Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation
The Buzz on R3
What is it?
Recruit. Retain. Reactivate (more commonly known as R3) is a national widespread movement to increase participation rates in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, trapping, and sports shooting.
Why is it important?
Participation in hunting and, until recently, sports shooting has been steadily declining since the 1980s. The decline in these activities, which sustain a multi-billion-dollar industry and provide the primary financial support for state-level wildlife conservation in the U.S., poses an ever-increasing threat to wildlife conservation.Hunters, archers, and sports shooters provide this valuable funding for wildlife conservation through their purchase of equipment and ammunition through the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program (WSFR). Additionally, they generate more matching federal funds through the purchase of their state hunting licenses and permits ($3 federal match for every $1 state contributed). “R3 is important to any Rhode Islander concerned about wildlife management, conservation and the future of traditional outdoor activities, like hunting and fishing,” says Jay Osenkowski, Deputy Chief, RI DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife. “If we continue to see a decline in individuals engaging in hunting, fishing, or sports shooting, we may be risking our future capacity to conserve RI habitat land and native species cherished by all outdoor enthusiasts.” But amid crisis lies an opportunity to ensure that wildlife conservation remains fueled by outdoor recreators such as hunters and sports shooters.
To sustain and increase participation, “we need to identify the complexity of challenges our current and future hunters, trappers, and sports shooters are facing here in Rhode Island and work with our stakeholders to create a Rhode Island-specific plan to address these challenges,” says Emily George, Supervising Wildlife Biologist. “We need to ask ourselves how we can build a pathway that supports lifelong hunters, and how to help the next generation start and complete that journey.”
DEM Next Step Hunting Workshops
RI DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife offers a wide variety of free, virtual, and in-person classes and workshops to grow, practice, and strengthen hunting, archery, and sports shooting skill sets. There is a class for everyone, whether you want to learn how to hunt, have just started, or have been hunting for years and wish to share your knowledge with others.
Topics include land navigation, wild game cooking, women’s range days, and mentored hunts. All classes and workshops provide a great opportunity for anyone wishing to gain new skills in the outdoors.
Stay informed on current RIDEM Division of Fish and Wildlife program offerings:
Make a Difference: Volunteer with Hunter Education
Hunting is part of America’s heritage. To preserve this heritage, we must work hard to pass on our respect and passion of hunting and wildlife to our children and other individuals who are looking to get involved in hunting, but don’t know where to start.
While state and federal laws and agencies such as the RI DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife will help keep the heritage continuing for many years to come, we can’t do it without your support.
There are a variety of opportunities with varying commitment levels to get involved., from becoming a Hunter Education Instructor, to guest speaking at a workshop, to volunteering at an event like the Youth Wild Turkey Hunt.
Contact [email protected] to learn more.