Attacks against our lifestyle are endless, but here are three reasons anti-hunters will never eliminate hunting completely.
I’m not saying that anti-hunters won’t successfully limit participation through wolves, ammunition bans, or other means. And this post shouldn’t be used as an excuse not to participate in the local wildlife politics or support for conservation groups. Our best defense comes from an informed and engaged community.
1. Money Talks
Our economy and the political process is revenue driven. The more money any activity generates, the more likely society and politicians pay attention. That’s why it’s important to know the facts.
According to the United States Fish and Wildlife, in 2011, hunters spent 33.9 BILLION dollars on hunting-related expenses that year.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports that this generates 11.8 billion in taxes, creates 680,330 jobs, and contributes 1.6 billion directly to wildlife and habitat conservation efforts.
How much money does the anti-hunting effort create?
2. Sustainable Food Movement
The farm-to-table and field-to-fork movements continue to grow. According to a 2014 Gallup telephone poll, 45% of Americans actively try to include organic foods in their diets.
There’s no purer definition of organic, sustainable, or free range than hunting. Each animal lives its entire life as nature intended until a hunter takes it. No artificial hormones, steroids, antibiotics, etc.
According to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife by the United States Fish and Wildlife, 13.7 million or 6% of the US population above the age of 16 went hunting.
In fact, hunting is quickly growing in popularity among women. In my home state of Oregon, female participation has grown by 16 percent since 2005.
Additionally, in 2011 the National Shooting Sports Foundation commissioned a telephone survey covering all 50 states. The survey found 74 percent of those polled approve of legal hunting, while 42 percent strongly approve.
Don’t Let Your Guard Down
While all of this is positive news, there’s no doubt that anti-hunters are more aggressive than ever. These groups continue to use law suits, legislation, and the emotions of uninformed voters to limit or eliminate balanced predator management to suppress deer populations in the Great Lakes region and the West.
We must stay aggressive in defense of our lifestyle. Future generations are counting on us.