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Wednesday, January 31 • 9:40am - 10:00am
SYMPOSIA-13: Learning to Hunt: Adult-focused Hunter Recruitment and Retention in Michigan and Wisconsin

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AUTHORS. Johanna Dart, Michigan State University; Keith Warnke, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Jordan Burroughs, Michigan State University ABSTRACT. In the face of declining hunter numbers nationwide, midwestern states are designing and implementing outreach efforts targeting adults new to the hunting community. Hunting opportunities for beginning hunters have focused primarily on youth; teaching adult learners requires different methods and approaches. However, appealing to adults has important advantages, such as disposable income, independent transportation, and the possibility of passing hunting heritage on to their children and broader social network. Many adult hunters are motivated primarily by food and interests in local, sustainable proteins. Both Wisconsin and Michigan have outreach efforts aimed at recruiting and retaining “adult-onset” hunters from diverse backgrounds. Innovative programs in both states have been designed to capture this audience, using a variety of species and harvest methods.  Wisconsin’s Learn to Hunt for Food and Michigan’s Learn to Hunt program efforts will be discussed as regional collaborators, in terms of their challenges, successes, similarities and differences. Wisconsin’s Hunt for Food program has been piloted and implemented at six locations around the state. Approximately 300 individuals have participated and the curriculum has been refined in response to their input. Michigan’s Learn to Hunt program is in its third year, with five locations across the upper and lower peninsulas. Approximately 150 participants have taken a program since the pilot and the curriculum has also evolved based on participant feedback. The current structure and content of the Learn to Hunt programs are compatible with many existing outreach and extension programs. Join us as we explore opportunities to enhance our collaborative efforts across the Midwest. 

Wednesday January 31, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am CST