Watch: For some wildlife students, hunting is homework

LSU Waterfowl and Ecology Management Assistant Professor Kevin Ringelman hopes that by teaching his students to hunt he will prepare them to be better wildlife managers. Credit: Cody Willhite/LSU

At Louisiana State University, part of the students’ training for wildlife management careers includes a unique professional development opportunity: hunting.

“The hunting experience is transformative for our students, resulting in a deeper connection to the wildlife resource, and a richer understanding of the hunting culture and hunters’ stewardship for wildlife habitat,” write TWS member Kevin Ringelman and his colleagues in a recent commentary about university first hunt programs in the Journal of Wildlife Management.

As hunting declines in the United States, future wildlife professionals are less likely to be hunters. That concerned the authors, who believe their students will better wildlife managers if they understand their hunter constituents.

In the LSU program, students learn gun safety, practice on a clay target range and set out on a duck hunt with professional guides. They return to the university to dissect the game they harvested, study the anatomy and learn about the species’ foraging.

And, their instructors hope, they may become a new generation of hunters.

Watch a video of the program below, and read more from LSU here.

This article features research that was published in a TWS peer-reviewed journal. Individual online access to all TWS journal articles is a benefit of membership. Join TWS now to read the latest in wildlife research.