Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring turkey events are a great place to start learning to hunt


MADISON – People who want to eat healthy while helping the environment and enjoying the outdoors can achieve a healthier lifestyle – and be involved in conservation at the same time – by participating in a Learn to Hunt event, according to the state’s hunting and shooting sports coordinator.
In fact, Keith Warnke of the Department of Natural Resources said a spring Learn to Hunt Turkey event is the place to start.
“You’ll be paired up with an experienced hunter, learn about conservation, hunting tactics and firearm safety,” Warnke said. “Then you head outside to experience the excitement of turkey hunting in Wisconsin.”
Learn to Hunt events welcome novice adult and youth hunters. DNR organizers encourage families to sign up together. “Our hunting tradition is all about families learning and hunting together and there’s no better place or time than the woods and fields of Wisconsin in the spring.”
No license is required, and since novices will be hunting with a mentor, hunter education requirements are waived. People can find an event and get registered by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword “LTH.” Learn to Hunt events are usually free and take place during a weekend in late March or early April.
Sustainable food means healthy living
“Sustainable use of renewable resources for food is a perfect fit in an increasingly conservation-oriented world,” Warnke said. “There is a strong and growing interest in lower impact living, food co-ops, farmer’s markets and local food sources. Hunters and hunting have long been at the forefront of this movement.”
Recently, however, the “natural path” of initiation into hunting – from parentor other family member to child – has become more difficult.
“Kids and parents are busier today and live in urban centers far removed from hunting land,” he said. “The demands of work, school and other activities cut into the available time to hunt, let alone initiate new hunters.”
But the interest remains.
“Whether the motivations are nature and conservation interests, camaraderie or sustainability, we are witnessing a growing interest in hunting from adults who missed the natural path as kids,” Warnke said.
The DNR hopes enthusiastic hunters and interested novices will take advantage of the LTH program and further Wisconsin’s strong conservation and hunting heritage, he says.
For more than a decade, novice hunters have participated in these events to learn about hunting, be involved with a hunting mentor and start their own tradition.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Warnke, hunting and shooting sports coordinator, 608-576-5243; Joanne M. Haas, law enforcement public affairs manager, 608-267-0798