According to the Colorado Division of Wildlife, the number of active hunters in Colorado has been on a steady decline since 1996. Sixty seven percent of funding for the Division of Wildlife is dependent on revenue generated from hunter’s licenses. Understandably, the decline in active hunters is a concern — the reduction in revenue means that funding for wildlife conservation programs may be in danger. In response to this concern, the Division has developed outreach programs to generate interest in hunting. The Hunter Outreach Program trains citizen volunteers as certified Huntmasters. Huntmasters attend a formal course of instruction provided by the Division of Wildlife, then upon graduation are charged with planning, coordinating and running youth and novice hunts throughout the state. The Huntmaster teams are responsible for all elements of the hunt from safety, to education, to cultivating participation by landowners in their regional areas.

In addition to the “Huntmaster” program, the Division provides educational seminars for hunters and the general public across the state. Instructors and state biologists provide hunting seminars on elk, deer, grouse, pheasant and waterfowl. They also have hands-on skill clinics covering anything from duck-calling to shooting.

For more information on the Hunter Outreach Program, take a look at the “Youth Outreach and Women Afield Report“, “Huntmaster Manual“, or visit the Hunting portal of the Colorado Division of Wildlife website.

Samantha Hager
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