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North American Assembly of Outfitter Associations highlight initiatives to sustain hunting’s heritage during Bozeman Workshop
For Immediate Release
BOZEMAN, MT – July 17, 2018
Nineteen outfitter and guide associations from the United States and Canada, representing 20,000 small businesses, gathered in Bozeman, MT July 10-11 to share information on leading industry issues in North America. Key themes in this year’s workshop included hunter-angler recruitment, reaching the non-hunting community with proactive messaging, the latest science behind chronic wasting disease, and growing/sustaining memberships.
During the country breakout sessions, the Professional Outfitters and Guides of America (POGA) discussed workflow processes to increase member retention, travel insurance programs that benefit both member businesses and outfitting and guiding associations, business partnership programs, raffle models to effectively raise money for associations and benefit member outfitters, and opportunities to secure funding through state tourism grants.
The Canadian Federation of Outfitter Association (CFOA) discussed strategic planning efforts for its organization, important issues they face in each jurisdiction, federal regulation changes that will impact the industry, and a national survey that will quantify the economic impact of Canada’s outfitting industry. Results from the latter are due to be released this fall.
Experts speaking about initiatives geared toward sustaining hunting’s heritage across North America included keynote speaker Michael Sabbeth, author of The Honorable Hunter: Defending and Advancing Our Hunting Heritage, spoke about skillfully advocating for hunting. Diana Rupp, the editor-in-chief of Sports Afield, presented on the Nimrod Society, an organization that uses a state-funded media campaign to reach a broad audience about the beneficial impact of hunters and anglers on wildlife habitat, public lands access, and economic development. Samantha Gibbs, a wildlife veterinarian with the Fish and Wildlife Service and a leading expert on chronic wasting disease (CWD), shared the latest research and an update on efforts to eradicate the disease which is now found in 20 US states as well as Alberta and Saskatchewan.
This is the first year that the workshop was held in Bozeman. Attendees had the opportunity to explore some of the touchstone Montana experiences like an afternoon of fly fishing on the Gallatin River, a tour of Ted Turner’s 113,000-acre Flying D Ranch and a horseback ride into the Spanish Peaks.
The workshop closed with an industry night featuring representatives from some of the top outdoor brands in Bozeman including Sitka, Mystery Ranch, Stone Glacier, Kenetrek Boots and Fish Hunt Fight. Representatives from each company explained their outfitter/guide program and provided door prizes from their hunting lines.