NEWTOWN, Conn. — Tisma Juett, manager of the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s First Shots introduction-to-shooting program, recently addressed attendees of the North American Gamebird Association 81st Annual Convention and Conference in Kansas City, Mo., on how preserve owners can use First Shots to attract new customers.
Juett noted that many wingshooting preserves throughout the country remain open through March, offering opportunities for enjoying a late-season hunt with friends and family. A preserve also can be the prefect place to introduce a newcomer, whether youth or adult, to upland bird hunting. Many species of hard-flying birds can be found at preserves, she noted, and many preserves allow you to bring your own bird dog.
The NSSF website www.wingshootingusa.org helps hunters search for and locate wingshooting preserves nationwide. In addition, the site contains an important wingshooting safety video and links to the Wingshooting USA television show featuring host Scott Linden and his bird-hunting dog, Buddy.
“Bird producers and preserve owners are in a great position to attract newcomers to hunting by providing a supportive environment that virtually guarantees some success,” said Juett. “First Shots provides an opportunity for experienced hunters to bring their non-hunting family members and friends to the preserve to learn about the shooting sports in a safe, controlled and fun environment.”
Sonny Hairston, who is president of North American Gamebird Association and has conducted First Shots seminars at his Little Canyon Shooting Preserve in Peck, Idaho, noted that by taking advantage of First Shots’ cooperative advertising funds, a preserve can gain visibility in the communities it serves. “Wingshooting preserves can really benefit from using the First Shots program,” he said.
Increasing hunter numbers is critical to protecting a great tradition, said Juett. Hunters provide the bulk of funding for wildlife conservation–nearly $1 billion a year–through their purchases of hunting licenses and by paying the federal excise taxes on purchases of firearms and ammunition. Hunters also support the right to own firearms for sporting purposes.
About NSSF The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 8,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.