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Arms Arms and the woman Fred Greenslade Lisa Parsons-Wraith Support Programs That Recruit New Hunters H unting is the shooting sport keeping many firearm retailers afloat. Storeowners eagerly anticipate the weeks leading up to hunting season, when they’re sure to make sales on guns and gear as customers prepare to go after their favorite game. However, as baby boomers age, the population of hunters is decreasing. Kids are less likely to be taught hunting and firearm skills, as grandparents and parents find it difficult to compete with the abundance of activities available to the younger generation. In order to preserve our hunting heritage and conserve open space for hunting, young people need to be introduced to the sport. Studies show if a child’s mother hunts, the child is more likely to hunt — making women and children a key demographic in the preservation of the shooting sports. Delta Waterfowl’s First Hunt program is designed to recruit and retain waterfowl hunters in North America through mentored hunts. Delta Waterfowl, an organization dedicated to conserving waterfowl, recently introduced their First Hunt program. This program is designed to recruit and retain Delta Waterfowl’s First Hunt waterfowl hunters in the United States and Canada, where waterfowl-hunter participation has been in decline. The backbone of First Hunt is mentored hunts and educational materials for first-time hunters and their mentors. Delta’s goal is to create a large North American mentorship pool, while also recruiting hunters. Approximately 120 mentored hunts are Kids Encouraging Kids To Hunt ids Gone Hunting was recently formed to promote youth in the shooting sports. The idea behind the program is kids reaching out to kids to create a positive image of hunting. This goal was accomplished by making a DVD that shows several different children hunting a variety of game. The program’s founders thought if kids could see other kids having fun hunting, they would be inspired to try it themselves. The DVD was distributed free to more than 1,500 kids during the summer of 2010, and Kids Gone Hunting is currently working on their second DVD. According to Brenda Potts, Kids Gone Hunting executive director, future plans for the program also include an interactive website, Facebook fan page and philanthropy. Kids Gone Hunting raised money through sponsors to make the DVD, and gave a $1,000 donation to Kids Hunting for a Cure. Kids Gone Hunting also hopes to offer scholarships to young people who are pursuing an education in conservation-related fields. “The scholarship program is purely contingent upon our fundraising ability,” Potts said. This is where dealers can help out. Contact Kids Gone Hunting and become a sponsor. In return, you’ll receive a DVD to play in your store to encourage the next generation to hunt. Visit www.kidsgonehunting.com for more information. 24 APRIL 2011 K Kids Gone Hunting promotes youth in the shooting sports, with kids reaching out to kids to create a positive image of hunting. Alli (left) and Adriana Armstrong took turkeys on their hunt. Read SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com