Staff from all existing programs agree that selecting the right instructors is critical for program success. Many of these food-motivated students are young professionals with little or no exposure to hunters and fishermen. They openly express concern about being associated with or seen as "bubba" hunters and might resist training (even great training) if it were delivered by a trainer that wasn't well-spoken, well-mannered and professional.
In most situations, instructors were carefully selected from partner organizations or within the ranks of existing instructors. In every situation, the instructors who were graded highly, were the best and most professional individuals and often they were hand-picked in order to serve the needs of the program and participants.
Allowing any person who volunteers to become an instructor is not recommended, regardless of their past involvement as an instructor in some other program.
Topics for additional training include:
It is important to remember that your instructors will need to be tolerant and accepting of different attitudes and cultures. Some program participants likely will come from different cultural backgrounds and may have different motivations for hunting than current rank-and-file hunters. Some participants may harbor negative, stereotypical views about current hunters, firearms, and some hunting practices, and may not want to “be like them” [current hunters].
Selecting instructors that are open and inviting, encourage participants’ interactions, and who are from similar demographic sectors as the participants will help participants be more comfortable with the instruction provided.
However, even the best instructors can benefit from additional training. High quality instructors recognize the benefits of improving their instructional capabilities. Providing and encouraging additional training for your instructors is highly recommended.
In many situations, having enough “right” instructors may be a limiting factor for program expansion.