A gathering of the Hunters and Angling Heritage Work Group (HAHWG) took place at the Flagstaff Nordic Center on July 13-14, to discuss the 2013 summer agenda of preserving Arizona's outdoor heritage by improving hands-on events in the community. This meeting which was organized and led by Doug Burt and Scott Lavin of the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD), was well-executed with a good showing in attendance. The weather in Flagstaff was a bit more stormy and chilly than the Phoenix metro area, but it surely wasn't enough to keep any true outdoorsmen away.
The keynote speaker, Matt Dunfee of the Wildlife Management Institute, started off the session with his research on, "Making a Hunter: A Complete Parts List," which explores the mind of a hunter and what it takes to continue sparking that interest in other generations.
During the weekend, a cross-section of organizations had a chance to take the floor and talk about their plans for future events and what challenges they faced. A common theme was determining how can these groups help each other and collaborate. The AZGFD moderated the presentations and added more details or examples, when necessary.
Fred Doidge of Arizona Outdoor Sports began his 15 minutes with, "How can I help you? Let's talk about what your club's features and benefits are to determine how we can help each other."
Some of the reoccuring issues were recruitment in volunteers, mentors, and overall event coordination as well as shelter, food preparation and trash removal for events.
Wildlife Management Officer Luke Apfel, used a good example of recruiting help from unusual partners like with the Pintail Slough Waterfowl Camp he led last January. Prior to this event, Luke had met the principal of Topock Elementary School on hunt and had mentioned needing help on this upcoming duck camp. The principal offered the schools' gymnasium as shelter against the elements for the camp of 18 kids over the weekend. This was a wonderful, yet unexpected collaboration where a hunting enthusiast assisted the younger generation of hunters.
Some of the themes addressed at the meeting were:
- event planning and management
- grant deadlines
- past event successes and challenges
- change in legislation of trapping regulations
- ways to encourage the younger generation to spend time in the outdoors
- need for mentors at youth camps
- new partnerships ideas were discussed
- planning in advance for sponsors and donations
- requesting ahead of time for a Wildlife Management Officers to attend camps
Many of the organizations have partnered together in past camps and events and this summer's HAHWG meeting got the ball rolling for new partnerships to develop for future events. Thanks to the Arizona Game and Fish Department for their strong drive to unite hunting and fishing groups in a community of people that want to help each other and preserve their outdoor heritage.
Some of the groups in attendance were:
Thanks for inviting FishCampHuntHike to the summer HAHWG meeting. We camped overnight and enjoyed some good discussions with some great men while sitting around the campfire. Look for more information on these organizations and upcoming events on FishCampHuntHike.com.