Outdoor Recreation

A Roadmap for the Future of Hunting and Shooting Sports

Hunting and shooting sports participation have steadily declined over the past several decades. We can all play a part in securing the future of the sports we love.

youth waterfowl hunters_Huron WMD 2013_credit Chuck Pyle USFWS

Mentoring Youth Hunters Outside Your Own Family

Over the years, most of the youth who’ve participated in learn-to-hunt programs have been from hunting families. Which means we’ve simply engaged youth who were likely to start hunting anyway. To move the needle on hunter recruitment, we need to expand the pool from which we’re recruiting.

Insider Info: Young Guns

Selecting the right rifle or shotgun for a small-sized hunter can make all the difference to their ongoing enjoyment of shooting sports.
Photo credit: Izaak Walton League of America


Fishing is a great way to introduce youth, adults, and families to outdoor recreation – and engage them in the great outdoors for life. Many state fish and wildlife agencies offer "free fishing days" that allow anglers to fish without a license. It's the perfect opportunity for beginners to try out fishing.

Many Izaak Walton League chapters are wonderful places to introduce people to fishing – and possibly gain a few new members as well. Consider hosting a day of fishing at your local chapter, or providing instruction and access to ponds or lakes for non-members. If your chapter does not have a pond, consider hosting an event in the community. Individual League members can take a friend or family member who has never been fishing out on the water for a day.
In many states, the "free fishing days" take place during National Fishing and Boating Week in early June. In other states they vary, and these days may coincide with national holidays or other prime times for angling. Check our Fishing page for information about your state.

Equipment Discounts for League Chapters

Zebco’s Family Fishing Program provides discounted rods and reels to non-profit organizations that engage youth and families in fishing activities. (NOTE: Items must be used for a League chapter’s fishing event or given as prizes at such events.) 

Chapters can take advantage of this opportunity by e-mailing chapters@iwla.org for an authorized discount code and ordering instructions before you can place an order. Please include your name, chapter name, and officer title (if applicable) in your email.

Leaders of other non-profit organizations can contact Zebco directly for more information.


Ikes On Target Newsletter

This newsletter provides targeted news and information for chapters with shooting sports facilities.

  • Ikes On Target: Volume 9, Issue 1

    IN THIS ISSUE: Gearing Up For Success In 2020: National Shooting Sports Month * Discount Shotshell and Rimfire Ammunition Offers * NSSF: Compliance Questions? * IWLA Endowment Grants * IWLA Shooting Sports Awards * National Hunting and Fishing Day * Featured Chapters: Beloit Chapter (Wisconsin) and Evansville Chapter (Indiana)
  • Ikes On Target: Volume 8, Issue 2

    IN THIS ISSUE: Planning Ahead for 2020 Success * National Shooting Sports Month * Archery Range and Program Grant * Range Development & Operations Conference * Featured Chapters: Glen Park Chapter (Indiana) and Lynchburg Chapter (Virginia)
  • Ikes On Target: Volume 8, Issue 1

    IN THIS ISSUE: August 2019 Is National Shooting Sports Month * Resources For National Shooting Sports Month Events * Explore Bowhunting * Ikes Shooting Sports Chapters * Chapter Shooting Sports Coordinator * Featured Chapters: Linn County Chapter (Iowa) and Lincoln Chapter (Nebraska) * Quick Shots News
  • Ikes On Target: Volume 7, Issue 2

    IN THIS ISSUE: WANTED: League chapters willing to engage new hunting and shooting sports participants * Featured Chapters: Madison #16 Chapter (South Dakota) and Eugene Chapter (Oregon) * New IWLA/ATA Archery Academies in 2019 * New Explore Bowhunting Instructor Kit for IWLA chapters * Quick Shots News
  • Ikes On Target: Volume 7, Issue 1

    IN THIS ISSUE: Engaging More Participants in Hunting, Recreational Shooting Sports, and Outdoor Recreation * Explore Bowhunting * IWLA Archery Network Online Community * National Hunting and Fishing Day Grants
  • Ikes On Target: Volume 5, Issue 1

    IN THIS ISSUE: Funding Available for League Shooting Ranges * New Corporate Partnership * New IWLA Award for 2017 * How To Apply For Grants
  • Ikes On Target: Volume 4, Issue 1

    IN THIS ISSUE: League Chapters Aim To Increase Engagement With Archery * On Target: Featured Chapters * ATA Archery Guidebook Available * National Hunting and Fishing Day * Online Shooting Range Course
  • Ikes On Target: Volume 3, Issue 2

    IN THIS ISSUE Chapter Outdoor Recreation Survey * Featured Chapters: Warren County (IA) and Howard County (IN) * Funding Sources for Range Improvements * Sportsmen's Bill Meets Gridlock
  • Ikes On Target: Volume 3, Issue 1

    IN THIS ISSUE: Strategic Plan Baseline Survey Results * Featured Chapters: Sioux Falls (SD) and Wildlife Achievement (MD) * National Hunting and Fishing Day * Turn Lead Into Gold (or Green!)
  • Ikes On Target: Volume 2, Issue 2

    IN THIS ISSUE: Strategic Plan 2014-2019 * Sights on New Members * Featured Chapters: Frederick #1 (MD) and Dragoon Trail (IA) * NRA Foundation Grants * On Capitol Hill
  • Ikes On Target: Volume 2, Issue 1

    IN THIS ISSUE: League Statement on Firearms Policy Proposals * Why Invite a Newcomer * Featured Chapters: Mountaineer (WV) and Loudoun County (VA) * NRA Range Conferences * Lead Workshops
  • Ikes On Target: Volume 1, Issue 3

    IN THIS ISSUE: Sportsmen and Conservation * Got Clean Water? * Featured Chapters: Lois Green-Sligo (MD) and Bethesda-Chevy Chase (MD) * 90th Anniversary Trap Shoot
  • Ikes On Target: Volume 1, Issue 2

    IN THIS ISSUE: Insurance, Liability, and Safety * Featured Chapters: Wayne County (OH) and Pikes Peak (CO) * Range Management Workshops at IWLA National Convention * NRA Range Sourcebook * Grant Funding for Your Ranges
  • Ikes On Target: Volume 1, Issue 1

    IN THIS ISSUE: Promoting Shooting Sports * Your Chapter's Members * Featured Chapters: Lancaster Red Rose (PA) and Arlington-Fairfax (VA) * Chapters Offering Shooting Sports * IWLA Shooting Sports Committee