Utah State Roller Club

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spinning demons
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Posts: 338

In our region, I would like to think it has grown over the last 5 years. Our Wisconsin club is slowly coming back and the  Minnesota club has more members today than it did 5 years ago. Iowa still has the CRC and there is a formation of new club, the Midwest Flying Roller Club so in that sense, I'd say we've grown over the past 5 years.Jerry, the only way to promote and grow the hobby is get out there and put in the time and the work. Giving out birds to help others who are interested is surely one of the best ways but as Ken Billings wrote in another thread, you will also get alot of disappointment as alot of those birds will be tossed aside but keep it up as having just one or two people stay in the hobby is worth the loss of 20-30 birds to me. Jerry, here are some of the things I listed that I have tried, and will continue to do, to help promote the growth of the hobby


- Print flyers to attract possible fanciers and post them at local pet shops, hardware stores, and feed stores

- Write op-ed pieces the local newspaper (one was printed in our local Sunday's newspaper about 3 weeks about why pigeons are not "fowl" and why a pigeon racer should be able to keep his birds)

- Outreach: I used to bring my birds and fly them for young students and trying to find pigeons for those who show continued interest throughout the school year

- Support my local and national club however I can

- Invite interested people to see birds fly

- Write articles to help new fanciers learn about those who have laid the foundation for us to have what we have today, in hope that one or two newer fancier will put on the boot and hat and take the lead.There is something that I still want to do that I believe will increase the number of fanciers for the roller hobby but it's still on the backburner for now.To answer your initial question about whether the hobby is growing or not, I don't know if anyone has a definitive answer. I don't think there is a big recession although the numbers are down a bit. The members in the NBRC is down by 500 or so compared to its peak in the early 2000s but membership is still higher then it was in the 60s-early90s. Competition, though, is at an all time high in both the NBRC and WC. I think the biggest reason for the "recession" in the roller hobby is the fact that our hobby consists mostly of men who are a bit older in age, men north of 40 years old. The mean age of rollermen are increasing each and every year and it is hard to attract younger fanciers. While technology has given us easier access to one another, to spread information, and talk about rollers such as this very site, it also has its drawbacks.


With the advent of technology, it is making it harder and harder for us to attract the younger generation because they would much rather spend their time on electronic devices (ipads/iphones/laptops/tablets/computers/game consoles) than go outside and play with birds. This is actually two-fold; technology gives kids instant stimulation and satisfaction. If a kid/teen wants to play a game, they can play it then and there. If they want to text/chat/facetime/skype, it's at the touch of a finger. With a hobby like rollers, homers, or any animal related hobby, it takes alot of time and dedication before you see the fruits of your labor. In rollers, you have to wait upwards of a year or more before you see your birds develop into solid rollers. Rollers just take up alot of ones time, we all know that especially if you are dedicated to flying and breeding high quality birds.


If we look at the broader spectrum, it's not just rollers or even pigeons though that is taken a bit of turn for the worse. 4H clubs are dwindling down, sports/hobbies such as hunting dogs are loosing numbers as well. The simple truth is, it takes alot of time when working with animals and alot of the younger generation would rather spend an hour or two playing games than working with animals. I am constantly trying to think ways promote the hobby but it isn't easy as everything takes time and, sometimes, a little money and I do not make any money in return nor am I looking to make any money so it does get difficult.Aside from younger fanciers, Al hit it on the nail; there are alot of rollermen who have quit the hobby because of the BOP. Even someone as enthusiastic about rollers and a diehard like former President and VP of the NBRC, Carl Hardesty is out of birds completely due to hawks. It's already disheartening when you lose 10% of your birds to hawks but when you lose over 50% of the birds you breed each year to hawks, that can get to you and often make you rethink if it's worth it to put in all that time and effort.At the end of the day, promoting the hobby on an individual, small scale basis means going out and putting in the time, effort, and legwork to network and meet people. That's really the only way we can do it. BTW, if you can get a few people together that would be great. Maybe do some get togethers or even start a small club and see where it goes. Good luck Jerry


David Curneal

Roller Pigeon Addict, Fly Fishing Freak, Fancy Guppy Fan, Country Music Hater, Hard Scream-o Rock Fan, and one Fine American

October 19, 2013 at 1:17 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 2

Wow, I remember the guy who made this post lol. Glad to see someone put it to use. 

October 29, 2018 at 10:19 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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