The anti-hunter claim that hunting is no longer necessary and is done only for sport is both narrow-minded and inaccurate.
First and foremost, hunting is the main tool used by biologists to manage wildlife populations. Managers determine and implement precise hunting regulations based on location, species, sex of species, type of firearm and time of year. Specific quotas are also implemented and strictly enforced.
Such practices are in line with the North American Wildlife Conservation Model which emphasizes the importance of management and led to the most successful and robust wildlife populations anywhere in the world.
Hunting, and trapping for that matter, is also used for control purposes whether dealing with problem rodent or small mammal species. It is also used to counter the overpopulation of deer within city limits that are very much a human safety issue, especially when it comes to deer-vehicle collisions.
Additionally, thanks to an 11 percent excise tax on guns, ammunition and archery equipment, hunting provides key funding that benefits on-the-ground conservation work in forests, mountains, on the plains and on waterways from coast-to-coast. This tax alone generated more than $12 billion since it was embraced by hunters more than 80 years ago.
Hunters make up the majority of membership at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and other wildlife-based conservation organizations. These groups focus on ensuring the future of elk, deer, wild sheep, ducks, pheasants, wild turkeys and other species as well as the habitat that supports them and is key to their survival.
And hunting is a sustainable resource that provides a lean, organic source of nutrition. Take elk for example. Elk offers more protein but less fat, less cholesterol and fewer calories than chicken, pork, lamb or grass-fed beef.
And the latest data accumulated by the research firm Responsive Management shows 84 percent of Americans approve of hunting for meat.
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.