HOW TO RECRUIT NEW HUNTERS
It was a privilege on Saturday, April 22, to be involved in a JAKE event held by the Warrior Trail Gobblers Chapter of the NWTF, at Hunting Hills Lodge south of Waynesburg, PA. Along with organizer Guy Hostutler, champion turkey caller Haylee Newell, I helped instruct roughly 50 kids on how to call turkeys.
Lots of hunters talk about how to recruit new hunters to the sport in a day when so many things compete with hunting. It takes more than getting a kid to a hunter safety course, as important as that is. Hostutler and the Warrior Trail Chapter know what the next step is. It's to get kids as excited about hunting as they are about anything else. And every kid did leave excited. Every kid went away a winner, with an armload of door prizes all related to turkeys and turkey hunting. So even if a youngster wasn't one of the 12 kids who shot a gobbler that morning, each one spent the day in a truly rewarding way.
Of the 12 gobblers shot that morning. One had a double beard. One weighed almost 24 pounds. Several had spurs more than an inch long. Most were mature longbeards. All hunters had the experience of a lifetime, thanks to a group of parents and leaders who care enough to sacrifice their time and energy. This is what hunting needs if we are going to have a next generation of hunters.