Elk NetworkHunting Is Conservation – Countering the argument: Hunting threatens wildlife

Conservation | February 20, 2019

The anti-hunter argument that hunting threatens wildlife is inaccurate and untrue.

Thanks to scientific, regulated hunting quotas and procedures, established by wildlife biologists and professional big game managers, wildlife species sought by hunters are in fact thriving.

Each state wildlife agency uses hunting as a game management tool in line with the North American Wildlife Conservation Model to help manage predator and prey populations alike.

Specifically, wildlife managers use scientific data, on-the-ground monitoring and hunter survey information to formulate and implement meticulous hunting regulations and license requirements according to the species sought, sex of species, time of year, time of day, means of take–being rifle, archery or crossbow, and location.

After hunting season, managers follow up by seeking hunter input and conducting surveys to then adjust quotas for the benefit of maintaining sustained wildlife populations.

When needed, they also call on hunters to assist with special management hunts to address chronic wasting disease and other timely issues.

And history speaks volumes. Hunters and hunter-generated funding helped bring ailing wildlife populations back from the brink.

For example in 1907, there were only 41,000 elk left in North America. Today there are more than one million.

In 1900, there were 500,000 deer. Today, there are more than 32 million.

In 1900, there were only 100,000 wild turkeys. Today, there are more than seven million.

And in 1900, there were few ducks. Today, there are more than 44 million.

How did that happen? It happened due to carefully established and regulated hunting requirements plus vital funding generated by hunters.

To date, hunters generated more than $11 billion from an 11 percent excise tax on guns, ammunition and archery equipment, all for the benefit of crucial conservation funding.

Plus, nearly an additional $800 million is generated each year thanks to the payment of hunting licenses and fees.

And hunters also donate nearly $440 million annually to conservation groups like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation that seek to ensure future healthy wildlife populations.

If you do the math, hunters generate more than $1.6 billion each year that goes directly toward land conservation and wildlife populations—populations that are thriving today.

What’s the bottom line? When you take a step back and look at the big picture, it’s more than evident that Hunting Is Conservation.