If you plan on heading into the mountains, prairies or to the nearest marsh to hunt, here’s one simple suggestion: take a kid with you. A recent survey by Southwick Associates and HunterSurvey.com shows that nearly 46 percent of surveyed sportsmen and women took at least one boy or girl into the field with them in the past year.
“We remain committed to ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat, and our hunting heritage. And who holds the keys to that future if not our sons and daughters and grandchildren?” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.
Passing on our hunting traditions to the generations that follow is a key component of RMEF’s mission. That’s just one reason why RMEF recently launched the new RMEF Youth Membership. The membership targets youth under the age of 18 and offers members online access to Bugle magazine, a hat and some other benefits. RMEF also sponsors youth camps, hunting and fishing clinics, and educational programs such as the SAFE Challenge and Elk Trunks, kits containing lessons plans and hands-on activities for educators to teach kids about elk and the outdoors.
Survey results indicate most children that hunted within the last year did so with a parent. In fact, 59 percent did exactly that but outdoorsmen and women also reach out to other relatives and friends. Twenty-seven percent of respondents accompanied a girl or boy that was not related to them while 20 percent took a nephew or niece and 17 percent took a grandchild. Nearly four percent took a child as part of an organized activity such as scouting or part of a church group event.
“Sportsmen have long sought to share their love for the outdoors with the people in their lives, particularly young people, and when it comes to hunting, introducing kids to the outdoors isn’t limited to just immediate family members,” says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates.
When asked how many children they took hunting within the past 12 months, 21 percent of those surveyed reported one, 15 percent took two, five percent took three, two percent took four and a little more than two percent took five or more.
|Madison Sergent, RMEF member and volunteer|
from Delmarva Chapter in Delaware
“Right now, we’re busy passing on our hopes and dreams and the things we love most to our youth. Before we know it, though, we’ll be passing on the reins to this next generation of hunters and conservationists. We need to make sure their ranks are strong,” added Allen.
And what better way to do so than to take a young hunter into the field with you?