The origins of the HHAP stem from the Hunting Heritage Steering Committee (Steering Committee), which was created to provide national level oversight to a series of Governor's Symposia on Hunting Heritage (held on a two- to three-year cycle) that attempted to identify actions being conducted to reverse negative hunter participation trends while outlining additional actions needed. After several successful Symposia, the Steering Committee concluded that a Strategic Plan was needed.
The Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) was selected by the Steering Committee as the coordinator for the development of the Strategic Plan. In 2005, WMI obtained an Association of Fish and Wildlife Agency (AFWA) Multistate Conservation Grant to begin this effort. The funds from the grant were subsequently supplemented with additional funds to support this effort. WMI retained the services of D. J. Case and Associates (DJ Case) to assist in this effort.