Anyone who hunts knows that hunters are the most important conservationists on the planet. Although there are fewer hunters now than 15 years ago, we spend a lot more money on hunting –related goods, which means today’s hunters are even more dedicated and invested in conservation. Here are other ways that hunting helps conservation.
At the turn of the century, there were around 40,000 elk and only 500,000 deer due to the lack of mega-farms and because wild game was the main source of meat for the public. Today there are over a million elk and over 33 million deer, thanks to hunters funding wildlife management programs.
Hunting is the ideologically purest form of gathering free-range, fat-free wild meat for the ultimate in protein sustenance.
Hunters formed our national park system that encompasses over 230 million acres of protected wildlife habitat, thanks President Roosevelt.
Hunting keeps a large group of humans connected to the animals of the outdoors and that connection strengthens our concern for their wellbeing. It also forces us to take an active role in those animal’s lives.
Killing deer keeps us all a little safer. Deer collisions kill over 200 motorists a year at a cost of around 10 billion dollars. Hunting helps keep that number from being a lot higher and although tens of thousands of deer are killed on highways, hunters take 6-7 deer for every highway-killed deer.
Hunters are still actively funding conservation programs that play a major role in wildlife conservation such as; Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federations, Ducks Unlimited, etc. All of which help fund land to be purchased and set aside for wildlife habitat only.
Turkeys and waterfowl were nearly wiped out in the late 1800s and again, hunters stepped up and accepted protective regulations and continued funding for their recovery.
As the rise in popularity rises, fanatic anti-hunting organizations are lessoning their rhetoric and some are even encouraging cooperation with hunting organizations so they can stay viable and relevant.
Finally, hunting is awesome. It is legal, ethical, and traditional. It is a heritage worthy of being passed on to future generations.