Huntsman and Huntmasters are essential to the Hunter Outreach Program's mission of promoting and teaching safe, ethical, and responsible hunting to those who have never before hunted or have limited experience. Such an ambitious endeavor simply could not succeed without the experiences, knowledge, and love of wildlife brought by sportsmen and sports women from across Colorado. Each year, hundreds of Coloradoans experience hunting and shooting sports for the first time through the Program's shooting clinics, unique hunting opportunities, and educational seminars—made possible by volunteers.
Huntsman are screened and qualified volunteers who assist with planning and conducting clinics, seminars and hunts. They support Huntmasters during events as photographers, shooting instructors, cooks, registration officials, and much more. If further qualified, interested and selected volunteers receive additional training to become certified Huntmasters.
Huntmasters play a central role: They plan, coordinate, and conduct hunts and hunt activities that educate youth and novice hunters. Huntmasters teach, coach, mentor—and lead by example—by working with youth and their parents.
Prospective Huntmasters attend a specially designed certification workshop, learning how to plan and conduct a safe and educational hunt. It requires a rigorous weekend of 35+ hours of training, from a Saturday morning (early!) to the next afternoon. Simulating a two-day hunt, Huntmasters eat, sleep, and work at the training site and get a realistic idea of the demands to plan and conduct a youth or novice hunt, while learning:
- Outreach program policies and procedures
- Hunt planning—Start to finish
- Conducting a hunt – Start to finish
- Working with the public
- Providing logistical support
- Pertinent Colorado laws and regulations
Once Huntmasters have passed their certification class, they become apprentice Huntmasters that will work with fully certified Huntmasters on several events to get practical experience in the field before becoming fully certified themselves.