Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Major Milestone for Families Afield—1 Million New Hunters!

Monday, September 9, 2013

National Program Reduced Barriers, Created Opportunities for Newcomers

The future of hunting is brighter today than it was nearly a decade ago thanks to the extraordinary success of Families Afield, an innovative program that has introduced 1 million newcomers to hunting.

This impressive number demonstrates that interest in hunting remains high, and that what’s needed to spark a lifelong passion for hunting is a proper introduction enabled by state regulations. With success in hand, Families Afield’s call to action is this: If your state offers an apprentice hunting license, make it a point to bring a newcomer along this hunting season; or if you’ve never gone hunting before, seek out a mentor and give it a try.

Launched in 2004, Families Afield was developed to increase the number of hunters to ensure a promising future for the tradition of hunting and conservation. Hunters provide the lion’s share of support for conservation through the purchases of hunting licenses and excise taxes paid on sales of firearms and ammunition.

“I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to be a hunter, so my dad told me we can get this apprentice hunting license and we can see if you like it,” said youth apprentice hunter Seth Wasilewski in a new Families Afield video featuring youth and parents who have taken advantage of the program. Seth, who took his first deer that day, went on to complete his hunter education course and continues to hunt—a progression followed by so many other mentored hunters.

Families Afield is a model of cooperative effort by several major organizations. The program was founded in 2004 by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation and the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance.  The National Rifle Association and Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation are also coalition partners in the Families Afield program. Coalition partners have worked hard to garner passage of legislative endeavors for the benefit of Families Afield at the state and federal levels with help from the National Rifle Association.

To achieve its mission, Families Afield focused on removing barriers such as age restrictions that were preventing sportsmen and women from passing hunting on to the next generation. Families Afield also encouraged states to establish an apprentice hunting license, a “try before you buy” concept that allowed newcomers to go afield with an experienced mentor before completing a hunter education course. Cumulative sales of apprentice hunting licenses have surpassed 1 million.

Today, 35 states have approved legislation making it easier for newcomers to try hunting with an experienced mentor.

“I don’t know that sitting in a classroom for two or three days would have sparked the same interest [in my son] as getting out in the woods and getting experience deer hunting,” said Greg Wasilewski, Seth’s father and mentor.

Added parent Andrew Wecker, who mentored his daughter and son, “If you have a parent out with a child, something good is going to happen from that, and for this family, hunting has been a good thing for us.”

Program organizers say adding 1 million new hunters has had a ripple effect on overall participation because having a new hunter in a family often means other family members and friends become more active hunters or are reactivated.

Nearly 200,000 apprentice licenses were sold in 2012, according to a survey of state fish and wildlife agencies commissioned by the Families Afield partners.  That brings the total since 2006 to 1,006,269 apprentice hunting licenses, making Families Afield one of the most successful hunter recruitment programs.

Most apprentices are youth, but increasingly adults have taken advantage of apprentice licenses to determine if they enjoy the activity enough to complete the hunter education course required to purchase a hunting license on their own.

The Families Afield partners will be celebrating this “1 million milestone” in the coming weeks by releasing key findings regarding the effectiveness of the program. As noted by the latest Families Afield video, “It took five years to reach 1 million new hunters, but with your help we can reach 2 million a whole lot faster.”

Experienced hunters and those who want to try hunting should check their state’s hunting regulations for information about apprentice hunting licenses. More information about Families Afield can be found at www.FamiliesAfield.org.

-NRA-
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America's oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. More than four million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalRifleAssociation and on Twitter @NRA.

 

TRENDING NOW
Biden Plots Sneak Attack Against U.S. Firearms Industry

News  

Monday, January 25, 2021

Biden Plots Sneak Attack Against U.S. Firearms Industry

Joe Biden has unveiled his agenda for his first 100 days in the White House, and his list includes an initiative aimed at nothing less than the destruction of the U.S. firearms industry. This is ...

Anti-Gun Groups Want to Abolish What Law-Abiding Virginians Have been Doing for Centuries

News  

Monday, January 25, 2021

Anti-Gun Groups Want to Abolish What Law-Abiding Virginians Have been Doing for Centuries

Last year, the anti-Second Amendment majority in the Virginia legislature that was purchased by gun-ban extremists passed a number of anti-gun measures. Anti-gun activists even demanded an opportunity to gloat over what they had bought.

Washington: Vague Carry Ban and Rehashed Mag Ban Introduced and Scheduled for Hearings Next Week

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Washington: Vague Carry Ban and Rehashed Mag Ban Introduced and Scheduled for Hearings Next Week

Next week, anti-gun legislation, Senate Bill 5078 and Senate Bill 5038, are scheduled for hearings in the Senate Law and Justice Committee. 

President Trump’s Executive Order Expands LEOSA Carry Rights

News  

Thursday, January 21, 2021

President Trump’s Executive Order Expands LEOSA Carry Rights

On January 18th, President Trump signed an “Executive Order on Protecting Law Enforcement Officers, Judges, Prosecutors, And Their Families.” The order aims to provide for more federal law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges to be able to ...

Gun Control Groups Push Hollywood to Produce Even More Anti-gun Propaganda

News  

Monday, January 25, 2021

Gun Control Groups Push Hollywood to Produce Even More Anti-gun Propaganda

Gun control advocates are once again pushing the entertainment industry to produce anti-gun propaganda with the explicit goal of advancing failed firearm legislation. The renewed overt effort will strike some as superfluous, given Hollywood’s lengthy track record of anti-gun agitprop and left-wing political monoculture.

Maryland: Senate Committee Passes Wear & Carry Preliminary Approval

Monday, January 25, 2021

Maryland: Senate Committee Passes Wear & Carry Preliminary Approval

On January 21st, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted unanimously to pass Senate Bill 309.

“Unity” President Vows to “Defeat” America’s Oldest and Largest Civil Rights Group

News  

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

“Unity” President Vows to “Defeat” America’s Oldest and Largest Civil Rights Group

Biden issued this “pledge” in a January 8 tweet that falsely tried to suggest the men and women of the NRA were somehow implicated in an infamous crime that was committed a decade ago by ...

Florida Alert! Gun Bills Filed in Florida - SO FAR

Friday, January 15, 2021

Florida Alert! Gun Bills Filed in Florida - SO FAR

As Legislators begin to file bills for the 2021 Florida Legislative Session, we are getting questions about various bills due to media reports on gun bills.  Below is a partial list of bills we will ...

Utah: House Judiciary Committee Passes Permitless Carry Legislation!

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Utah: House Judiciary Committee Passes Permitless Carry Legislation!

On January 22nd, the Utah House Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 60 on an 8 - 3 vote. 

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.