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Help for New Hunters: NSSF Provides Places to Start

Help for New Hunters: NSSF Provides Places to Start
A youth hunter shows off her first successful deer hunt with her father. Those new to hunting and shooting don’t always have an experienced family member or friend to help them. Thanks to the NSSF, there are programs available to help people get started in the right direction. (Jeff Phillips photo)

Learning to hunt isn’t easy. Today it can be more difficult than ever for someone to take those all-important first steps toward becoming a hunter. Simply knowing where to find the right information can be a challenge.

But it doesn’t have to be. Websites and social media allow us to instantly connect with would-be hunters and share information—experience—with those who are seeking it most. That’s the thinking behind, a wealth of online information provided by experienced hunters and compiled by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) to help newbies take to the field. is an easily accessible resource where new hunters can build a base of knowledge on species, tactics, equipment and safety through articles and videos. In addition, the site serves as a gateway to information, organized by state, on hunting regulations, hunter education courses and hunting apprenticeship programs. New hunters will also find links to public land open to hunting in each state, as well as a mapping feature that enables them to locate bird-hunting preserves within a selected distance from a given address.

While all this is helpful information, NSSF recognizes it doesn’t replace personal mentorship. An experienced hunter who invites afield someone interested in the sport and then guides that novice through the first season (or more) is the best teacher. Hunting needs more of these folks, those who share their time and resources to help others learn to hunt.

The +ONE Movement is an NSSF initiative that encourages and equips hunters to become mentors. A portion of the website is devoted to +ONE Movement resources, such as tips on helping new hunters prepare for and stay safe in the field. The +ONE Movement also includes a pledge, shareable on social media, that mentors may take to strengthen and promote their efforts, as well as a tool that enables them to send an online invitation to go hunting on a scheduled date.

Whether referring aspiring hunters to or making a commitment to serve as a mentor through the +ONE Movement, current hunters can take a role in helping others discover the sport. Both have dedicated hashtags on social media, #LetsGoHunting and #PlusOneMovement, which make it easy to spread the word.

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