(Washington, D.C.) – Headlines on declining and shifting participation rates in hunting, target shooting, and outdoor recreation have been well-documented, and the announcements have not fallen on deaf ears. Now, the narrative has shifted as conservation and outdoor organizations have invested significant resources in recent years to address these declines by focusing on efforts to recruit, retain, and reactivate (R3) hunters and target shooters, thus ensuring a solid future for conservation in America. This is the message that the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports, in partnership with the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) and the Association for Conservation Information (ACI), will share with outdoor media professionals at upcoming events. The goal of these events is to expand outdoor media professionals’ engagement in state, regional, and national R3 efforts.
“Outdoor media professionals play a key role in the national R3 movement. From providing ‘how-to’ content for new or soon-to-be hunters to encouraging current hunters to help mentor a new person – outdoor media professionals can help this national movement move forward,” said Kristen Black, Manager of Communications and Human Dimensions for the Council.
On June 19, the Council will update POMA members during the Visit Mississippi breakfast at the annual POMA conference in Wichita, Kansas. Council staff will share the latest trends in outdoor recreation participation and highlight opportunities to connect with the national network of R3 professionals. Kevin Orthman, Executive Director of POMA, shared that “POMA members are interested in what R3 is and are looking to connect with the mission. This unique opportunity is just the start of many more as we continue to work together to bridge the media and R3 professions and bring better content to hunters, target shooters, and other outdoor recreationists.”
Council staff will then meet with members of ACI in Savannah, Georgia during their annual conference. Staff will participate in a special panel on July 8 on building better relationships with fellow industry professionals. “ACI is made up of natural resource communicators from all over the country who play a critical role in R3. This conference will be a great place for the Council to share some best practices on how communications, marketing, and outreach work to recruit, retain and reactivate customers,” said Jenifer Wisniewski, president of the Association for Conservation Information and Director of Outreach and Communications for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Since 2009, the Council has worked alongside numerous partners to advance state, regional, and national efforts to increase participation in hunting, shooting sports, and other outdoor recreation. In the last decade, the Council facilitated the development of the National Hunting and Shooting Sports Action Plan(2016), the National R3 Community (2016), the first-ever National R3 Symposium (2018), and currently the National R3 Implementation Workgroup.
“Declining participation rates drew attention to the challenges at hand, and now the narrative has shifted from discussion to action as hundreds of organizations are working to evolve the ways in which we, as a community, recruit and retain the future population of hunters and target shooters active,” stated Samantha Pedder, Director of Business Development for the Council. “Together, we can impact future participation trends, and we look forward to working with outdoor media professionals in our collective pursuits to do so.”
For more information on the Council, visit www.cahss.org.
For more information on the POMA annual conference, visit https://professionaloutdoormedia.org/2019-wichita-kansas/.
For more information on the ACI annual conference, visit http://www.aci-net.org/conferences/.