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April 20, 2022

Hunting Heritage Trust Funds New Deer Hunters From Under-Represented Communities

According to a national survey that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducts every five years, of the approximately 11.5 million licensed hunters in the U.S., 90% are male and 97% are Caucasian. There is a growing movement within the outdoor industry to provide equitable access to underrepresented communities and diversify hunting, so it more closely represents American demographics today.

Motivated by these disproportions, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), New York Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Hunters of Color, New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the National Deer Association (NDA) came together to host a “Field to Fork” mentored hunting event for aspiring hunters from the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) community in November 2021. The event was hosted on TNC’s Hannacroix Preserve, roughly 30 minutes outside Albany. Participants ranged in age from 34 to 62 and were given the opportunity to go through New York Hunter Education, learn about deer biology and behavior through NDA’s Deer Hunting 101 online course, gain experience shooting, go on multiple hunts with an experienced mentor by their side, and enjoy the fellowship and camaraderie found in many New York deer camps each fall under a safe and welcoming environment. This video is a documentary of that hunt.

Financial support for this video was provided by the NSSF® Hunting Heritage Trust Grant Program — A first-of-its-kind grant program that works directly to support NSSF’s mission of promoting, protecting and preserving hunting and the shooting sports. It is designed to distribute funds to organizations that focus on innovative ways to reach traditional as well as nontraditional audiences by improving access to and participation in hunting. Organizations welcoming those who want to get involved in the shooting sports are critical to the future of these pastimes. So far the grant program has distributed $300,000 in funding to 17+ outdoor organizations funding recruitment, retention and reactivation programs just like this “field to fork” hunting event.

The application process for the 2022 Hunting Heritage Trust Grant program featuring $100,000 in awards is open. NSSF will place an emphasis this year on programs assisting non-traditional participants. Grant applications may be submitted only by and in the name of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) seeking funding for hunting and shooting sports R3 efforts by May 13, 2022.


Want to get involved?  NSSF’s +ONE® Movement presents a complete opportunity for all industry stakeholders to play a role in establishing a secure future for hunting and the shooting sports. We just need your help in championing this initiative while challenging everyone out there to take part. Together, by amplifying this simple message to the masses, we can make a difference. We’ve assembled a Digital Toolkit and produced promotional materials that businesses can download or order including an activation guide, logos, images, selfie frames, stickers and more to help you get the word out. These materials will assist you in education, mentorship, outreach and mentoring through developing workshops, field trips and seminars to instill respect and love for hunting and the shooting sports. Questions? Contact

You may also be interested in:

Field to Fork: A +ONE Effort that’s Recruiting New Hunters from within the Industry

Save the Earth. Hunt Hogs.

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Tags: deer hunting Hunters of Color Hunting Heritage Trust Grant National Deer Association new york New York Backcountry Hunters and Anglers New York Department of Environmental Conservation R3 The Nature Conservancy

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