I continue to be astonished at the amount of money we will spend on the conservation of even a single animal specie, and yet what we will spend to introduce a kid to the outdoors is so small in comparison, that it’s almost immeasurable.
I’m not sure where we as outdoorsmen and conservationist went wrong, but we seem to have put all of our time, money and energy into wildlife and habitat conservation, while giving almost no thought to the end user. I have watched various groups over the years raise and spend hundreds of millions of dollars to conserve every game specie in North America, and yet we can not seem to get people to grasp the idea that kids are our most important resource.
We have great intentions and sincerity as hunters and fishermen to do great things, and for this effort over the last 90 years, I could not be prouder. From our conservation pioneer Theodore Roosevelt, to all of our current wildlife conservation groups, we are definitely the leader in successful wildlife conservation worldwide. Yet along with all of our success, we have also found a looming failure, neglecting our country of it’s next generation of outdoorsmen and conservation leaders.
Until we make a real effort to reach out to our children, support youth outdoor programs and embrace the idea that we have to secure our outdoor heritage, we will continue to see a drastic decline in participation. It’s time to shift our focus and mindset to our kids and how we can give them opportunity and an education. For information on how you can help, please visit the Tomorrow’s Hunter website and see how you can make a difference.
Please remember this, “If we spend all of our time and money preserving wildlife and habitat but neglect to recruit and retain a future generation of outdoorsmen…we have failed.”