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You can't be a Hunting or Fishing conservation organization if you don't support the 3R's! 

That's a strong statement, maybe a bit salty, but absolutely true. Nowadays it seems like there is a .org for everything. Some with real purpose in conservation, and others looking out to conserve their pocketbooks, but all of them will lose in the long run if they don't understand the importance of the 3R'S.



What are the conservation 3R's?

Recruitment: A focused effort at bringing people into the outdoorsman lifestyle. As the family unit broke down so did the traditional family lifestyle. In the "Boomer" generation there were fathers within the family structure, and they placed high value on traditional family activities. People, in those days, were more app to spend family time around a lake than in a amusement park. There weren't so many flashy distractions to pull people away from the natural world.

The traditional family unit also place traditional family values on a high shelf. A man felt an obligation to teach boys how to be men. Women valued the passing of womanhood on to their daughters. Those traditional values were (and are) tied to hunting as it is as much about tradition as it is about sustenance. Right of passages, and initiations have been tied to hunting for thousands of years. A young person looked at their first kill as a culmination of their apprenticeship, thrusting them into adulthood: They have wat it takes to take care of themselves.

With the break down of the family unit, family traditions were shattered. Sadly, Stepfathers are less app to pass on tradition than fathers, so hunting followed the family structure in its decline. Check out the following graphs (take note that the data present only goes to 2014, you can expect these number to be way worse in 2020)

Take Arizona's hunters for example. When the baby boomers are gone, hunting numbers reduce drastically.

Statistics follow Arizona's across the board. If we are going to keep hunting alive we have to actively recruit new hunters. If we are going to keep the traditional hunting lifestyle alive we are going to have to look at recruitment outside of our family structure, as we (traditional minded people) are a rare commodity. If we are to preserve the life we love so well we have to reach out to people.

Retention: Once we get them, we gotta keep them. There is great cultural pressure against Hunters. The lifestyle often termed as a sport and as such a barbaric blood sport. We often do help that image, we place scores, or judge each others efforts in numbers making hunting look, from the outsider's perspective, like a football game where where animals are killed. The drag of having to constantly defend the hunting lifestyle to non hunters wears thin on new hunters, that don't base their activities in age old family tradition. Without deep conviction, it's easy to give in and give up. Especially if the few mentors they do have are consistently arguing over traditional vs compound bows, bowhunting over rifle hunting, yadda yadda yadda.

If we are going to keep people in this lifestyle we have to make their experiences the best they can be. We have to work at making the time they spend valuable.

I had a conversation with another guide that services the same area I do here in Southern Oregon. He called me to tell me how displeased he was with me showing people how to hunt ducks in our area from my YouTube channel and noted that he could figure out where I was with my social media post. I sat and listened to him rant, and his biggest concern was that "The Lazy kids find all of our spots by crusing our social media platforms." He asserted that we have to keep it to ourselves because he likes, "shooting limits." When I told him I use my social platforms to try to get people engaged in our lifestyle he thought I was crazy..."why would you ever want more Hunters out there?" This is what the kids we recruit come against. We get them in and then, rather than helping them, we try to keep it to ourselves. This mindset is part to the nuce that's strangling our lifestyle. We have to remember that these guys are coming into hunting without anyone in their life to hand down the honey holes, or family tricks to keep them engaged. If we want to keep this lifestyle together, we have to be willing to help others out.

Reactivation: We need to bring hunters back. Some left because it wasnt a priority, life got busy. So left because of all the infighting. Some left because of the lack of success. Consintrating on why they left isn't the answer to bringing them back, showing what they lost by leaving is. If we are going to bring exhunters back into the fold we have to get back down to the roots of this lifestyle. Help them remember why hunting is important, and why they should be a part of it again. We need to help them be successful, whatever that is for them, but most of all we have to look outside our own seasons, give up some of our own aspirations for those of others.

Why is having more Hunters important?

First and foremost, outdoorsman (hunters and fisherman) pay for 80% of all the conservation in the United States through Licensing and the Pittman Robertson act. All gun and ammo sales are taxed for conservation. If it weren't for Hunters we would have far more extinct animals than we do now. If hunter numbers continue to decline at the rate they are now half of our conservation dollars will go with them. That would be devastating to wild places.

Second, we are on the brink of losing a lifestyle that adds so much to the culture. There are so many good things added to humanity from time spent afield. Truth being the most important lesson the wild places teach us. The truth of an impending snowstorm will make you thankful for a warm fire. The danger of a wounded bear will make you take note of your actions. And the reality of sacrificial death will make you question the weight of your own existence. This truth becomes more and more out of focus when we remove cultural norms from its influence. We think less about the cost of life if we only experience death through the brown bag of the nearest burger joint.

To be truly human we need hunting, and traditional lifestyles like it to keep these traits of true humanity on our radar. We, as a modern culture need Hunting.

I hope I have made a good argument for you to look at the organization's you donate to. Most understand the need for the 3Rs, but sadly enough many still don't. If the don't, they aren't looking to conserve our lifestyle and I would suggest finding one that does.

This is the Goal of The Life Outdoorz, the are here to Edify, Educate, and Encourage people get into the Outdoors. We have focused our efforts in this endeavor, as we see the cultural degradation of lifestyle and all the good Lord instills in us through it. All of our content is being shaped to combat the deconstruction of Traditional Hunting. As we roll into 2020 we have vowed to share more, to create content to help you get out there. To let you know what we use, why we use it, and how to use it. We have vowed to film traditional hunting value...not just our success, but also our failures.

We are also working on video curriculum to help people break the barriers to enter the life, but at the same time we realize the that no video can take the place of mentorship so we are developing programs that connect people . The first of this program is the Life Outdoorz sticker initiative. Our hope is when you put a Life Outdoorz sticker on you vehicle people will recognize you as a person who agrees with Spreading the Life. This will help break down those barriers of getting to know one another. Say you see a guy getting out of his hunting rig at the trailhead and you notice he has The Life Outdoorz sticker on his rig. By having that sticker on his rig you know that 1. He is either approachable as he believes in the 3Rs or 2. He needs help as he has heard about the 3Rs through the Life Outdoorz. I got this idea when I was approached by a guy, in the Sportsman's Warehouse parking lot after he recognized my Suzuki from our videos on YouTube.

Here is our first sticker: We hope to see them take over the trailheads, marshes, and boat ramps Spreading the 3Rs every where they are seen.

We are also creating a community search page on www.thelifeoutdoorz.com so you can find someone to mentor or someone to help you.

It's our goal to build community, as we believe that God works in such places. So take this blog post as a initiation of that, a invite to contact us if you need help. Ask us specific questions, we will try to help as much as we can. We will make videos to help answer your questions. We will do whatever we can to get you to find the Life Outdoorz. Just ask. Until then. Keep on living!

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