“Duck hunting has no semester.” That’s part of a new social media group’s theme. Campus Waterfowl is a Twitter group led by students, for students. It brings collegiate waterfowlers together from across the country as they share stories, photos, jokes, and more about their favorite pastime.
Since its first tweet on October 13, 2014, the group has garnered a following of more than 11,000 Twitter users who are interested in duck hunting.
Recruiting hunters from this age group is important for the continuation of the sport, but retention of these young sportsmen and women is critical. As Mossberg’s Jason Cruise pointed out in his blog, too many times young hunters are discouraged from continuing in the sport by elder hunters who refuse to pass on any knowledge to the next generation. They’re legally able to enlist in the military, but not “old enough” to be on the water.
Cruise thought differently.
While searching for waterfowl-related items on the Internet, Cruise found a large amount of college-age hunters. He created an eBook to give them access to that needed waterfowling information.
“I remember being 20 years old,” Cruise wrote. “I knew that I had a lot to learn, but I also knew I wasn’t a kid anymore either.”
The book highlighted 14 hunters and their experiences in the field. It was published and immediately began generating a buzz online. To build on the exposure, Campus Waterfowl created an Instagram page with photos of the students’ kills, retrievers, and all the other nuances that make up waterfowling. Created in November, 2014, the site has already attracted 17,000 college hunters.
“There is a lot that goes into being a collegiate hunter. Finding time to scout the perfect duck hole for you and your buddies to go to on opening day is tough, but because we love the outdoors so much we learn to balance school, work, and hunting all at once,” said Logan Smith, the Southeastern Conference Rep from Mississippi State University. ”Hunting is such a huge part of who I am, but having your priorities right and knowing that school comes first is a big deal. Hunting is not my first priority in my life, but it is most definitely a priority I will never lose.”
The group goes beyond just helping students hunt. Those interested in careers in the outdoor industry are benefitted by Cruise’s and Mossberg’s connections and support. One student, Mississippi State’s Lake Pickle, landed a full-time job with Primos as a videographer.
To continue promoting the young hunters, Mossberg is launching a blog to cover the students’ fall hunting. The blog will go live in a few weeks, according to Cruise.
Cover image courtesy of Campus Waterfowl