Program helps teach the next generation of hunters

Column by Ron Hellbusch
Posted 1/14/20

The flow adult to youth of hunting activity in a family can be a seamless process when either mother or father hunt. It takes on an element of the family heritage. But when parents or a close family …

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Program helps teach the next generation of hunters

Posted

The flow adult to youth of hunting activity in a family can be a seamless process when either mother or father hunt. It takes on an element of the family heritage. But when parents or a close family member does not hunt, young adults most often do not have opportunities to enjoy the outdoors via of the hunting experience.

The Division of Parks & Wildlife are sensitive to this situation for many kids and have formulated a new program to create a tradition for interested youth seeking hunting skills and lessons from knowledgeable adults. The “Hunter Outreach Program” (HOR) Has four elements touching both young men and women. The program elements consist of four formal subject focuses; Youth Outreach, Women Afield, Novice Hunter and Rookie Sportsman.

The first activity exposes youth to the outdoors, the environment, the relationship between wildlife and habitat and basic hunting features, all a foundation for how hunting relates to nature and some of the initial hunting elements. The Women Afield subject emphasizes basic skills in hunting, shooting sports (and angling) with specific focus and flexibility on maximizing the woman’s perspective and approach to the outdoors experience. The Novice Hunter subject brings youth age 12 and older who have completed the hunter education classes and testing into the real time element of the field and habitat and to study and understand hunting strategies, laws, regulations and how to safely handle shotguns in the field experience. The Rookie Sportsman element is the final step in the overall HOP exposing youth to firearms handling, small and big game hunting, (fly fishing) basic camping, backpacking, field dressing, meat processing and related outdoors and hunting experiences.

This concluding event of Rooking Sportsman participants takes place in the Colorado Springs. DPW staff take active instructional roles with students in the field and classroom. The DPW offer a clear perspective and commitment through the HOP in their commitment statement, “As leaders in conservation ... we manage and protect lands and wildlife for the people of Colorado. We are committed to connecting people to meaningful outdoor experiences ... and meeting the needs of our future hunters ... and preserve our hunting heritage.”

Adults and youth are encouraged to visit the Hunter Outreach website CPW.state.co.US/hunteroutreach for more information and to learn of other educational opportunities such as Elk Hunting University and Turkey School.

Outdoorsman and Westminster resident Ron Hellbusch can be reached at Ron-Hellbusch@comcast.net

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