The January snow season is prime time to plan 2013 Learn to Hunt events, which last year saw an increase in the number of female participants among the more than 4,000 novices who enrolled in events the last two years.

Keith Warnke, Department of Natural Resources Hunting and Shooting Sports coordinator, says Learn to Hunt events are popular with those interested in learning more about this state tradition but have never had any personal experience. “Many adults who did not come from hunting families are interested in hunting, but don’t know how to get started,” said Warnke. “Learn to Hunt events are a great way for them to learn in a controlled environment with an experienced mentor.”

The Learn to Hunt program started in 1998 to provide youth and adults opportunities to experience a genuine hunt with an experienced hunter. Warnke says interest in the program continues to grow.

“The composition of Learn to Hunt events has continued to evolve, with more females and adults participating in recent years,” Warnke said. “Compared to 2011, last year’s number of females participating in Learn to Hunt events increased by 53 percent.”

Despite the short days and frigid temperatures, Warnke said now’s the time to start planning your Learn to Hunt Turkey event. Events may be scheduled before, during or after the six spring turkey time periods; however, most are held in late March and early April. Interested individuals and clubs will want to get started now to complete the necessary steps.

The department has made it easy for sponsors to organize Learn to Hunt events with on-line applications, reimbursement opportunities, assistance in finding event insurance and event advertising on the DNR’s website.

Sponsors will need to submit a completed application form to the local wildlife biologist for approval, and should make sure at least one of the event instructors is a certified Hunter Education Instructor. Mentors assisting in the event will need to submit an application to be a mentor. Following the event, sponsors must submit a report of event participants and may apply for a $25 reimbursement per participant to assist with event costs. In addition, Warnke says the program will help advertise events by posting them on the DNR’s Learn to Hunt web page and the Hunter’s Network Facebook page.

More information on the Learn to Hunt program is available on the DNR’s web site, keyword “LTH.”

Image courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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