Turn Your Garage Sale Into a Hunting Mentorship Program

Instead of just selling all your gear for a fraction of the cost and going through the hassle of a garage sale, turn that event into a hunting mentorship program. You'll get rid of the unwanted stuff and help new hunters have fun.

Turn Your Garage Sale Into a Hunting Mentorship Program

Help create new hunters by finding outlets for your unwanted unwanted gear, which gives someone else a chance to use it. (Photo: Mark Kayser)

Spring cleaning has dual meaning for hunters. It’s the time of year when you clean up the yard, garage and house. For hunters, it’s also a time to clean up gear and reassess new equipment for the coming seasons.

For predator hunters that includes upgrades to new callers, opticsammunition and possibly a fresh shooting iron. A new layer of camouflage or even a backpack upgrade specifically designed for predator hunting could also catch your eye.

Adding that gear to a garage sale or listing it on Craigslist is common while upgrading. You’re looking for a way to crowdfund to help justify new purchases with a down payment. But reality often sets in as many articles of equipment have little value. The time burned to advertise may not be worth the price of the money gained.

If you find yourself with a box full of gear looking for a new home consider putting it toward a mission. Use it to preserve the hunting heritage.

Every five years the U.S. Fish and Wildlife completes a survey on hunting, fishing and wildlife-associated recreation. The newest report was released in 2017 and has a shocking conclusion for hunting. Between 2011 and 2016 there was a decrease of 2 million people in the hunting population. Consider there are an estimated 327 million people living in the country and only 11.5 million hunt. If we lose too many hunters the sport could fall out of favor in simple society.

Plus, hunters fund conservation via hunting expenditures. Hunting license sales and hunting expenses taxed via the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937, go directly to wildlife. That sum dropped by 29 percent in the same 2011-16 reporting period. That reduction affects every one of the 327 million folks who enjoy wildlife viewing.

What can you do?

For starters, gift some of that old gear to a new hunter, young or old. The entry cost to get into hunting isn’t cheap. A hunting weapon alone can set you back $1,000 depending on the game you target. Toss in all of the incidentals and just to get started you could be looking at more than $1,000 for the price of admission into the hunting community. You can help. 

First, look nearby. Do you have up-and-coming relatives who need to be outfitted for hunting? Does the neighbor kid look curiously at your hunting exploits? Do you know of any single-parent youth that have an outdoor interest? Reach out to your local game and fish agencysportsman clubs and 4-H Shooting programs. Staff can review your donation and place it directly in the hands of needy individuals.

Another possibility is through the powerful Powderhook hunting app, which has section devoted specifically to mentoring. This tool is another way to connect with new hunters and possibly help outfit them.

The time is now to turn the tide or at least stabilize the decreasing participation in hunting. Whether you focus primarily on predators or all game species, a gift of gear could easily help create a new member of the hunting fraternity.

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