“Why do you hunt?” It’s a question all of us have heard time and time again. Whether it is from an inquisitive friend looking for knowledge or judgmental mind looking for condemnation, it’s a question that often comes up from people not involved in the sport. Obviously, hunting provides sport, adrenaline, relaxation, and much more to the individual, but the individual provides much to hunting as well. The role hunters play in our ecosystem and economy is often overlooked by those outside of the hunting industry, and maybe even unknown by those participating in it daily. So, the next time someone asks you why you hunt, here are a few more things you can add to the list:
Funding of Conservation
In just licenses, tags and stamps, hunters provide $86 million dollars a year to their state wildlife agencies towards conservation. This doesn’t even include ammunition and firearms taxes that go to the same initiative. This is the single biggest source of income states have for preserving natural habitat.
In a recent national survey, nearly 5 times as many hunters reported participating in wildlife conservation as non-hunters (65% of hunters compared to only 15% of non-hunters). Hunters also reported a stronger connection with the environment and placed a higher importance on protecting our natural resources.
Hunting is a booming industry. Game birds alone generate almost $20 million dollars into the economy and provide more than 234,000 jobs. Add in all the other hunting categories and you are looking at a vital resource to the health of the economy.
Hunting clubs conserve more land per year than any other environmentally focused institution. While the main focus of many of these initiatives may be game, all creatures in a conservation focused area benefit from improvement. The predators and prey of the game we hunt are both part of the ecological balance important for our game to thrive, as well as the plants and insects in the area.
These are just a few of the assets we hunters bring to the table, and we hope you all are proud to be able to share these with any of your non-hunting friends who ask. What other benefits of hunting would you add to this list?