Clearly, hunter recruitment activities and hunter retention activities are, by their application, different. One is designed to generate new participants while the other is designed to keep current participants. Unfortunately, there seems to be some confusion between these terms and their associated activities. In some regards, the hunting community refers to recruitment and retention synonymously and has not yet recognized their unique natures and challenges.
This confusion is, to some extent, documented in the responses to the question regarding the primary purpose of the program-types. Programs intended for both hunter recruitment and hunter retention were reported by 62% of state agencies and 48% of NGOs. States reported that 24% of their program-types were specifically for hunter recruitment and only 6% were specifically for hunter retention.
NGO responses indicate a similar pattern: 29% indicated that their program–types were specifically for hunter recruitment and 7% indicated that their program-types were specifically for hunter retention. (Note: These totals do not add up to 100% because not all respondents answered these questions.)
The authors caution not focus on these precise numbers. While it is clear that some program-types may be applied to both recruitment and retention processes, it is equally clear that many programs would likely benefit from a more targeted approach to achieve specific goals. The entire hunting community would likely benefit from well thought out and clearly articulated goals and objectives for each program in which they invest.