The future of hunting today depends on hunter access, hunting opportunities for current hunters and the recruitment of new hunters.
The Hunting Heritage Partnership says the "gateway" to securing America's hunting heritage is through today's state wildlife agencies. Idaho Fish and Game has been awarded $153,000 from the 2008 Hunting Heritage Partnerships Program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearm industry's trade association.
"These grants were awarded on the strengths of the concepts presented to preserve our hunting traditions, by adding to the ranks of hunters and encouraging current hunters to continue their participation," foundation president Doug Painter said.
The grant to Idaho Fish and Game recognizes the agency for developing one of the nation's most promising ideas for recruiting and retaining hunters. The grant will help fund long term contracts with private landowners for Fish and Game's Access Yes! program, and it will help develop a Hunter Management System for Access Yes!
The Access Yes! program helps provide hunter and angler access to and across private lands by compensating willing landowners.
So far this year, Fish and Game has secured agreements with 16 landowners for five year contracts. These leases open 90,500 private acres and make an additional 92,000 acres of public land accessible.
The Hunting Heritage Partnerships Program funds will allow Idaho's Access Yes! program to continue to grow and benefit landowners, wildlife habitat, and Idaho's hunters and anglers.