Regulated hunting is an important component within any agency?s wildlife management prescriptions. However, an increasing number of wildlife students and professionals come from backgrounds in which they are not exposed to hunting. And wildlife programs may not sufficiently discuss hunting within in their coursework. Understanding the culture and traditions of hunting, as well hunting methods and the role of hunting in wildlife management, are important in assuring that wildlife professionals are prepared for the challenges of managing wildlife to meet conservation goals and address stakeholder expectations. To help in the professional development of current and future wildlife professionals, attendance in this workshop will yield hunter education certificates for all participants. These certificates are nationally recognized by all state wildlife agencies, as they meet certification standards that demonstrate students learned the minimum knowledge for safe, legal, and enjoyable hunting. Following the formal, state-sanctioned course and examination, workshop attendees will travel to a shooting range to strengthen their practical skills in safely handling firearms, followed by the opportunity to shoot a variety of implements typically used in hunting (i.e., shotgun, small bore rifle, large caliber rifle, muzzleloader). An optional gathering in the evening will feature a ?story slam? where selected story tellers convey the essence of several forms of hunting. This will expose workshop attendees to the variety of hunting opportunities in the United States. Following the story slam, there will be a discussion about the potential of TWS (through the HTCWG) developing a mentorship program for TWS members.
Organizers: Colleen Olfenbuttel, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Pittsboro, NC; Gordon Batcheller, retired New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Petersburgh, NY
Supported by: TWS Hunting, Trapping and Conservation Working Group; The Ohio Department of Natural Resources