November 11, 2019
Field to Fork: A +ONE Effort that’s Recruiting New Hunters from within the Industry
The Field to Fork is a modern approach to R3 and the +ONE hunter recruitment effort.
Hunter numbers have declined in recent decades due to a variety of reasons, including lack of mentorship, difficulty in accessing hunting lands and shifts in cultural norms. However, research shows that, despite the decline in participating numbers, many Americans continue to have a strong interest in hunting. Recruiting, retaining and reactivating, also known as R3 has been a focus for NSSF for many years and progress is being made in developing the solutions needed to connect those who are interested in hunting, but haven’t yet participated, with the resources they need to get started.
One recent recruiting effort reaching new audiences is the Quality Deer Management Association’s (QDMA) educational Field to Fork courses. Here’s an in-depth look at how the QDMA and NSSF are looking to scale this +ONE recruitment effort.
A Modern Approach to R3
Field to Fork comes from the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA). This modern approach to attracting new hunters works by connecting adults with an all-natural, local, renewable, healthy food source. Field to Fork spans the entire hunting process from hunter education to processing and preparing the harvest for a meal, and it was recently adapted to allow industry members to mentor and participate.
Hank Forester, Hunting Heritage Program Manager for QDMA, said, “Mentoring a new hunter can seem daunting at times, but experience shows that many people interested in hunting will welcome a personal invitation to try it. This is part of what Field to Fork does, provide that invitation that can really make a difference.”
Recruiting From Within
Forester added that, “People in our own industry are interested in learning to hunt, and we’re working to make sure that those desires become a reality by having current participants teach newcomers the ropes.”
NSSF’s +ONESM Movement
The +ONE movement encourages experienced hunters and target shooters to mentor youth and adults and recognizes the efforts of these mentors. This program is supported by LetsGoHunting.orgTM and NSSF’s +ONE movement is a central component of the site, which is dedicated to all things hunting, everything from the discussion of calibers to use for elk, treestand safety and how to perfect one’s wingshooting skills to working with Western big-game tag draws and a wealth of tasty field-to-table recipes, as are “Where to Hunt” and “Apprenticeship” links.
To learn more about opportunities to become involved in these programs and to join the national movement to recruit more hunters and target shooters, feel free to contact NSSF’s Jim Curcuruto at [email protected] and QDMA’s Hank Forester at [email protected].