A Record $724,980 Earmarked for Hunter Recruitment and Retention

Newtown, Connecticut — For the sixth consecutive year, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has announced grants to states for projects designed to enlist new hunters, and retain existing ones.

“These grants were awarded on the strengths of the concepts presented to preserve our hunting traditions, by adding to the ranks of hunters and encouraging current hunters to continue their participation,” said Doug Painter, president of NSSF.

The 2008 Hunting Heritage Partnership grants include an increase of $250,000 over last year, thanks to a new partnership with Safari Club International. To date, the program has contributed more than $2.8 million to state agencies.

This year’s grant recipients include:


Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission–$64,400

Project: To increase hunting activity in Florida by large numbers of state residents who have been hunting in states other than Florida. Research will identify residents who have been hunting out of state and why, and attempt to convince them to hunt in Florida through a directed marketing effort.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game–$153,000
Project: To obtain access to additional land for hunters by providing various types of compensation to landowners in the form of services, and to recruit new landowners into the Access Yes! program.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources–$62,000
Project: To reactivate a group of lapsed hunters that will be targeted with the implementation of a direct mail marketing and advertising campaign.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources–$16,500
Project: To offer two mentored youth hunts, providing a positive hunting experience and allowing the youngsters to interact with wildlife managers and conservation officers, who will communicate the importance of hunting both as recreation and as a game management tool.

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
The state received grants for two separate projects.
Project #1–$77,755
A direct mail program to encourage prior hunting license holders to re-enter the ranks of active hunters through license purchases. Also, it will encourage current license holders to investigate access to public hunting land and urge veteran hunters to act as mentors for new hunters.
Project #2–$45,000
Recruitment of new hunters and hunters who have left the sport by providing dove hunting opportunities on privately owned dove fields.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks–$61,700
Project: A program designed to identify lapsed Montana big-game hunters most likely to return to hunting and to induce their participation, as measured by license purchases in 2008. Also the program will identify current Montana hunters predisposed to lapsing out of hunting and reduce their rate of doing so in 2008.

Nevada Department of Wildlife–$56,125
Project: A campaign to persuade hunters who have unsuccessfully applied for a big-game tag to purchase a hunting license and participate in under-utilized hunts for both big and small game. This will be accomplished through a direct marketing program.

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department–$20,000
Project: To develop a landowner incentive program that will provide the ability to secure and maintain hunting access to 100,000 acres of private land by December 31, 2012.

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation–$21,000

Project: To conduct a direct mail campaign aimed at encouraging former hunters to pick up the sport again and purchase a hunting license in 2008.

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources–$92,500

Project: Attempt to reactivate lapsed hunters through an integrated mix of paid advertising, direct mail, electronic communication, media relations, events and other grass roots activities.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency–$30,000

Project: A program to increase small-game hunting participation on private land in Tennessee, through a small-game hunter-access cooperative effort with landowners.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department–$25,000
Project: To maintain and enhance the department’s Private Lands Public Access Program for hunting through enrolling private landowners into either a Walk-in Hunting or Hunter Management Area Program.

Twenty-five proposals from 21 states were submitted this year to the Hunting Heritage Partnership judging committee of NSSF. Mississippi was a grant recipient for the first time this year. All other states on this year’s list have been awarded previous grants.

Formed in 1961, NSSF’s mission is to provide trusted leadership in addressing industry challenges and in delivering programs and services to meet the identified needs of our members. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.