Reactivation: When a hunter leaves the sport, and then (hopefully) comes back. This week we hear from Montana hunter Alex Stokman, who started hunting as a biologist in Florida, and then didn’t pick it up again until after she’d had three kids and moved West. Stokman is an avid hunter now, but it hasn’t always been easy splitting time between #momlife and the sporting field. (For example, her kids are savvy to her attempts to pitch ‘new hikes’ that double as scouting trips.) Family obligation is just one of a myriad of reasons people step away from the sport. This week, we talk about what helps them come back.

  • 2:30 – R3 = Recruit, retain, reactivate
  • 6:20 – Other R3 episodes: Episode 3 with Sam Pedder, Episode 10 with Nicole Qualtieri
  • 7:00 – Venery Montana – inspiring and educating new hunters
  • 8:00 – Adult-onset hunting genesis story: it started with a boyfriend
  • 9:00 – Florida’s game department — they had check stations with volunteers and game commission employees who would gut your deer for you so biologists can take a closer look
  • 10:30 – Alex can gut a deer in like 30 seconds. It’s a good skill! 
  • 13:00 – Day trip hunting in Minnesota during grad school.
  • 14:00 – A lot of people get into hunting, and then their passion for it ebbs and flows depending on what else is going on in life — and that’s totally normal.
  • 17:00 – On leaving hunting and then coming back to it… when’s a good time? Weaning your youngest certainly frees you up!
  • 17:30 – Landing that first invite to join a hunting party
  • 20:00 – Intrapersonal/interpersonal constraints to sticking with hunting and finding your group
  • 22:00 – On being included in a hunting group as a guest versus a part of the group
  • 23:00 – There’s a switch in your personal hunting journey, that point where you become the driver of your own hunts, versus a passenger on others
  • 25:00 – Asking someone, versus the ‘figure it out’ method to learning – sometimes you need both
  • 26:00 – There’s a difference between hunting and identifying yourself as a hunter
  • 35:00 – Recruitment of women hunters is on the rise, but retention and reactivation is faltering. Do women prioritize time differently? 
  • 39:30 – Do women hunters spend less time in the field than men? Do they have to negotiate for that field time, say, by trying to convince the family to “hike” an area that might double as a scouting trip…?
  • 40:00 – Master Hunter program by One Montana
  • 44:00 – What can we do to improve reactivation? Invite people back. Say, ‘Hey, welcome! We missed you!’ 
  • 48:00 – Would more family-friendly activities boost female hunter retention?
  • 48:40 – RMEF kid activities  
  • 49:00 – On teaching kids… you can teach kids, but do parents have enough experience to sustain that original thrust into the sport? And vice versa, you can teach parents, but are they competent/confident enough to teach their kids?
  • 51:50 – “Did I bash the hunter ed course?”
  • 53:00 – rendering elk/bear fat into soap