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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
At NOMAD, we love the excitement and challenge of turkey hunting. It’s one of the most difficult yet rewarding forms of hunting, and like many American outdoor enthusiasts, we are always waiting for spring and fall turkey hunts. However, we all need to be reminded that turkey hunting, however enjoyable, can be a very dangerous sport. When done recklessly, turkey hunts can cause injury and even death.
You may have taken a hunter’s safety course, but it’s always wise to review proper turkey hunting safety so you and your fellow hunters can stay safe in the woods and the fields.
Every single state in the nation, with the exception of Alaska, has wild turkey hunting, making the sport easily-accessible to a vast majority of American hunters.
Some states, however, are better than others. According to Realtree, there are nine states that earn an “A” for turkey hunting. These states are located all over the country, so no matter where you live, you’re within a day’s drive of some world-class turkey hunting. So what are the best states for turkey hunters? Let’s find out...
If you’re a game-bird hunter of any kind, including pheasant, quail, duck, or goose, you need to be a reliable shooter if you want to have consistent success. Sure, modern shotgun technology, including choke advancements, autoloaders, and premium loads, have made shotguns better than ever, but it still takes a skilled hunter to drop a fast-flying bird moving with the wind at 30 yards.
One of the best ways to maintain your shotgun proficiency throughout the year and hit the ground running come opening day is to participate in clay pigeon shooting.
This sport can be enjoyed with larger groups or just you and your buddy, so let’s learn more about clay pigeon shooting and why you should get started this weekend.