American hunters started the country’s conservation practice 100 years ago. They were aware of the increasing animal population and fast industrial development. The developments brought serious risks to wildlife, and hunters found a way to protect the resources.
They created and fought for different regulations and rules that created an improved system of wildlife management that exists today. Majority of American hunters actively participate in the conservation of wildlife, but their opponents do not understand the serious threats that may turn out to be a reality if those beneficial activities stop.
The opposing side believes that if hunting stops, the wildlife will bloom, while the opposite is true.
For instance, deer population can be reduced up to 40% on a yearly basis without any threat to their existence, while hunters rarely take less than 15% of their population.
Without hunting, there would be too many deer, and other animal population would be jeopardized.
It’s not just about deer, huge animal population dies due to the lack of grasslands during winters.
Quail has a yearly mortality rate of roughly 80%, considering whether it’s hunted or not.
Furthermore, professional wildlife management makes sure that hunters only take the excess of animal population.
To be honest, it’s the unregulated/illegal hunting that’s the real problem but labeling every other hunter as the reason is you being ignorant.
Deers Are a Menace!
The sudden surge in the population of deer is worrying. As of 2017,there are 33.5 million deer as compared to 38.1 million in 2000. Thanks to the hunters who have kept the population in check. Though they need to go out and hunt more!
The absence of their natural predators like wolves and movies like Bambi is a major reason for this.
Yes, deer are cute but they are rats with hooves! Not a single land is left ungrazed, countless wildflowers are on the verge of extinction.
As ecologist Aldo Leopold once wrote about deers grazing every piece of land:
“I have seen every edible bush and seedling browsed, first to anemic desuetude, and then to death. I have seen every edible tree defoliated to the height of a saddlehorn.”
Deers are more of a threat to the Eastern foreststhan climate change, and no this isn’t something natural!
I’ll be waiting for a remake of Bambi from the perspective of the Songbirds and the farmer trying to save his crops.
Oh, and did I mention the number of car wrecks caused due to deers? In Virginia alone, there’s a 1 in 46 chanceof colliding your car with a deer.
If talking about the US, approx 1.5 million cars get collided with deer annuals. The damages cost a whopping billion dollars!
America has had wildlife protection regulations from its beginning. Connecticut, for example, forbade the export of hunting across the state borders in 1677, and Virginia prohibited hunting of female deer in 1783.
New York banned the utilization of hounds in deer harvesting in 1788 and Rhode Island established the first hunting regulation in 1846 to save waterfowl population from spring shooting.
Clearly, there have always been concerns about the wildlife protection, and it is still the same today. Everything has been done with an intention to support a normal life of the animal population.
Wildlife Management Hubs
Some citizens believe that wildlife agency teams intentionally promote hunting and fishing laws and regulations. But it is not true. The agencies are responsible to protect the entire animal population, not only species from the list of legally hunted ones.
The American Hunting Policy pointed out the quantity and quality of wildlife as the main factor of determination and called professional hunters to adequately manage them.
Funds for Conservation
The costs of wildlife management are extremely high and go up to several hundreds of millions of US dollars every year for the entire country. The biggest part of those funds come from hunting license fees, which means hunters support the federal budget with a large portion of the money for wildlife protection (it’s around $1.4 Billion per year).
Each State Takes a Part
Income from license fees and taxes are separated among fifty wildlife agencies. Each state has its own agency, and it gets funds based on the state’s land area. That money covers roughly 75% of all costs for fish and wildlife restoration projects.
Funds for Ducks
A part of funds goes to waterfowl protection. All waterfowlers are obligated to purchase a duck stamp. The income is later utilized by government to purchase wetlands for waterfowl. The hunter’s backing supports land buying that is later used by many other species, not just waterfowl. It is definitely a very beneficial contribution.
Organized Effort by Enthusiasts
National Wildlife Federation gathers various enthusiasts including bird watchers, wildlife photographers, campers and all others who care about nature. Of course, hunters and anglers are an inherent part of the community. They make an organized effort in supporting wildlife.
The Population Explosion
Many animal populations have significantly grown in numbers, thanks to the efforts of hunters.
According to the 2013 report by Quality Deer Management Association, North America’s deer population was calculated at roughly 500,000 in 1900, while now it is estimated at 32 million, and that is a serious improvement.
According to a 2013 report by USFWS, there are 46 million ducks in America and Canada which are way more than what we had in 1901.
There are more than 7 million wild turkeys according to a 2013 report by National Wild Turkey Foundation. This is a huge boost in population as compared to a mere 0.1 million population during the early 1900s.
There were merely 12,000 pronghorn antelopes 50-55 years ago. According to a 2011 report by Texas Parks and Wildlife, today there are more than 1 million Pronghorn Antelopes. All thanks to the conservation programs that have helped in a boom in their population.
Unfortunately, the number of hunters is increasing at a very slow rate. According to Jason Stein:
“Nationally, the number of hunters dropped 16 percent from 2011 to 2016, according to a national survey released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Census Bureau. The level of hunting in 2016 was the lowest measured in the past 25 years.”
The ecosystem would surely lose a balance without hunting, in fact stopping it would lead to an imbalance between the flora and fauna.
Hunters are way more involved in wildlife conservation than someone else discussing wildlife conservation while eating a roasted duck.
Hunters form the largest chunk of people donating and working for the wildlife.
Hunting is not just a hobby, it’s a tradition and brings food to the table of millions of Americans.
Enough for today, time to take some more Bambis down.
Bye Disney, shutup PETA.
About The Author:
A loving father, a hunter and a business owner. Greg has been in the hunting world for the last 15 years. He’s a small business owner living in the United States. A fan of causes, volunteering, he also has quite a hobby of collecting hunting gears like scopes for his rifle collection and writes about them at PatrioticHunter.