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Shooting Industry December 2010 - Page 38

Arms Arms and the woman Remind Shooters Hunting Is Fun Lisa Parsons-Wraith T he National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) recently launched a marketing effort to reactivate lapsed hunters and shooters. The campaign, called Take Me Hunting/Take Me Shooting, utilizes $500,000 in NSSF funding to encourage inactive hunters to get back in the field. The goal is to remind hunters of the fun and excitement of a day in the field, and encourage them to mentor a new shooter. NSSF will partner with state agencies in three pilot states — South Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey — to communicate with sportsmen and -women who once purchased hunting licenses, but haven’t recently. The campaign will utilize print ads, direct mail and a hub website, www. Retailers need to make reactivating lapsed shooters and promoting the shooting sports their mission. Sometimes, with all the politics associated with firearms, people forget shooting is fun. A day in the field is better than any video game, and while gun safety is very serious, hunting is, above all, a fun pastime. Women come to the shooting sports for myriad reasons, but most who stick with it do so because it’s different, social and enjoyable. Those adjectives are key when contemplating how to remind women with busy lives that they haven’t been out in the field or visited the range recently. H&H Gun Range in Oklahoma City, Okla., decided to jog their customers’ memories about hunting season with the event “A Taste of Hunting.” “People get busy living their lives — going to football games and soccer games — and hunting season just kind of sneaks up on them,” said Miles Hall, who owns H&H with his wife, Jayne. Many shooters are interested in hunting, but just need a push, which is why he came up with the idea of a free event where customers are invited to taste a variety of wild game. To give customers a good overview of all the hunting options available in the area, Hall teamed up with local chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Safari Club and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife. Hall wanted his guests to meet people from these organizations to see all the shooting sports had to offer. “We had about 400 pounds of wild game, and we were out of food in 24 minutes,” Hall said. “We were stunned. We had no idea so many people would come.” This event was a success because it appealed to a broad audience. People who already hunt came for ideas on how to cook wild game, and non-hunters and “foodies” came to try something new. Having game organizations at the event made it easy for people casually interested in hunting to ask A Taste Of Hunting “We had no idea so many people would come,” said Miles Hall, of H&H Gun Range, about their free event, “A Taste of Hunting.” questions and get advice from professionals. A fun and festive atmosphere made it a fantastic way to generate interest. their biggest dove breast weighed and recorded. The top three winners and high lady receive prizes donated by companies such ontests are another way H&H and many other gun stores as Benelli and Federal. generate interest in hunting. H&H recently teamed with a “Kim Rhode placed third when she was 12 or 13,” Gissendlocal radio station for a “Big Rack” antler contest. Hall says the aner said. contest was easy to administer because contestants sent photos This contest creates a lot of foot traffic for Sprague’s beinto the radio station, and the cause contestants must bring station acted as the judge for dove to the store. Each A fun and creative event runs the gamut, their the largest antlers. H&H proyear, the limited-run T-shirt vided a $1,000 gift certificate, from a fashion show or wild-game dinner, Sprague’s issues always sells and the store’s name was out, illustrating the popularity to a hunting contest or shooting match. of the event. mentioned every time the radio promoted the contest. A fun and creative event Sprague’s Sports in Yuma, Ariz., has been holding a contest on that appeals to a broad customer base runs the gamut, from a the opening day of dove season for more than 22 years. Ron Gis- fashion show or wild-game dinner, to a hunting contest or shootsendaner, general manager, says they usually have over 900 en- ing match. The idea behind the event is to remind firearm owners tries in the contest and it’s also easy to administer because there that shooting is a fun and unique pastime that can be enjoyed by is no entry fee — contestants simply come to the store to have the whole family. Contests Get People In The Door C “ ” 38 Read SI DIGITAL • NEW BUSINESS YEAR SUPER ISSUE 2011

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