I am writing to provide organizations partnering with the Hunter Recruitment Program an update on how the Learn to Hunt workshops are going.
The program has completed six Learn to Hunt workshops so far that have received wide variability in registrations. Workshops in IDNR Regions 2 and 3 are receiving the most registrations, which are nearly or completely full. However, workshops in other regions have had generally poor interest and participation. Although this spatial pattern in hunting interest may not be surprising, it is good information to consider moving forward with hunter recruitment efforts. Nonetheless, my staff and I will continue to strategically determine the best ways to market and bolster hunter R3 across the state. Right now we are only focusing on the R1 aspect of the process, but will begin to develop R2 and R3 aspects this winter.
Since the program started, I have been tracking the demographics of people who visit and/or register for workshops on the hunter recruitment website. The marketing strategy I am using seems to be hitting the target age and gender demographics of the program. This winter I plan to make a few changes to the marketing plan to tailor the advertising to the feedback the program has received so far. We give participants pre- and post-workshop questionnaires that will help us improve the workshops and marketing strategy.
Lastly, this winter I plan to have a sit down with all partner organizations to plan how to best schedule complimentary events and logistics to best support the hunter R3 efforts of our programs. I also plan to modify the format of the Learn to Hunt workshops a bit, which will include trying to tie-in events from partner organizations as much as possible. My hope is to cross-pollinate participants between our complimentary programs. Due to state budget and hiring delays, my staff and I were scrambling to get the program up and running this year. Next year I anticipate much more time to schedule workshops and plan collaborative efforts with partner organizations. My staff and I look forward to working with you.
I will keep you posted on how the remaining Learn to Hunt workshops go, as we get closer to the end in late November. I have attached a spreadsheet with info on the remaining workshops, including the need for volunteer mentors. To help us advertise workshops, please share the program Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/hunttrapillinois/?ref=bookmarks).
Thank you again for your continued support. Let me know if you have any questions.