Oct. 31, 2018
Randy Zellers Assistant Chief of Communications
LITTLE ROCK - As the modern gun youth deer hunt begins, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission would like to remind all hunters to take a moment to think about introducing a new hunter this year. In fact, we are asking hunters to “take the pledge,” so to speak, and become a mentor.
By visiting Hunterspledge.com, hunters can sign up to be a part of the ongoing effort to get more hunters in the woods and carry on the message of conservation to the next generation.
“We want people to take kids hunting, but this is much more than that,” said Spencer Griffith, AGFC marketing coordinator. “We want people to take any newcomer to the woods, regardless of age or sex. “We know there are many people who have an interest in hunting, but don’t have the knowledge to feel comfortable hunting on their own, and we’re looking for hunters, the original partners in conservation, to help lead the charge.”
Many programs and workshops offered by the AGFC can share information on how and where to hunt, and even give a little taste of hunting through a special mentored hunt. However, nothing is as important to the creation of a new hunter as the continued guidance of a good mentor.
“Some people may get hooked from day one, but it’s often the bond created during multiple trips that crafts a new hunter,” Griffith said.
In addition to the camaraderie of a new hunting partner, mentors who sign the pledge have an opportunity to win a special “Thank You” from the AGFC. Random drawings will be conducted throughout this year’s hunting seasons, and winners will receive hunting pants, shirts and jackets donated by Drake Waterfowl Systems.
“It’s just a great way to get involved and maybe even get a reward beyond the pride all mentors already feel,” Griffith said.
A second part of the campaign is a special online mentor of the week challenge, where people who have signed up for the pledge can send in images and stories from their hunts to share with the public,
“Even with a good mentor and good location, bagging your first duck, deer or even squirrel isn’t a guarantee,” Griffith said. “But one thing you always come home with is a good story, and we want to hear about it.”
Thanks to donations from Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Friends of the NRA, the AGFC will give out special prize packs of tumblers, coolers and hunting equipment at random to some mentors who have submitted stories and images from their experience. At the end of January, there also will be a grand prize for the best mentor experience story and image for each of the following hunting categories: deer, waterfowl, predator and small game.
“We want to thank everyone who introduces a new hunter to the woods this season and teaches them how to have a safe, enjoyable time in the outdoors,” Griffith said. “You never forget who took you on your first hunt, and we’re excited to help make those memories begin.”