While the Arkansas Game and Fish Commissions mission is to conserve our states wildlife and habitats, one of their biggest areas of concern is also the safety of hunters and boaters. Two initiatives we created to help educate the public on this issue were regarding Tree Stand Safety for deer hunters and Duck Boat Safety for duck hunters.
It was imperative that our message didnt come across as preachy. History showed our audience would immediately tune it out as they see themselves as experts in this area already. We needed to provide them with safety tips in a memorable way that they just might actually use.
Our strategy was to sneak these safety tips into entertaining videos that our target would hopefully watch and, more importantly, remember. Knowing humor resonated with our target, we created two memorable characters to share the message of safety: A Talking Tree for Tree Stand Safety, and Danger, the anti-hero in our Duck Boat Safety videos.
We can't very well find out how many deer hunters used the correct safety harness or picked the best tree for their climbing stand. Nor can we track how many duck hunters loaded their boat correctly and left a float plan for their loved ones. However, there are some very concrete results we can point out. There were fewer tree stand related incidents and deaths from the previous year and a decrease in hunting incidents while waterfowl hunting, including zero drownings, from the previous year as well. If we helped one hunter be more safety conscious, or possibly saved one life, then all our efforts were worth it.