Friend. Take a Friend Hunting.

Find a friend to take you hunting.

Wisconsin Mentor Hunting Program

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   A first-in-the-nation program has been adopted by Wisconsin to allow experienced hunters to take unlicensed youngsters and adults on “try-out hunts.”  Under this program, a licensed hunter may take another person with him who has not taken the state’s hunter safety courses. This allows  the new hunter to go hunting, shoot game and decide if he wants to continue the activity after his initial exposures.

   The requirements are that the hunter must be at least 18 years old and the mentored hunter at least 10 years old. The escorting hunter must have a valid state license and the mentored hunter a special “mentored license” that is available from state agents. Although both may kill game, they may have only one gun or bow between them. The mentored hunter must also be within arms’ reach of the escorting hunter at all times.

  This is a significant state initiative for recruiting new hunters from all segments of the non-hunting population. To me this program seems over-controlling and over-regulated; but the concept of allowing  “trial hunts”  is a worthwhile step in introducing new hunters to the sport.

   Congratulations Wisconsin. My very best wishes to the new hunters and their escorts.


Written by hoveysmith

October 9, 2009 at 9:16 pm

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National Organizations

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National Rifle Association (NRA) programs

I have literally grown up with the NRA and have been a Life Member since my early college years. As much as I love the organization and appreciate what it has done  for American gun owners and hunters, it is a large organization that that is slow to  make policy changes.  Although it has programs for youth and women hunters as well as for hunter instructors, it was blindsided by the immediate needs of some of the eight million unemployed who, for the first time, really want (need) to hunt to supplement their family’s food supply. By the time the NRA develops, approves and adopts a program for adult men who now want to hunt,  the worst of this present economic crisis will likely be behind us. As a result, I suspect that the NRA will only continue the programs they have in place.

If you are a member of an NRA-chartered club, I encourage you to adopt a “Friend. Take a Friend Hunting.” approach and attempt to link your hunting members with their friends, and others, who want to hunt; but don’t feel comfortable going into the woods by themselves. My book, Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound, will help; but no book can be as effective as  one-on-one instruction from a caring friend for those first  few trips afield. 

 Women on Target,

   There is a sometimes reluctance  for women to go on hunts with men that they do not know very well. The Women on Target approach links women with fellow women as co-hunters and oftentimes trainers.  For the 2009-10 hunting season there will be an hunts for elk in the Rocky Mountains, geese and upland birds in Maine, pheasant and chukar in Nebraska and hog hunting in Texas.  A link on the Women on Target website will provide more information

  Youth Hunter Education Challenge (

This program attracts about 50,000 youth hunters a year who, after they have had their initial hunter-safety training, participate in a series of simulated hunting competitions in eight skill areas including using rifles, bows and muzzleloaders as well as map reading, compass use and more. It stops short of having hands-on experiences with skinning, cleaning and processing game.

Hunter Clinic Instructor Programs (

Training instructors to present solid, field-tested, information on a dozen seperate programs is the what this program is about. This is literally a “training the trainers” approach. These prepare the instructors to teach such subjects as Waterfowl Hunting, Handgun Hunting, Waterfowl Hunting, Hunter Rifle Markmanship and so on. This is a valuable program, but one that works best if the participants already have some experiences in these areas. Becoming an instructor not only solidifies a participants own knowledge, but allows him (or her) to interact with others and provides a high degree of satisfaction from attracting others to sport hunting and shooting.  


Written by hoveysmith

August 8, 2009 at 8:25 am

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National Organizations

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National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)

Step Outside

  By going to a person is able to see a variety of attractive  postcards that he/she can fill out on-line that can be sent to anyone in the country to give them an invitation for a hunting trip. Using this service also enters the person in an annual drawing for a $1000 gift card from Cabela’s. This is an ideal way to invite a friend  invite a friend to a hunt, shooting match or other outdoor experience.  Unfortunately, this program has escaped almost everyone’s attention.  Use it.  This is a class act, and a real credit to the NSSF and Cabelas.

Written by hoveysmith

August 8, 2009 at 6:58 am

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For a link to my website,, click on my photo at the head of this blog.

Written by hoveysmith

August 8, 2009 at 1:14 am

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The Friend, Take a Friend Hunting Program

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As I was writing Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound,  I tried to include

E-mail A new hunter with his first duck.

Paul Presley with the results of his first waterfowl hunt clutched to his breast. His smile says everything.

everything that a new hunter and cook would need to know about how to inexpensively hunt and utilize wild game to feed a family. I believe that I accomplished this feat in my book, although it was a difficult writing task. It was even more of a challenge to make it a fun read.

Having accomplished getting the book published, something else needed to be done to help the nation’s eight million unemployed feed their families.

However good my book  might be, the  best instruction always comes from an experienced hunter  that the novice already knows.  

This realization came to me at the 2009 St. Louis POMA (Professional Outdoor Media Organization) conference. While there I launched a new hunter recruitment program titled, “Friend. Take a Friend Hunting.”  I envisioned that in the present economy almost every hunter has a friend, relative or former co-worker who would like to hunt to help feed his (or her)  family. Who better to offer instruction than a skilled hunter already known to our nimrod? My book will teach them both something, but the added assurance of being taken out and personally “looked after”  is irreplacable.

I would like to invite clubs, hunting organizations and other groups who have, or will form, hunter mentoring organizations to send me a few lines describing their program, telling where it is located and give me the appropriate contact information.

 The only requirement is that the club have members who will take them hunting a few times to “show them the ropes.” This will not be a listing of a state’s shooting clubs, unless those that join are willing  to escort new hunters into the field or facilitate link-ups with willing hunters.

I will offer a no-charge posting service.

This program will help put safe and effective new hunters in the woods with us, help shooting and hunting clubs grow membership and provide help for those trying to feed their families. These new members will often be younger that the club’s existing membership.  Because they realized some real benefits from the club when they needed them, it can be anticipated that the recruted members will become enthusiastic supporters of hunting and shooting in the future.

There will be national publicity about this program from radio, TV and print outlets. Send me the appropriate information and I will post it on this blog.

                     Email address


                     Physical Address

                    Description of Program

Friends, fellow hunters, let’s help others in this dismal economy feed their families by taking a non-hunting friend hunting.

Written by hoveysmith

August 6, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized