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Outdoors Skills
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Join the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission on a quest to master a variety of outdoors skills and experience a new dimension of the outdoors. The Outdoors Skills Program offers knowledge and hands-on experience to hone your skills in a variety of outdoors pursuits, including: archery, conservation leadership, fishing, game-calling, hunting, marksmanship, paddle sports, trapping and wildlife-watching. Courses are offered year-round at AGFC nature centers and education centers.

Patches Track Your Progress
Show off your level of expertise with Outdoors Skills Program patches. Learn the basic knowledge to earn a patch, then add a bar for each skill level you attain. Progress can be tracked by an AGFC staff member. Work your way through intermediate and advanced levels until you become an expert. Once you reach the advanced level, you will have the opportunity to become a mentor and help others learn the same skills.

Team Up To Earn Achievements
You will learn some of these skills in a class or education program; others require going out and doing them on your own. Since we can’t be there with you during every activity in the field, we encourage you to find a friend or expert to work with you along the way. Bring us photos of your accomplishments or get a friend/parent to vouch for you. Part of this is done on the honor system, and we trust that you will get out and enjoy the outdoors with these activities, and let us know what you have accomplished.

For more information, call Eric Maynard at 870-534-0011 or visit your local AGFC nature or education center.

Hunting patch with all rockers. Mentor above the patch. Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert below the patch.  Click for brochure.

  • Archery

    Beginner Archery patch Beginner

    • Attend an AGFC basic archery course.

    Intermediate

    • Shoot proficiently from two distances (Five arrows in the red or all five arrows in a scoring portion of a 3D target at 10 and 15 yards). -OR-
    • Participate in an Arkansas National Archery in the Schools Program Regional tournament. -OR-
    • Compete in an Arkansas Bowhunter's Association or AGFC 3D tournament.

    Advanced

    • Participate in the ANASP state tournament. -OR-
    • Score a 120 on a FITA-style 80 centimeter archery target at 10 yards with 15 arrows twice. -OR-
    • Shoot five arrows in a 3D target kill zone at 20 yards twice.

    Expert

    • Score a 135 on a FITA-style 80 centimeter archery target at 10 yards with 15 arrows twice. -OR-
    • Harvest an animal with a bow. -OR-
    • Shoot five arrows in a 3D target kill zone at 35 yards.

    Mentor

    • Take someone bowhunting/bowfishing who has never been before.
  • Conservation Leadership

    Beginner Conservation Leadership patch Beginner

    • Attend an AGFC conservation program.

    Intermediate

    • Buy a hunting, fishing license or conservation stamp. -AND-
    • Attend a cleanup project.

    Advanced

    • Join a conservation group. -OR-
    • Create a food plot or backyard habitat.

    Expert

    • Volunteer at a nature center or education center to lead guided hikes or programs.

    Mentor

    • Organize a clean-up or group conservation project.
  • Fishing

    Beginner Fishing patch Beginner

    • Take an AGFC fishing class -AND-
    • Demonstrate how to rig a pole from scratch. -OR-
    • Participate in a fishing derby.

    Intermediate

    • Go fishing on your own twice.

    Advanced

    • Catch, process and cook your catch.

    Expert

    • Obtain one AGFC Master Angler Program qualification pin.

    Mentor

    • Take someone fishing who has never been before.
  • Game-Calling

    Beginner Game Calling patch Beginner

    • Attend an AGFC class to make your own call or learn basic game-calling.

    Intermediate

    • Demonstrate proficiency of three types of calls to AGFC staff. -OR-
    • Identify 10 wildlife sounds.

    Advanced

    • Use call while hunting. -OR-
    • Compete in calling contest.

    Expert

    • Harvest game while using call.

    Mentor

    • Take someone hunting, while teaching them how to call. -OR-
    • Help someone achieve intermediate patch level.
  • Hunting

    Beginner Hunting patch Beginner

    • Pass a Hunter Education class, -AND-
    • Demonstrate how to safely operate a firearm.

    Intermediate

    • Go on two hunts with someone.

    Advanced

    • Hunt two types of game (two times each).

    Expert

    • Obtain an AGFC Triple Trophy Award. -OR-
    • Harvest, process and cook your game.

    Mentor

    • Take someone hunting who has never been. -OR-
    • Help them achieve intermediate patch level.
  • Shotgun Marksmanship

    Beginner Shotgun Marksmanship patch Beginner

    • Attend basic AGFC shotgun-shooting class

    Intermediate

    • Shoot two rounds of trap, skeet or recreational clays with a score of 15 or better on each round.

    Advanced

    • Compete in a tournament and shoot 18/25 or better. -OR-
    • Go hunting with a shotgun and harvest game.

    Expert

    • Compete in a tournament and shoot 23/25 or 46/50 or better. -OR-
    • Shoot three non-tournament rounds of 20/25 or better. -OR-
    • Harvest a limit of small game animals or migratory game birds with a shotgun.

    Mentor

    • Take someone trap shooting who has never done it before.
  • Paddle Sports

    Beginner Paddle Sports patch Beginner

    • Attend basic AGFC canoe or kayak class.

    Intermediate

    • Acquire your own life jacket, -AND-
    • Go on canoe/kayak trip.

    Advanced

    • Paddle three AGFC Water Trails or bodies of water: Confirm with a photo of paddle gear at trail sign.

    Expert

    • Organize and go on overnight paddle trip.

    Mentor

    • Take someone on a float trip who has never been before. -OR-
    • Help someone achieve the intermediate patch level. -OR-
    • Assist with paddling classes at a center.
  • Rifle Marksmanship

    Beginner Rifle Marksmanship patch Beginner

    • Attend basic AGFC rifle-shooting class

    Intermediate

    • Shoot air rifle and score 30/100 at standing position on AR-5/10 targets at 10 meters three times.

    Advanced

    • Shoot rimfire rifle and score 180/300 on A-17 targets at 50 feet with iron sights - 10 shots each position: prone, kneeling, standing.

    Expert

    • Shoot a five-shot, 1-inch group at 100 yards three times.

    Mentor

    • Take someone to the range and shoot rifles for the first time.
  • Trapping

    Beginner Trapping patch Beginner

    • Attend a basic trapping workshop.

    Intermediate

    • Help someone run a trap line on two occasions.

    Advanced

    • Run your own trap line six times. -AND-
    • Join a trappers association.

    Expert

    • Process hides from two different species.

    Mentor

    • Take someone trapping who has never been before. -OR-
    • Help someone achieve the intermediate patch level.
  • Watchable Wildlife

    Beginner Watchable Wildlife patch Beginner

    • Take any AGFC wildlife class.

    Intermediate

    • Identify 25 birds in the AGFC Wings Over Arkansas Program, -AND-
    • Attend five animal feedings/programs at an AGFC nature or education center. -OR-
    • Attend an Audubon, Herpetological Society, The Nature Conservancy or Arkansas Wildlife Federation meeting/event.

    Advanced

    •  Identify 50 birds in the AGFC Wings Over Arkansas Program, -AND-
    • Identify 10 wildlife tracks. -OR-
    • Attend a wildlife field trip with AGFC or a conservation partner.

    Expert

    • Participate in the Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count. -OR-
    • Create an eBird, eMammal or iNaturalist account and log sightings.

    Mentor

    • Take a person on a hike and teach them to use binoculars or a field guide, -AND-
    • Teach a person to identify five animal calls, tracks or signs.
Click for brochure.