Hunting Decline Puts Vital Wildlife Programs in Danger

Hunting Decline Puts Vital Wildlife Programs in Danger
  • Only 5% of Americans over 16 years old go hunting.
  • Hunting is an essential part of wildlife conservation. 
  • Birdwatching, photography, and hiking are growing. 
  • Michigan used general funds for conservation projects. 

(NewsReady.com) – Hunting is on the decline in the United States. As older Americans put their weapons down, it looks like their kids aren’t as interested in picking them up. Unfortunately, that’s causing problems for wildlife funding.

The Numbers

A large part of the money states use for conservation projects comes from hunting. Taxes on weapons, hunting licenses, and permits all contribute to the funds to protect wildlife. When people are not buying those items, cash for critical programs declines.

For example, in Wisconsin, the state’s Department of National Resources had to cut funding for invasive species control after a $4-6 million budget shortfall crippled the agency. Colorado has lost millions as well and has also reduced funding for efforts to control invasive species.

Sportsmen’s Alliance Vice President of Marketing and Communications Brian Lynn has a warning for America:

“Without hunting, fishing and trapping, conservation in this country collapses. Point blank…all the money that is being spent…that funds all of your state wildlife fish and game agencies… All of that would go away.”

Driving the Decline

Young people are not as interested in hunting as the generations before them. In 2016, there were 11.5 million hunters in the US. That’s more than 2 million fewer than in 2011. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, adults 25 to 34 accounted for a 16% decline in numbers.

“BuckVentures” Host Jeff Danker said, “Kids, we’re losing them. If Grandpa don’t [sic] hunt or Dad don’t hunt, they ain’t hunting.”

What’s Being Done to Address It

States and the US government are looking for ways to make up the shortfalls. Congress may tap into gas and oil revenues to pay for programs. Pennsylvania will allow hunting on some Sundays now. Some states are adding taxes to make up for it.

Others have decided to monetize activities that more people are participating in, like wildlife-viewing. Director of The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin, Mary Jean Huston, said the way the programs are funded needs to evolve:

“Conservationists need to be looking at what is the next step to keep our conservation programs and places strong and healthy.”

For now, the money hunters contribute to the wildlife funds are the main sources of revenue. So, if you’re a hunter, share your love for the sport. If you aren’t a hunter, go see what it is all about. The land and animals you love may depend on it.

Copyright 2020, NewsReady.com

5 COMMENTS

  1. ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IS THE ISSUE OF THE CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE & PRIONS.
    THIS IS A SERIOUS ISSUE & AT BOTH THE STATE & FEDERAL LEVEL, NOT ENOUGH IS BEING RESEARCHED, COMMUNICATED OR COORDINATED BETWEEN THE LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT & THE NUMEROUS CONNECTED ORGANIZATIONS.

    MONEY IS NOT A SUFFICIENT REASON TO URGE PEOPLE TO CONTINUE TO HUNT. PRIONS ARE BEING SPREAD THROGHOUT THE COUNTRYSIDE TO PLANTS & OTHER WILDLIFE & THE BIOLOGISTS KNOW IT. IT IS THE BEAUCRATICRACY THAT IS NOT TAKING SERIOUSLY THE DANGER THIS PRESENTS TO OUR COUNTRY.

    THE PUBLIC ARE TOLD THAT THEY HAVE NO PROOF THAT IT IS A SERIOUS THREAT & THAT NO PROOF EXISTS THAT PRIONS CAN AFFECT HUMANS. NONSENSE!

    THERE IS SUFFICIENT INFORATION TO MAKE THIS AS BIG A THREAT AS THE CORONAVIRUS!

  2. I was a hunter, went every year. Couldn’t wait for it, duck, small game, big game, and I ate everything I caught. But then I went to prison, and I lost my privilege to hunt, however I’ve been home for 20 years without a problem and still can’t hunt. If some exceptions could be made I’m sure there are many other people in the same situation.

  3. Suggest that We have Our Resturant’s in America serve wild game as part of the daily menu using tried & true different local favorite culture recipes. Suggest making different tried & true sausage recipes of different cultures such as smoked Portuguese Lenguisa or jest smoked wild game meat. Also encourage businesses to use Our natural resources with which to feed the people along with those less fortunate & provide them with good jobs within this venue. I personally grew up subsisting on hunting game, spear & net fishing which I fed My Family of this I sold to friends & family to put some money in My pocket also.

  4. Good article and yes, I have to agree that the decline in hunting has hurt the funding for wildlife management. However, I have several grandchildren that have absolutely no interest in hunting at all.
    I hunted when I was in my teens, sometimes by myself as we lived on farms with wild game, and many times with my father, who was an excellent shot with his Model 12 Winchester shotgun. He got this gun when he was 16 years old and I now have it as a memento of him. It is a 16 gauge, hold 3 shells, after he did some modifying to it. He was invited in High school to go skeet shoot with some students and broke 24 clays on the 1st round, and was never invited back again.

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