A R3 College-Focused Practitioner's Guide - R3 Toolkit

Executive Summary

Academics Afield – A R3 College-Focused Practitioner’s Guide was created as part of the R3 Initiative to recruit, retain, and reactivate individuals to hunting and shooting sports.

Academics Afield (AA) was founded in Georgia in 2019, after several years of research and development, to provide a program that introduces college students from nontraditional backgrounds to hunting and shooting. The AA model was built with scalability as a priority and implementation on three campuses over the past year has provided proof of concept. Our data show that: 

– AA participants are more likely to come from non-hunting backgrounds and fall outside of the current demographics of hunters than participants in other hunter recruitment programs. 

– AA participants are likely to continue hunting and feel well equipped to do so – Using student interns results in an increase in event frequency, messaging consistency, quality of participant experiences, quality of data collected through evaluation and tracking, and improves community-based mentoring when compared to a completely volunteer-driven model. 

The AA model’s success stems from focusing on the data, integrating with colleges by hiring student interns and partnering with faculty, targeting game species with limited entry barriers, and facilitating community-based mentoring.

We have expanded AA in the Southeast to impact more students, test scalability, refine the model and associated curriculum, and develop a comprehensive toolkit to facilitate national expansion.

This project was supported by Georgia Wildlife Federation – WSFR#, National Shooting Sports Foundation, North Carolina State University – WSFR#, and the R3 Initiative. ACKNOWLEDGMENT:

Academics Afield is Funded with Support From:

Table of Contents

R3 Toolkit Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
    • Project Information
  • Why College-Focused R3 Models
    • R3 Background
    • College Students
    • What do college students think about hunting
    • Hunting Market Segments
  • Results of Evaluation
  • Why Academics Afield?
  • Preparing for an Academics Afield Program
    • Setting up Academics Afield
    • Evaluation and Tracking Efforts
    • Finances
    • Equipment Requirements
    • Academics Afield Coordinator
    • Workshop Design
    • Participant Recruitment
    • Student Coach Recruitment and Training
    • Liability and Media Releases
  • Implementing Academics Afield
    • Introduction
    • Classroom Training
    • Firearm Training
    • Game Meal
  • Case Studies
    • Introduction to Case Studies with 5 Tenants of an Academics Afield Program
    • University of Georgia – Athens
    • North Carolina State University – Raleigh
    • University of Tennessee at Knoxville
    • Clemson University
    • Getting Started Outdoors: Hunting 101
  • Final Recommendations for R3 Efforts Infographic


  • Appendix A: Letter of Intent from Partners
  • Appendix B: AAfield Applicant Screening Questionnaire
  • Appendix C: AAfield Pre-Program Survey
  • Appendix D: AAfield Post-Event Survey
  • Appendix E: AAfield Post-Program Survey
  • Appendix F: AAfield Follow-up Survey
  • Appendix G: Memorandum of Understanding
  • Appendix H: Funding Options
  • Appendix I: Intern Job Description
  • Appendix J: Intern Training
  • Appendix K: Program Styles and Schedules
  • Appendix L: Participant FAQ
  • Appendix M: Example Flyer
  • Appendix N: Recruitment Efforts Communication Templates
  • Appendix O: Registration Example
  • Appendix P: Coach Recruitment and Training
  • Appendix Q: Liability and Media Release Waiver
  • Appendix R: Firearms Training – Rifle
  • Appendix S: Firearms Training – Shotgun
  • Appendix T: Venison
  • Appendix U: Welcome to Academics Afield Outline


  • Welcome to Academics Afield
  • Deer
  • Ducks
  • Dove
  • Squirrel

To download sections of the Toolkit or the Toolkit in its entirety, please fill out the information below. If you have additional questions regarding R3 programming or Academics Afield, please reach out to Bre Bashford or Coral Minchey.

Program Accomplishments


Bre Bashford
R3 Coordinator

Coral Minchey
Academics Afield Facilitator

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