Colorado Sets National Standard with Innovative ‘Hug a Hunter/Angler’ Campaigns

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If you live in Colorado and watch much TV, chances are you’ve seen the “Hug a Hunter” and “Hug an Angler” commercials. But what you may not realize is these popular and informative TV spots are part of a much larger public-education campaign – one that has expanded beyond its origin in Colorado and captured the attention of conservation groups and wildlife agencies from across the country.

The “Hug” commercials are just one part of a multifaceted marketing effort managed by the Colorado Wildlife Council.

Established in the late 1990s by the Colorado State Legislature, the Wildlife Council’s primary objective is to educate the general public about the important role hunters and anglers play in habitat conservation and wildlife management. The Wildlife Council’s ongoing mass-media campaign, funded by a 75-cent surcharge on every Colorado hunting and fishing license, includes radio and television spots, billboards and a variety of Internet-based advertising and promotions.

The Council’s public-education effort was the first of its kind in the nation. Because of its unprecedented success, other states are now broadcasting Colorado’s commercials. Michigan sportsmen used the Wildlife Council’s campaign as a model to pass a similar initiative in their state last year.

This video, produced by Michigan-based conservation group the Nimrod Society, provides an excellent overview of Colorado’s Wildlife Council program. Although the video is primarily intended for conservation organizations and state wildlife agencies, the 10-minute presentation is time well spent for any sportsman who would like to learn more about this innovative campaign.

To read a detailed article about the Colorado Wildlife Council and “Hug a Hunter/Angler” commercials, purchase the May/June 2014 issue of Colorado Outdoors magazine.

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