Delta Waterfowl will deliver its University Hunting Program (UHP) at Virginia Tech this year, thanks to support from the 2021 Virginia Wildlife Grant Program through a partnership between the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia. The $6,604 grant covers program costs for one UHP course to be delivered in the fall semester of 2022.
Delta’s UHP was designed to address an impending crisis: Up to 70 percent of current university wildlife-management students have never hunted and might never have been given the opportunity. Delta believes that future wildlife-management professionals who understand the relationship between hunting and conservation, and have the chance to experience waterfowl hunting firsthand are more likely to maintain a strong footing among the wildlife management community as professionals.
Delta launched UHP in 2017 as a hunter-recruitment program. It provides students with classroom training, firearms safety and a firsthand hunting experience, and equips them with a more holistic view of hunting and conservation. Delta Waterfowl covers all costs and organizes all activities associated with the program.
Delta’s ultimate goal is to deliver UHP at every university and college in North America that offers a wildlife management program.
“We’re very grateful for this support from The Virginia Wildlife Grant Program. Because of it, Delta can add Virginia Tech to the growing number of schools across North America that offer UHP,” said Joel Brice, chief conservation officer for Delta Waterfowl. “This program is a perfect fit for students in Tech’s Wildlife Conservation major who are interested in finding new and better ways to conserve, use, and sustain the world’s vital wildlife resources. Even if participants decide not to continue as hunters, they gain an understanding and appreciation for it and for the efforts that waterfowl hunters are making to conserve the birds and protect the future of hunting.”
For more information, visit deltawaterfowl.com.