Elk NetworkRMEF, Partners Seek to Recruit, Reactivate, Retain Hunters

Conservation | June 14, 2018

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recently took part in a national symposium seeking to secure support for and active participation in hunting. RMEF is a major sponsor of the initiative as ensuring the future of America’s hunting heritage is core to the organization’s conservation mission. Below is a news release from the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports, of which RMEF is an active member.

First-Ever National R3 Symposium Creates Call to Action

(Washington, D.C.)  – The first-ever National R3 Symposium held in Lincoln, Nebraska from May 21-23 hosted by the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports, went off with great support and created a call to action to state fish and wildlife agencies, outdoor recreation industries, conservation NGOs, and the entire R3 Community.

More than 325 individuals were in attendance throughout the two-day event. Those attendees represented more than 100 different organizations including 40 state fish and wildlife agencies, numerous outdoor industries, conservation NGOs and outdoor media.

“We were incredibly happy with the turnout for the first-ever National R3 Symposium” said John Frampton, President/CEO of the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports. “This Symposium was exactly what the R3 Community needed to come together and develop partnerships and strategies to march forward and move the needle to help secure the future of hunting, shooting, fishing and boating.”

The plenary session offered attendees insight into the past, present and future of recruitment, retention and reactivation efforts from leaders spanning the hunting, fishing, recreational shooting and boating communities. Jay McAninch, former CEO of the Archery Trade Association, kicked off the event with a direct call to action about the change needed to secure the future of conservation. Other agenda highlights on the first day of the event included  presentations on Data & R3, headlined by Mark Duda and Rob Southwick, two panels to showcase Celebrations of R3 Advancements and the Significance of R3 in Organization Change, and an eye opening talk from Andrew McKean on “Celebrating the Workaday Sportsman”.

On Tuesday, May 22, the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Archery Trade Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service signed a Memorandum of Understanding on R3, signaling the importance of increased partnerships, communication and coordination between all groups to encourage participation in hunting and shooting sports activities.

During the second day of the event, attendees rolled up their sleeves and engaged in two work sessions designed to capture insights from the audience and provide feedback to the R3 Community which will be used to define future national and regional R3 efforts. 

Lead by DJ Case & Associates and preceded by presentations from Doug Cummings and Howard Vincent, attendees answered questions through an interactive polling software on the topics of “R3 in 21st Century Business Practices” and “Elevating R3 Impact through Strategic Partnerships”. Outcomes from those questions will be reported out.

Finally, all four R3 committees from the regional associations of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and a cohort of mentoring organizations met during the last hours of the Symposium to chart a path forward in R3 at the regional level and discuss the important topic of mentoring. Future efforts of the collective R3 Community will continue to support structure and encourage growth in these areas.

The National R3 Symposium received broad sponsorship support from the entire outdoor community, including Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Bass Pro Shops, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Federal Premium Ammunition, Northwoods Collective and many more.

This inaugural event accomplished many things, and of more importantly, it set the path forward for the collective R3 Community to address the challenges we face together, and soon so that we can ensure a bright future of hunting, angling, boating, target shooting and overall conservation.

To see more outcomes from the first-ever National R3 Symposium including an attendee list, presentations, and other important information, or to stay up to date on all things R3, join the National R3 Community.

Purpose: Ensure support for and active participation in hunting and the shooting sports for future generations.

Vision: America where hunting and the shooting sports are an integral part of mainstream culture and where hunters and shooters are widely recognized as premiere conservation contributors.

Mission: Facilitate the promotion and growth of hunting and the shooting sports and the education of the public on the contributions that hunters and shooters make towards wildlife conservation.