Here is a fact I always hate to share because it’s a hard reality in my opinion…California hunter numbers have been drastically declining for 40 or more years now! Back in the 70’s there was a high (no pun intended) of nearly 700,000. Today there are less than 250,000 licensed hunters in our Golden State and you know the overall population hasn’t decreased any, making these stats hard to swallow.
Even if you are a non hunter and happened to stumbled across this blog post by accident, these numbers should concern you. Why? Because Sportsmen and women are the most passionate advocates as well as the biggest financial backers of wildlife conservation efforts. It is almost scary to think about where are public lands and wildlife populations might end up if our hunter numbers continually decline…
Ok, enough of the boo-hoo stuff, let’s turn this post in a more positive direction. Happily, there are a number of conservation based organizations within our outdoor industry that realize the significance of not only focusing on the conservation of our wildlife and their habitats, but the preservation of our hunting heritage as well. California Waterfowl Association is one organization who has committed resources to help promote and recruit not only children, but families to build their hunting and fishing knowledge and skills set and ultimately build a true love for the outdoors. One of CWA’s most successful hunter recruitment efforts is their Hunter Camp Program.
California Waterfowl Association hosts a variety of camps throughout the year within their Hunting Heritage Hunter Camp Program. Beginning Youth Aged Hunters, Advanced Youth Hunter Camps, even Women Only and Family Camps too, have engaged and recruited thousands of participants over the last few years. Last Summer I was fortunate enough to have been asked to help as an instruct
or at each of the 5-Day Beginning Hunter Camps at the CWA Grizzly Ranch Property in the Suisun Marsh and I look forward to my time helping at as many camps as I can again this year!
Each week 30-40 Kids will take on the challenge of learning the California Hunter Safety Course material, but these campers will learn the curriculum in a very unique way. Hunter Camp is all about hands-on activities like egg-salvage, duck banding, shooting, and archery activities that completely support the learning process behind the California Hunter Safety Course Curriculum and is a philosophy based on retaining 10% of what you hear, 20% of what you see and 60% of what you do. These Camps offer it all and the kids retain all this info while making lasting friendships and having a ton of fun too! I really can’t say enough about these camps. Plus, Level 2 Camps exist for beginning hunters who have already passed a hunter safety exam! These camps help build upon and further develop outdoor skills.
Check out the camps offered this summer on California Waterfowl Association website. Camp dates are listed on the event calendar and an early bird special of $400 for the 5-Day Camps is available until May 1, 2015. And…if your camper is one of the first 30 to sign up, they will be entered into a drawing for a free waterfowl hunt at Grizzly Ranch this upcoming Waterfowl Season. Get your Littles signed up! It is for sure a camp they will love and you will be able to give yourself a giant parenting done right pat on the back knowing you are helping them to build a fantastic foundation for the rest of their outdoor lives!