Steps You Can Take to Help Ensure Deer Hunting’s Future
OutdoorHub Reporters 04.08.19
Your voice and influence as a deer hunter is important! Deer hunters go to the woods for a wide variety of reasons. One of the most common, though, is to get away from it all and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature. If this is something that’s as near and dear to your hearts as it is ours, read below some simple steps you can take to ensure deer hunting’s future for generations to come..
Your presence in the deer woods is one of the most important things you can do to help preserve the wonderful tradition of deer hunting. Keep on keeping on. Many states have lost one-third of their hunters in the last 30 years. The decline is attributed to a multitude of reasons including problems with access to places to hunt, competition from family activities, time spent on electronics, and in some areas, declining deer populations.
Recruit, Retain, Reactivate is the new battle cry across our land. State and federal game agencies are working diligently to bring new hunters into the fold. Join their efforts. Take someone new to deer camp with you. Introduce a child to the outdoors. Take them outdoors as often as possible. Allow them to help plant food plots, clear brush, scout for deer sign, shoot a firearm, hunt and scour the land for shed antlers.
Experienced hunters know that deer hunting is far more than pulling the trigger on a deer. There are so many experiences intertwined with deer hunting. Share them. Whether it’s a story around the campfire or helping a new hunter field dress their first animal; each step is vitally important to the future of deer hunting.
No one does it better than you. It is a fact. New people coming into deer hunting are more likely to stick with it if they are introduced by a family member, such as dad, mom, grandpa, uncles or a cousin. Kids in particular want to emulate the people around them. Show them how it’s done, with love and patience. Your investment is literally worth more than its weight in gold…it’s the future of deer hunting, and hunting in general in our great land.
Support solid conservation measures on your properties, public lands, and through the programs of wildlife agencies. Insist on wildlife being managed by non-political conservation agencies, like the Missouri Department of Conservation. Let professional biologists lead the way.
Join a conservation organization and magnify your voice. The Quality Deer Management Association, along with many others, seeks to provide the most up to date information about deer and wildlife management. Support them with your efforts, money, and voice to make deer hunting stronger.
Respect other hunters. Infighting among hunters is one of the greatest tools anti-hunters use against us. Express your beliefs but temper them with a bit of understanding about why someone deer hunts with a crossbow rather than a traditional bow, or compound. Insist on individuals utilizing legal methods. Beyond that, we need to unite.
Pay attention to the politicians. Some insist on constantly attacking our rights to hunt, or constantly attack sources of funding, or those who represent us as hunters. Missouri recently saw a very competent lady withdraw from consideration for the Conservation Commission because of pressures from special interest lobbyists on the Missouri
Senate to turn her down. If declined by the Senate, she could never be considered again. Perhaps she will regroup.
Interest leads to participation, participation to understanding, understanding to appreciation, appreciation to concern, concern to action. Your actions are needed to safeguard the future of hunting in America.
Where are you in the deer hunting advocacy continuum?