For decades hunting license sales have declined nationally. One bright spot bucking the trend for the last decade or so is people becoming interested in hunting and fishing as a way to obtain healthy, wholesome, organic protein from the wild. The “locavore movement” encourages people to obtain local, organic, sustainable food sources. By natural extension, has broadened beyond gardening, and now covers foraging, hunting and fishing.
Several states have tried and are trying, with mixed success, to recruit and educate this food-motivated audience to become hunters and anglers. Regardless of their level of success, all of these states would agree on one thing. Teaching these newcomers to hunt and fish is nothing like running youth through hunter education classes so they can make opening day with their family and friends. It’s a whole new world.
These new novice students likely are:
- Young adults in their twenties or thirties (millennials);
- Professionals who are very aware of the professionalism of others;
- College educated with good jobs:
- Urban with limited access and exposure to hunting or fishing:
- Have some outdoor experience with camping, backpacking, hiking, canoeing or kayaking;
- Tech savvy - they have never known life without a smartphone and the Internet;
- Food-motivated - having grown up on the Cooking Channel;
- Concerned about the environment; and
- Generally, not part of the hunting, fishing or firearms cultures that natural resource agencies have extensive experience working with.
In short, while tree stand safety, how to bait a hook and how to skin a deer are exactly the same skills you may have taught for the past ten, twenty or even thirty years, you have to treat this new crop of novice, adult anglers and hunters differently.
The goal of Locavore.Guide is to combine a tutorial on how to plan, organize, market and execute a hunting or angling training program customized specifically for adult, food-motivated, millennial, novice hunters and anglers. Included are a collection of resources to help you through the process of planning and building your lessons.
Locavore.Guide should be your one stop shop for Recruitment, Retention and Re-activation (R3) activity in the food-motivated market. We sincerely hope it makes you a better trainer, makes your training programs more enjoyable and successful for you and your participants, and fills the woods and the water’s edge in your state with new, food-motivated adult hunters and anglers.
There's a handout explaining the site and the Locavore.Guide project available here.