Academics Afield is a college learn-to-hunt program initiated and supported by GWF and the Georgia R3 Initiative. Academics Afield is focused on removing participation barriers while providing training and opportunities to students new to target shooting and hunting. Game species biology, hunting strategy, firearm training, a guided hunt, animal processing and a wild game meal are a component of every workshop. There are internships and volunteer opportunities at each participating school. In Georgia, programs are active at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Albany State University, Fort Valley State University, Georgia Southern University, and the University of Georgia.
1) Engage folks from non-traditional backgrounds in hunting and shooting sports
2) Increase societal acceptance and support of hunting and shooting sports
The Academics Afield program began in 2019 at two colleges in Georgia. Since then, it has expanded across the United States to include additional programs in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas.
In 2022, Georgia schools saw 190 participations at 46 events. Across all institutions, 57% of participants were women, 29% of participants were BIPOC, 53% of participants came from a medium to a large city, and 100% of participants now agree that hunters contribute to wildlife conservation. The Academics Afield program is an R3 effort to recruit, retain, and reactivate hunters and target shooters. After participating in the program, 90% of participants said they will probably or will definitely hunt in the future.
As of 2023, seven programs across the southeast have been launched at Historically Black Colleges and Universities with the goal of enhancing diversity, inclusion, and equity in the hunting and shooting community. The program strives to help underrepresented communities forge stronger relationships with the outdoors and our natural resources.
Academics Afield is Funded with Support From:
As a newcomer to UGA and the Athens area, the Academics Afield program has been an exciting way for me to meet new people with similar interests and gain knowledge and experience I’d be hard-pressed to encounter elsewhere in my busy life. Like most people, I imagine, I was not raised in a hunting or gun-owning household. Prior to getting involved in this program, I had absolutely no experience with hunting and only a basic knowledge of safe firearm handling and use due to personal interest. Through the program, I’ve learned so much in a very short time about responsibly hunting a variety of game and the firearms, techniques, and regulations involved. I’ve been able to meet people and go places I’d never know or have access to on my own. I possess skills I never thought I’d have or even need, and the program still has so much more to offer. I am grateful to Georgia Wildlife Foundation, Academics Afield and those involved and look forward to the opportunity to give back in the future.Tristan Green-Tagalog
Learn to Hunt!
Georgia Wildlife Federation,
–Artemis Georgia (Women’s Initiative)
Georgia Department of Natural Resources-Wildlife Resources Division
–Calendar of Events
–State Land Access
–Private Land Access
–Federal Land Access
National Wild Turkey Federation
Georgia Chapter of Safari Club International
Articles, Blogs, and Videos
UGA Tournament – R3 in Action
By: Carson Love The R3 Initiative primarily focuses on hunting and encapsulates hunters' recruitment, retention, and reactivation through Georgia Wildlife Federation programs. However, at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources Annual Sporting Clays...read more
Albany State – 2 Firearm Trainings in 1 Day
By: Coral Minchey For 10 Albany Students, a day of firearm training was the perfect way to fill a Friday morning and afternoon. On March 31st, Albany State University students and Coach Dan Land joined me for a day of shotgun training to prepare for future hunting...read more
Fort Valley State University Students Participate in Target Shooting Class
Program breaks down barriers to hunting and target shooting. Students test to see which eye is dominant. Fort Valley, GA – The Academics Afield Program, operated by Georgia Wildlife Federation, hosted its first event for Fort Valley State University students. Public...read more
Albany State University Students Harvest Squirrel in a Free Learn-to-Hunt Program
Community comes together to pass along hunting knowledge to the next generation Albany, GA – On February 17th, eleven Albany State University (ASU) students received firearm training at Flint River Skeet & Trap Club by members of the community. The following day, six...read more