Hunters: The Best Conservationist, Ever (Part 5)

by david on October 12, 2012

Today’s post is the last part of my blog on Hunters as Conservationist.  I am taking  the weekend off and on Monday I am starting a blog about my favorite rifle cartridges for Africa.     David B

           I would be remiss if I did not at least mention a few things about the United States.  Someone would have to try very hard to not know of at least one of North America’s conservation groups that were founded by and made up of hunters.  There are Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Quail Unlimited, Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Safari Club International, and many more.  These groups raise money for habitat restoration, research, education, anything and everything they can think of to ensure the survival of the wildlife.  In fact, their purpose is not to just ensure the survival of a particular species, but to have excess population for hunting.  This leads to my point, which is that no hunter wants to lose his or her chance to pursue his or her favorite game.  In fact, all of the hunters I associate with will do anything in their power to make sure there is wildlife for future generations (children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren) to enjoy.  Think of it this way: would anyone in their right mind want to kill to the point of extinction something that gives them joy?  The anti-hunters would have you believe that all hunters want to do is kill, kill, kill.  If that were all we did, we would soon run out of things to hunt as they all would be dead.

One last thing I want to mention is the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration of 1937, or, as it is more commonly known, the Pittman-Robertson Act.  Can you tell me of any group of people who have asked the federal government to tax them?  That is just what happened with this piece of legislation.  This tax raises money by taxing firearms, bows, ammunition, and other hunting equipment.  The money raised does not go into the treasury but straight to the Secretary of the Interior, who then distributes it to the states.  This piece of legislation has been so successful in raising billions of dollars that there was even an offshoot of it.  The Dingell-Johnson Act was passed to protect fish populations and habitat.  I would love to see any “conservation” group ask Washington to pass a tax that affects only the people who support their cause.  The fact that hunters have done this and have been supporting this since the 1930s goes to show how committed they are to preserving wildlife, which, in turn, preserves their way of life.  One last little thing about hunters protection and preserving their favorite game species and wild places – it also does wonders for non-game species.  If there is habitat and food for all of the game species, there is also ample food and habitat for all of the other critters as well.  The ability for a whole ecosystem to thrive is beneficial for all involved, including man.  Who would say that a wild place with clean air, healthy vegetation and wild critters is a bad thing?  It is just such a place that all hunters wish for.

In closing, I would ask that if you are skeptical of what I am saying, go ahead and do some research on your own.  Google the “Pittman-Robertson Act”, Charles E. Kay, Ph.D., hunting as conservation in Africa, or anything else you can think of.  Make up your own mind based on the facts, rather than emotion.  If you would like to try hunting, great, I applaud your efforts.  If not, that is perfectly ok with me too.  If you choose not to hunt, I would ask for one favor.  Please remember that hunters care about wildlife and will do almost anything to make sure it survives in quantity, and, please, please, please, don’t hinder our conservation efforts by spreading inaccurate, emotional propaganda about us.  There is room for hunters and non-hunters alike in the world’s wild places.  These places would be even better if we worked together rather than against each other.  Please think about it.

 

 

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