Have you ever found yourself hiding your camo or gear? There’s nothing worse than having a neighbor, friend, or even family member that is dead set against hunting. You may get along in everything else, but the minute you break out your equipment for deer season, brace yourself for a long, angry tirade on why they think what you’re doing is unethical.
We don’t like to generalize, but anti-hunters as a bunch tend to be very opinionated. That’s alright, everyone’s welcome to their opinions. However, there’s no reason that they should stay ignorant. Hunters are the main driving force for conservation in North America, and one of the reasons why we enjoy the abundance of wildlife and untouched wilderness that we do today.
So, if you haven’t had the talk with them already, consider this the cheat sheet for why hunting is doing more for North American wildlife than their favorite animal rights group. The statistics below are provided by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
There are about 20 million hunters in the United States, a number higher than the population of most states!
Hunters spend nearly $40 billion annually by purchasing licenses, gear, paying for gas, buying dinner, etc. This supports up to 700,000 jobs.
$800 million are spent on license and permit sales alone, which go directly to state wildlife agencies and preserve wildlife and their habitat. In addition, hunting and conservation groups contribute $440 million in annual donations every year.
Every day, hunters contribute about $8 million to conservation. Sportsmen and women are the largest contributors to conservation, bar none.
Excise taxes on firearms and ammunition raise $371 million annually for wildlife restoration.
Hunters pay $12 billion in taxes annually, which funnel into local parks, roads, libraries, etc.
Hunters keep wildlife populations healthy and are a vital part of any wildlife management plan.
Hunting provides access to organic and nutritious meat, which many will tell you is much better than anything at the super market.
Hunters provide on the ground support for habitat preservation efforts, and often serve as a watchdog for vulnerable species in North America. If wildlife are doing poorly, hunters will be the first to speak up!
Hunters donate millions of meals to charity every year through programs like Hunters Feed the Hungry.
Overpopulated deer are dangerous! Not only do they degrade forests and cause property damage, but they also cause about 200 fatal car accidents and thousands of injuries every year in the United States. Hunters can help regulate deer numbers.
Hunters love and respect wildlife
Hunting accidents are very rare. More Americans are killed in accidents involving vending machines than hunting.
Hunting teaches responsible gun ownership
Many species may have already went extinct if not for hunting and conservation groups. In 1907, there were less than 41,000 elk in North America. Now there are more than a million. Likewise, only 100,000 wild turkeys remained in the early 20th century, but today there are more than seven million running around the continent.
Hunting continues a beloved tradition that many love and enjoy
Teaching children to hunt promotes being outside and enjoying nature
Original Story: Daniel Xu, OutdoorHub