Outdoor Life - - ROOKIE SEASON - —Alex Robin­son

mem­o­ries come from the very be­gin­ning. It’s true for me. I can re­call every de­tail about the first deer I killed. I re­mem­ber how that morn­ing smelled—like spilled hot choco­late and burnt gun­pow­der. My 20th deer? Not so much.

Now, if you read this mag­a­zine reg­u­larly, you know about the de­cline in hunter num­bers, and how it’s crit­i­cal for us to re­cruit new peo­ple in or­der to pre­serve the fu­ture of our sport and fund the con­ser­va­tion of wild places. But these sto­ries aren’t about that. These are about those firsts.

Mem­o­ries are as close as you’ll get to your own first few mag­i­cal sea­sons, but now as a vet­eran sports­man or -woman, you can recre­ate that same ex­cite­ment, sur­prise, and joy for some­one else.

When you re­cruit some­one new into hunt­ing and fish­ing, it’s no longer just an­other deer or an­other fish. It’s the deer. It’s the fish. It’s a life-chang­ing mo­ment. It’s why you fell in love with hunt­ing and fish­ing in the first place.

But it’s not easy. We’re not teach­ing some­one how to play ten­nis. We’re talk­ing about im­mers­ing some­one in a deep, nu­anced pas­sion that could de­fine how they view the nat­u­ral world around them. We’ve com­piled sto­ries about our own suc­cesses and fail­ures in con­vert­ing new hunters and anglers, plus a list of tips, tac­tics, and ideas on how to be a bet­ter men­tor. Read on, and then grab a new hunt­ing and fish­ing buddy and hit the field. It’s work, but damn good work. We prom­ise it’ll be some of the most fun you have out­doors all year.

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