There is a growing wealth of information, documenting trends in outdoor recreation participation, the need for children to spend more time outdoors and the effectiveness of the approaches being used.
The Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports has published a National Hunting and Shooting Sports Action Plan, designed to recruit, retain and reactivate more hunters and shooters. The plan is a result of a collaboration between two non-profit organizations, the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports (shootingcouncil.org) and the Wildlife Management Institute (wildlifemanagementinstitute.org). Both organizations recognize the role of hunters and other outdoorspeople in advocating for (and funding) the conservation of wildlife and habitat.
"Last Child in the Woods", by Richard Louv. This book, published in '05, stepped up the discussion on the need to get children outdoors. Mr. Louv coined the phrase "nature-deficit disorder" to describe children who are not spending enough time outdoors in nature.
Hunter Education Graduates’ Proclivity to Purchase a License, prepared by Southwick Associates for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The purpose of this study was to identify the percentage of hunter education graduates who purchase a license after completing their training, and how often they continue to purchase in subsequent years. The results are intended to help the hunting community understand if and where intervention efforts may be needed to maintain hunting participation among newer hunters.
Effectiveness of Hunting, Shooting, and Fishing Recruitment and Retention Programs: Final Report, Produced by Responsive Management and the National Wild Turkey Federation and Conducted Under a Grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Administered by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. This study examined 37 different recruitment and retention programs from across the country (Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors was one of the programs evaluated).
2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, National Overview, from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. This report shows an 11% increase in the number of anglers and a 9% increase in the number of hunters from 2006 to 2011.
There are also a number of guides and Best Practices for putting on recruiting/retention events:
The Future of Hunting and the Shooting Sports, Research based Recruitment and Retention Strategies. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, in cooperation with a number of partners, produced this guide.
"Best Practices in Hunting and Shooting Sports Recruitment & Retention", produced by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, supported by a grant from the Multistate Conservation Grant Program. Here you will find a Best Practices workbook, Trainer's Guide and other valuable information to support recruiting and retention efforts.
Best Practices Workbook For Boating, Fishing, and Aquatic Resources Stewardship Education, from the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. Created in 2000 by RBFF’s Education Task Force for state fish and wildlife agency aquatic educators, Best Practices represents the best knowledge available for program planning, development and implementation, professional development, program evaluation and educational program research about teaching boating, fishing and stewardship of aquatic resources.
First Hunt Manual. Delta Waterfowl has produced a manual for those planning a program to intruduce first-time waterfowlers to the sport.
QDMA Mentored Hunting Program. The Quality Deer Management Association has put together a guide for mentoring a new hunter, beginning with safety and ethics and small game hunts, all leading to big game hunts.