We started last time by discussing why competitive shooting is valuable for all gun owners and the betterment of personal skills. Let’s look now at the positive effect on the whole community.

Superior promotion and publicity of hunting and shooting sports

A well run shooting organization can do much to promote hunting and shooting to entire communities. Consider events for hunters. HunterShooter targets are “in season” 365 days a year. Marketing experts tell us that any potential buyer has to be exposed to advertising an average of seven times before they will buy, if they are inclined to buy at all. So a major part of the problem is simply getting the message out. With a mere nine day hunting season, and some states have less, how long will it take to get the message out seven-plus times? Regular scheduling helps by simple volume, as clubs can hold Events as often as they choose, monthly, weekly, even daily if desired.

Going along with this marketing analogy, and continuing to use hunters in this example, HunterShooter provides a sports topic to discuss that is actually hunting related. My grandfather, who has been hunting most his life, spends more time discussing ball sports, like football or baseball, than shooting or hunting. He discusses shooting a bit before season, shares venison at Christmas (if he was lucky), and shelves the issue until next November. Shooting as a sport is foreign to him because, in his words, “I don’t know nothin’ about that fancy shootin’.”

In my experience, this attitude is typical amongst many hunters. Traditional marksmanship tournaments, with their specialized equipment and rules, seem to turn many gun owners off. HunterShooter isn’t like that. A hunter who isn’t interested in target sports can still participate effectively. The hunting gear they already own is not only legal, it’s competitive. With a minimum of instruction, and the safety protocol they should already know, a hunter can come to the line and be told, “You see that deer downrange? When I blow my whistle, I want you to shoot a clean shot to the vitals, just like in the woods. Go only as fast as can guarantee a good shot. OK? Ready? GO!”

By giving a shooting sport to big game hunters, who represent one of the single biggest groups of gun owners, HunterShooter hopes to promote shooting as a viable sport to the masses. What do you think would happen if the 80 million gun owners of the United States, most of which already own suitable deer hunting gear, started going to the range regularly?

Finally, organized shooting helps demonstrate how dedicated good gun owners and hunters really are. As I’m sure you are aware, there are animal rights groups who want people to believe that hunting is for slobs. These groups try to convince the public that hunter’s have no skill and are merely bushwhacking and blowing away poor, defenseless critters. Anyone who has tried hunting and shooting knows this is pure bunk. Even with modern technology, effective marksmanship requires considerable skill. And every animal in wild is operating with a home field advantage. I have yet to meet a hunter who felt good hunting was easy. But non-hunters and non-shooters don’t know this. It isn’t practical to invite non-hunters along on a hunting trip, but it is easy to have them come out to a HunterShooter Event. Once these non-shooters are educated to how talented good hunter-shooters really are, they can comprehend the value of hunting and shooting.

Organized shooting events can do much to gather the recognition hunters and shooters deserve. However, the most important thing is to get active! If you don’t participate in our events, please, please participate in something. Hunting and shooting will only last as long as our interest.

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