So, how do we accomplish this? It all starts with education, opportunity and good outdoor mentors. Joshua Peters is the Community Resource Officer for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribal Police in Kansas and he knows about this effort. He joins The Revolution this week to talk hunter education classes and advocating for outdoor participation.
Joshua talks about the Hunter Education class he led recently where he instructed more than 30 kids, helping them pass and get their hunter education certificates. With kids as young as 11, nineteen participants 17 years old and younger, and eight young female attendees - the classes are diverse. Josh emphasizes how important it is to encourage not only youth participation in the outdoors, but also female involvement as well. Statistics show that women make up the fastest growing segment in hunting, shooting and firearm ownership and, as such, they have a lot to contribute when it comes to conservation.
Hunter education is state mandated, however it’s much more than just a required weekend class where you get a certificate if you pass. These classes really do teach important fundamentals like shooting skills, hunting skills, firearm and general hunting safety, woodsmanship skills, survival techniques, the responsibility and ethical standards hunters need to live by and so much more! Joshua highlights some of the activities he set up for the field portion of the hunter education course where they taught kids how to safely cross fences and even used deer decoys to illustrate the difference between safe shooting scenarios and dangerous ones. Hunter education isn’t just for kids, adults are required to have certificates as well and Joshua notes that by getting adults outdoors it’s easier to get kids outdoors. Furthermore, an outdoor active lifestyle also encourages physical fitness. The health benefits of being outdoors are a bonus!
Become an outdoor mentor and pass on the lifestyle!