Editor’s Note by Ralph Stuart
If you’re up on the
the latest catchphrases, you’re likely familiar with the term R3. It stands for “Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation,” and it is the effort being made to increase participation in hunting, shooting sports and gun ownership.
It’s no secret that participation in hunting and recreational shooting has been on a general decline since the 1980s. In fact, a recent US Fish and Wildlife Service report found that hunting participation nationwide declined 16 percent from 2011 to 2016. Seeing as hunters and target shooters are the primary source of funding for the conservation of wildlife and habitat, it’s easy to understand the urgent focus on bolstering numbers.
Thankfully, several national organizations are working hard to promote participation, and they have teamed with state fish and wildlife agencies, industry partners and conservation organizations in the task. Excellent information and advice on how all of us can do our part are available from the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports.
This past fall I was lucky to participate in an R3 effort on a micro scale. It was mid-October, and I was a guest of friend Jeremy Hatch and his family at their camp in northern Maine. Bird season was open, so Saturday morning we fortified ourselves with pancakes and bacon before packing up and heading out. The party that day consisted of Jeremy; his father, Dave; me; Jeremy’s 10-year-old son, Ben, and 13-year-old daughter, Abby; and Jeremy’s father-in-law, Peter Bragdon, who hadn’t picked up a shotgun for several years. So we had all the bases covered: retention, recruitment and reactivation.
I wish I could say that the action we had was barrel-warming but, despite Jeremy’s shorthair, Echo, and Dave’s springer, Emma, working diligently, the grouse were spotty and spooky and the few shots taken were unproductive. The adventure turned out being more about teaching lessons in gun safety, passing on traditions and simply enjoying the camaraderie of time spent afield with family and friends.
As the afternoon wound down, I asked the group to pose for a photo. The result (above) not only captures a wonderful memory but also speaks to hunting’s true importance: the chance to bond over a shared passion for the outdoors.
Hopefully you’ll have an opportunity to take someone hunting this fall.
The Beretta 680
Forty years on and still setting standards
By Vic Venters
Hung Up on Huns
Unlocking the mysteries of Hungarian partridge
By Garhart Stephenson
Stackbarrel 16s for the uplands
By Greg Mcreynolds
Cold Bay Fowling
Brant & sea ducks on the Alaska Peninsula
By Gary Kramer
When the red gods give you lemons....
By Nate Corley
From the Editor
Embracing the R3 effort.
Weighing in on whether to “Spay, Neuter or Not”
A pocket rocket getting big air
Game & Gun Gazette
The Southern Game Fair, a photo contest, a Watson hammergun, Cole’s new shop and more
AyA No. 2 Round Action
By Bruce Buck
Stocking up for “go time” in the uplands
By The Editors
Montana grousing with Linehan Outfitting
By Brian Grossenbacher
To the Point
A boy’s efforts to shoot his first bird on the wing
By Tom Huggler
Great advice for the sporting life
Ready-and-waiting rain jackets
By Ralph Stuart
The Gun Rack
A Gordy & Sons Rizzini Regal Extra
By Ed Carroll
Safety rules for any situation
By Chris Batha
From the Bench
Gunmaker Florian Barthélémy
By Douglas Tate
Keeping guns and loads in balance
By Tom Roster
A blueprint for “senior success”
By Tom Davis
Misconceptions about hunting national monuments
By E. Donnall Thomas Jr.
On the cover: Pointer Remington with a snootful of Hun scent. Photograph by Brian Grossenbacher
Additional photos: Brian Grossenbacher; Chris Siefken; Chip Laughton