So far we’ve only discussed recruiting events that are directly targeting a food-motivated audience, but your end goal is to attract new adult hunters and anglers so don’t overlook opportunities for events that aren’t completely food motivated.
Introduction to kayak fishing – Kayak fishing is one of the fastest growing outdoor activities. Some of those new kayak anglers are fishermen who bought a kayak but some of them are kayakers who took up fishing. Anything you can do to convert some of those kayakers into anglers expands the sport and helps your state.
Partnering with a local kayak shop to conduct an introduction to kayak fishing class can help your partner build his/her business by selling specialized fishing kayak and gear while gaining you access to potential new anglers who could attend a more in-depth pan fishing class (or may directly lead to a license purchaser).
Foraging events – Foraging is a natural interest for anyone interested in local, sustainable food. And it’s an easy first step. Individuals who discover they enjoy being out in the woods hunting for mushrooms and berries may eventually consider hunting.
Many state or county parks already host wild plant or mushroom foraging events. They have already located experts and have recruited participants. Partnering with them, or a local mycology club, may build a bridge that will yield other recruitment opportunities. For example, inviting them to share their harvests at a wild fish and game tasting event will allow them to reach out to the people you have recruited, and you to reach out to their recruits.
Other types of fishing - While this program focuses on open water pan fishing, the information contained can easily be adapted to other fish species, or fishing with other equipment, such as fly-fishing or ice fishing.
Partnering with a local sporting goods store or bait shop to offer an introduction to ice fishing, fly fishing or even bow fishing might be another way to attract potential new anglers into your recruiting database.
Gear Events - Another, obvious partner is a local sporting goods store. Assisting them to host a “What gear do you need to start hunting/fishing” seminar will help you recruit new participants and help them recruit new customers.
Other existing groups that may yield program recruits include: rock climbers, hiking club members, re-enactor groups, and survival groups. There is no end to the potential list of events that could attract people who enjoy the outdoors and care about food. Think about popular activities in your area, potential partners and make a few phone calls.