The Into the Outdoors Syndicated broadcast television network impacts 24 states in 54 markets on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and PBS affiliates reaching 260,000 viewers each week. This educational television series is the only program to earn 17 Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the top youth educational series in the Midwest. Your show (content funders) is also offered to all 350 PBS affiliates nationally by the National Education Television Association. Aired three times a year for two years and impacts over 1,560,000 viewers, half under 18 years old.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that only five percent of Americans went hunting in recent years. That’s half of the percent of the population that hunted 50 years ago. This most recent 2019 season saw 15.5 million licensed hunters from a US population of 330 million. That equates to an all-time low of just 4.7% of the population who hunted. This continued decline of hunters and its implications on wildlife conservation funding casts an ominous cloud on the future of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.
Experts believe that America’s decline in hunting is directly linked to the negative attitudes towards guns by today’s generation. In fact, studies confirm that the millennial generation is less likely to be involved with shooting sports than previous generations because of their negative attitudes about guns.
That’s why it’s very unlikely that programs that simply tell young people to, “go hunting”, or “try shooting” will result in changing those attitudes and recruiting a new hunter. Most R3 professionals agree that recruitment into hunting is a stepping-stone process that first requires a young person, using their own value system, to decide for themselves that a shooting sport could be a fun and safe outdoor activity they would like to try. Then they need realistic pathways to expand their shooting sports interests into actually hunting.
So if the process of recruiting young people first begins with them deciding for themselves to try shooting sports, what tools can effectively make that impression? Research supports that today’s youth are greatly influenced in their lifestyle and recreational decisions in two ways: 1) Peer-hosted media that entertains, engages and educates them, 2) Peer-driven classroom activities where they share in a process of discovery and self expression. And once kids form their own value-based decisions, they have a major influence on their family’s recreational activities.
Unfortunately, few R3 or hunting related agencies or organizations have the multi-million dollar staff, media infrastructure, an Emmy-winning syndicated broadcast network, or today’s technical experience to produce and distribute television programs and classroom educational curriculum that can inspire millions of kids to want to explore shooting sports or to go hunting some day.
Fortunately, the Safari Club International Foundation, along with the Hunter Legacy Fund and the Into the Outdoors Education Network launched the America’s Hunter Legacy educational program in 2017. The success of that television pilot and the series of classroom education videos gained national exposure in 2018 by winning the Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences as the top youth educational program in the Midwest. That, along with extensive youth engagement strategies, prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to join the program in 2019 through a Sport Fish & Wildlife Restoration grant to create the America’s Conservation & Hunting Heritage Series.
The end result to date are 6 half-hour America’s Conservation & Hunting Heritage television shows distributed nationally on 116 channels in an Emmy-winning youth education series. The program has also produced 26 classroom shooting sports and wildlife conservation videos with lesson activities that inspire and empower youth to explore the shooting sports. All of this is projected to impact over 13 MILLION kids and their families over the next 5 years. Judge the youth engagement for yourself of this shooting sports and hunting heritage content by watching some of these programs: http://intotheoutdoors.org/wildlife-conservation/
Whew! So it looks like the shooting sports and hunting industries along with all the related orgs, foundations and agencies can simply sit back and breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the tide is about to turn on recruiting our next generation of shooting sports enthusiasts… right?
Sorry, not yet. The founding partners have been critical in funding and creating this national movement that can inspire millions of youth to want to try shooting sports or hunting for the first time. But as we head into 2020, these founding underwriters can no longer be expected to fund a program for the entire shooting sports and hunting industries and agencies. It’s now time for the rest of the shooting sports and hunting industries, the R3 Hunting Community, and the related outdoor lifestyle industry to support the continued success of this one-of-a-kind program that’s benefiting their collective future. So please take a moment to see all the ways this program inspires and empowers our future shooting sports enthusiast and hunters. Then stand alongside your peers in helping fund the program for 2020. Simply fill in your pledge below, or contact us to learn how your funding can earn your organization, brand products, or R3 story to become part of the actual content in the program.
Partner With Us
By now you can see how this program uses three proven pillars that engage today’s generation – television, online videos and peer-learning classroom activities combined with key R3 strategies to create pathways for kids and their families to discover shooting sports. And when you look at the partners below, you may notice that one of the most important things missing from this program right now… is you.
So please take a moment to give us a call to learn more about a partnership role that can make your story part of the actual program content.