, maybe even a hunting cabin or trailer. Begin by building related events around these traditions.
Maybe it could be as grand as a Thanksgiving dinner at a hunting cabin, inviting an entire family, particularly those who are still too young to hunt but are the perfect age to enjoy some other aspects of the outdoors.
When these new folks see the fun, the connections and the camaraderie that goes on in a camp, they're likely to show an interest. If not hunting, some of the many other outdoors activities we cherish such as picking nuts or morels, riding an ATV or simply helping put up tree stands or clearing walking trails through the woods..
Yes, establishing traditions may take away some of the special quiet moments we enjoy while hunting, but most hunters say seeing a young person have some of the thrills of seeing a deer are far better than shooting a deer yourself.
What good does it do to offer a person a reduced license fee if he has no place to hunt and no memories of enjoying the outdoors with other folks?