At the beginning of the 20th century, there was an estimated whitetail deer population around a half million. Now there are over 30 million. During the turn of the century, there was an estimated 100,000 wild turkeys in North America. There are now over seven million. Comeback stories like these are frequent among wildlife of many kinds.
While public interest and government action helped cause the change, there is no doubt that hunters have played a key role in preserving and conserving wildlife and the habitat these animals need.
So how do hunters actually contribute to conservation?
Contribute Funding to Conservation Efforts
According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, hunters contribute nearly $200 million in federal excise taxes. These funds are then distributed to state-run agencies that support wildlife management. Efforts funded by hunters include the purchase of land for public use, hunter education, safety classes, and more. One of the most important contributions from hunter’s fees and registrations is hiring officials to regulate hunting, stop over-taking, and make sure hunters are respecting the legal seasons for hunts. Without conservation officials to monitor game, there could be a significant increase in unregulated hunting.
Hunters need good land, so they make the preservation of habitat a high priority. Hunters have helped with reforesting, wetland preservation, and more. Whether these hunters are private landowners or members of national organizations, they have helped preserve or restore millions upon millions of acres across the country. Yes, some of the land is used for hunting, but a large portion goes to hiking, camping, recreation, wildlife sanctuaries, and more. Simply put, hunters have helped preserve land for more than just hunting.
Organizing Efforts with Real Results
There is little doubt that hunting organizations deliver real, tangible results when it comes to conservation. They can make factual claims about restoring grasslands, watersheds, and forests. They can talk about working directly with landowners. They can show programs that they have made a measurable difference. Ducks Unlimited, for example, has restored more than 178,000 acres in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has preserved 6 million acres since 1984. These are real, measurable, and significant contributions made by hunters.
Influencing Public Policy
Hunters and hunting organizations are constantly persuading lawmakers to make conservation a top priority. Groups like Ducks Unlimited and other organizations put the pressure on national, state, and local governments to put forth laws that will maintain game populations and ensure a healthy wildlife habitat for years to come. These groups not only influence policy, they help inform the public on issues that effect wildlife and conservation.
Wear the Best Hunting Apparel Available
To be an effective hunter, you need the right hunting apparel. Visit the online store from NOMAD Outdoor and you can find layered garments that will keep you comfortable from opening day to the end of the season. From hunting pants to outer-layer jackets, NOMAD hunting apparel is built to give you an advantage in the field with scent and noise-resistant technology and moisture-wicking fabrics.