RRASC is Tops for “R3”

At the January 2020 convention of the North Dakota Wildlife Federation (NDWF), the Red River Area Sportsmen’s Club (RRASC) was recognized for its ongoing work of “R3”, (Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation).  On behalf of the RRASC, president Greg Gerou accepted the award from NDWF Executive Director John Bradley.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department explain R3 as follows: “There is a nationwide effort called R3 – recruitment, retention and reactivation – which is meant to get people into hunting and fishing, keep them in these great outdoor activities, and get those individuals who may once have participated, back into the outdoors to realize what they’ve been missing.”

The NDWF is a state based group created in 1935 has a mission to protect and maintain fish, wildlife, and their habitats and provide for public outdoor recreation depending on those natural resources.

RRASC’s recruitment includes its open water and ice-fishing derbies, which focus on youth anglers, the Junior Wildlife Club providing monthly activities, family fishing nights showing people of all ages fishing techniques, along the youth waterfowl and pheasant hunts.  The club also supports the Archery in the Schools program, the Minnesota and North Dakota High School Clay Target League, and the Red River Air Rifle Marksmanship Program, which are programs that get young people’s interest and helps them develop lifelong skills.

In support of lifelong commitment to the outdoors, the club has a scholarship program, which provides financial support for individuals to further their education in Fish and Wildlife Management, Game & Fish Law Enforcement, Biology or Zoology in support of wildlife, conservation and habitat.

Retention through many of the same recruitment activities plus, the club works with local law enforcement to provide Concealed Carry Training Classes.  It hosts the North Dakota Game & Fish Advisory Board Meetings, works with local contractors, individuals and the Wahpeton parks & Recreation Department to install remove and maintain fishing piers in Mooreton Pond, Brushville, and the Red River.  The club also provides support for the local shooting ranges (Head of the Red in Breckenridge and Joe Pikarski Range in Mooreton) and is a sponsor of an exhibit at the Chahinkapa Zoo.

Reactivation efforts are ongoing through similar recruitment and retention activities for fishing, hunting and outdoor activities for people of all ages.  In 2019, the club started a women’s only pheasant hunt, the Ladies Rooster Roundup, drawing women from as far away as the twin cities.  The well attend Sportsmen’s Smoker is a fun event for the whole family, and is the financial foundation for all the clubs activities and projects.

The key ingredient to keeping the club thriving is its members; the volunteers that organize the events, work on projects, chair the fundraiser, repair the docks, manage the storage unit, and put in their time, talent and treasure on all the activities that keep the club going.  They do it because they are passionate about the club and the outdoors.

This recognition would not be possible without the members, they are the lifeblood of the club and each of them contributed to the RRASC receiving this award.  It is a well-deserved award and speaks volumes about the commitment the club members have to the outdoors.