by Chris Chaffin - Thursday, January 18, 2024
Collectively, the nation’s hunting industry is searching for programs that will recruit and reactivate lapsed hunters—hunters who were once active but haven’t purchased a license in recent years. In doing its part, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is appealing to their wallets as part of the motivation.
WDNR is now offering a major price break to hunters who haven’t bought a license in the last 10 years through its “First-Time Buyer” (FTB) license category. This provides lapsed hunters the opportunity to get involved again and experience the excitement, fun and rewards of hunting … for $5. Yes, $5. The FTB license is a reduced-rate license offered to customers to introduce them to hunting, trapping or fishing.
Bob Natk, Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) Team Supervisor, observed, “There are a lot of barriers to hunting today and you can’t ignore the cost factor when it comes to getting people involved. Our FTB license fees were set to intentionally remove one of those barriers.”
Discounted fees are available for residents and nonresidents alike and are automatically applied when the license is purchased. FTB licenses include gun deer, archery, small game, trapping, both spring and fall turkey, etc. FTB categories also include fishing licenses.
Also worth noting, WDNR licensing schedules discounted prices for youth hunters and special options for nonresident high school/college students and active armed forces personnel stationed in Wisconsin.
WDNR also recognizes the important role current hunters play in recruiting and reactivating lapsed hunters and is supporting them as they continue their efforts—once again, by involving their wallets. When purchasing a FTB license, new Wisconsin hunters can identify specific individuals who acted as a mentor and recruiter, encouraging the FTB license purchase. These are hunters who have an active hunting license(s). Each time the active hunter is mentioned, he or she is awarded one point. Once a total of three points is reached, the hunting mentor can choose the following year’s license at a 50 percent discount.
Natk said, “Recognizing the potential impact of both recruitment and reactivation efforts, our Recruiters program encourages active hunters to get involved in assuring the future of our hunting heritage.”
There are, of course, other details and some requirements associated with WDNR’s FTB and Recruiter programs. For more information, visit the WDNR website or call (888) 936-7463.
In supporting America’s R3 movement to recruit, retain, and reactivate hunters, WDNR has many other active R3 Programs reaching out to millions of potential hunting and shooting participants, including:
For details on any of the above WDNR programs or on its strategic plans to embrace new hunters as well as trappers, anglers and shooting sports enthusiasts, click here.
About the Author
An outdoor communicator, educator and mentor for more than 40 years, Chris Chaffin has represented several prominent organizations in promoting the benefits of hunting, fishing, the shooting sports and wildlife conservation. A member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association, in 2007 he launched the communications consulting company Chaffin Communications Inc. In 2012, with support from the Outdoor Adventure Dream Giveaway, he founded the Outdoor Adventure Conservation Fund to promote participation in traditional outdoor activities.
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