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Conservation Education Initiative (CEI)

The North American Hunting Retriever Association, Inc was founded on the premise that well-trained hunting retrievers conserve game. The NAHRA Board of Directors has developed the NAHRA Conservation Education Initiative (CEI) to advance the educational and conservation goals of NAHRA, Inc.

The CEI’s Mission is to educate the public that a well-trained and well-rounded Hunting Retriever is an important conservation tool.

“A Well-trained Retriever Conserves Game”

Why is a well-trained Hunting Retriever an important conservation tool?

Every ethical hunter is obliged to make a reasonable effort to recover every bird they shoot. A well-trained Hunting Retriever greatly increases the number of downed birds recovered, and in so doing limits the number of birds the hunter removes from the wild population. The well-trained Hunting Retriever also reduces the number of crippled birds that are wasted by being left in the field.

How does a well-trained Hunting Retriever conserve game?

Most retrievers possess the basic canine instincts to locate and capture prey (game). Retrievers have been breed to develop: a strong prey drive, a good water attitude, sharp eyesight, and a keen nose. A well-trained Hunting Retriever harnesses these natural traits to locate and recover birds in places too thick, too rough, and too muddy/wet for the human hunter to enter. A well-trained Hunting Retriever finds and recovers many birds that the human hunter could never hope to find.

Conservation Education Action Plan
  1. Designate a CEI Club Liaison- The CEI would like each NAHRA club to designate a Club Liaison that would serve as the communication portal between the CEI and the local NAHRA club. Information from the CEI to the general NAHRA membership would be disseminated through this person. Ideally this person should be someone in the club who is both interested in the educational mission of NAHRA and active in the outreach programs of the local NAHRA club.
  2. Conduct One Conservation Education Outreach Event each year- The CEI would like each NAHRA club to conduct one Educational outreach event each year. This event could involve any number of possible activities, such as: hunting retriever demonstrations, training clinics, youth dog handler programs, talks to local sportsmen’s groups, or booth displays at outdoor shows. The CEI has provided a list of possible suggested outreach programs. The format is not as important as getting the NAHRA message to hunters –the message that “a well-trained retriever is an important conservation tool”.
  3. Participate in Conservation Survey- NAHRA is partnering with the University of Minnesota to create a Conservation Survey to measure and document the conservation efficiency of the well-trained hunting retriever. Faculty and students from UM will be working with Dr. Michael Tome of the U.S Geologic Survey (formerly NAHRA’s Southeast Regional Director) to develop the survey protocol.

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