LearnHunting.org: Helping Us Help New Hunters
Hunting is a right for all Americans … let’s keep it that way by teaching newbies!
There are an average of 500,000 hunter education graduates each year. Many of these potential new hunters graduate from an online-only or hybrid experience. Unfortunately, a significant portion are not making it to the field to hunt, and the need for mentoring has never been higher, hence the launch of a new solution to a nationally identified R3 priority…LearnHunting.org.
Founded upon research from industry leaders DJ Case & Associates, Southwick & Associates, and the Wildlife Management Association, Learnhunting.org is fueled by a Federal Multistate Conservation Grant and supported by state agency hunter education and R3 professionals. LearnHunting.org helps new adult hunters gain the necessary experience to build the confidence to pursue hunting on their own.
Over 270 instructors from 34 states have signed on in just two months. Currently, Nebraska, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Maine, and Texas are participating on this platform. On Learnhunting.org, mentors can assign learning modules to students before hunting and then accompany mentees to the range and through their first hunt. In addition, the platform tracks mentored time efficiently, allowing State Fish & Wildlife Agencies to easily see the time their volunteers spend mentoring.
“New hunters today want to learn when it is convenient for them, and new funding mechanisms have provided the means to build a platform that creates this opportunity,” claims Alex Baer, the Executive Director of the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA-USA). “We’ve given adults interested in learning to hunt the tools to find their own mentor and instructors the flexibility to update their availability and preferences when instructing others. State Agency staff also get the administrative tools to connect their match funding needs to the hours tracked educating others in the field.”
Learnhunting.org’s capabilities also allow state Hunter Ed Program Administrators and instructors to access standardized educational online training, alleviating the challenges of training Hunter Education volunteers consistently across their state. This capability will help onboard new volunteers for state agencies and increase volunteer relevancy and retention. Learnhunting.org currently offers eight courses for mentors, and more courses will be released on a regular basis.
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March 2, 2023 at 12:23 pm
As an Ohio Hunter Education instructor for over forty years, I am delighted to learn of this initiative. So many new hunters come from families and backgrounds where they do not have a any “built in” mentors to assist them in going afield. Hopefully, this program will catch on and quickly grow tremendously.