Two years ago, hunter Nicole Qualtieri posted to social media inviting anyone to deer camp near her home in Montana. She wasn’t sure how many ladies would bite. The response, it turned out, was overwhelming. And it’s been an annual tradition ever since. Hosting hunt camp has given Nicole new perspective on HOW exactly we recruit and retain new hunters. This week on Artemis, we’re diving back into the R3 conversation – recruitment, retention, reactivation – and where community fits into that mix.



  • 2:00 – Artemis’s 10th episode! If podcasts were babies we’d be all into the tummy time right now
  • 4:00 – being the hunting/fishing editor at GearJunkie.com
  • 4:10 – coming to hunting from Outdoor Recreation
  • 6:45 – “We don’t create community by being insular… We create community by being welcoming.”
  • 9:10 – How can we tell stories about complicated land use issues that build understanding?
  • 11:00 – Let’s define retention in hunting: from being a novice at something to the point of having the skills to do it autonomously
  • 14:00 – The ways of measuring retention are diverse, and every state does it differently, which makes it hard to elucidate a comprehensive picture
  • 15:00 How many people hunt their first few years and tell you they’re ‘not really a hunter’?
  • 17:00 – Solo backpacking led to an interest in the great outdoors, and then an interest in hunting
  • 18:00 – Then a Craigslist ad led to a job at MeatEater… and a hunter was born!
  • 19:00 – barriers to retention – financial means, mentorships, access to animal habitat
  • 23:00 – Nicole’s deer camp: Curiosity in the hunting community? Or dang awesome campfire special? 
  • 25:00 – “Do any women want to go hunting this year?” The interest was HUGE.
  • 26:00 – It’s a huge emotional undertaking hunting with total strangers
  • 30:00 – Women opening hunt camp to other women – the idea is gaining traction. It’s a form of retention.
  • 31:00 – Most the women who come to Nicole’s camp have been hunting for less than five years, and they’d never led their own hunts
  • 33:00 – Leading your own hunts is a huge turning point for a lot of new hunters
  • 35:00 – Hunting with experienced hunters doesn’t guarantee a learning experience
  • 39:00 – Finding hunting friends can take on a Bumble vibe… “Hi, you seem nice. Want to go hunting?”
  • 41:00 – A little bit in common goes a long way when it comes to making hunting friends. Find your favorite #hashtag! Maybe it’s a Boykin spaniel? 
  • 44:00 – Income and financial means (plus education) matter to who gets into hunting
  • 48:30 – “Why We’re Losing Hunters” – Outdoor Life article on the decline in hunters and work that R3 is doing by Natalie Krebs.
  • 50:00 – Sometimes we want to focus our recruitment/retention efforts on fun groups — like kids, or college students — but if we truly want to make hunters, we might be better off going after older adults with the time/money to pursue this kind of hobby autonomously
  • 52:00 – R3 efforts can feel impersonal… but it helps to remember WHY we’re all here. Spending time outside. Companionship. Good food. It’s not just a numbers game about how many of us are hunting.
  • 58:00 – Finding a good community of people can be more valuable to retention than any organized R3 program
  • 58:40 – Field to Fork program
  • 1:00:10 – How to host a hunting camp – Women’s Deer Camp How-To; How to Start Hunting
  • 1:02:30 – Sometimes the best candidates to do R3 activities aren’t the ones who’ve been hunting forever.
  • 1:06:00 – Opening your doors to new hunters doesn’t mean being everybody’s best friend. People just naturally make connections when they’re brought together. And that’s the goal.
  • 1:18:20 – Turkey calling with Hunter’s Specialties Cookie Cutter call and apps with https://gotgametech.com/