Dr. John Woods 12.06.19
“Huntervationist.” This new term has been coined to join the tasking of hunters and conservationists. It’s a good match, because hunters are the greatest contributors to conservation efforts, game management, state wildlife departments, and other outdoor efforts across the country. Let the people at PETA prove to you what exactly they have done for conservation.
First and foremost, let’s not forget who pays for all this conservation work. Like it or not, every time a hunter buys a new gun he pays an excise tax called the Pittman-Robinson tax for which all the funds go to each state based on the excise taxes collected in each state. Same goes for ammunition. There is no other collective group that does that.
What about conservation organizations? They do a ton of work on conservation projects across the country, but honestly, they don’t generate a single dollar for such work. The funding comes from donations of various kinds including some huge corporate donors, but a big chuck of it comes from the membership.
I don’t argue supporting groups like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Unlimited and such, because they stand on the front lines to support conservation and hunting. I just wish they didn’t pay their executive directors so darn much and monitored their activities closer.
But, dollar for dollar, job for job, and boots on the ground, it is the American hunters that are the true huntervationists. How is this so? Hunters are working at their sport of hunting virtually all year long. They spend time and money conducting valuable land management practices, game management, tilling the soils, producing food plots and maintaining native browse for all wildlife, consumptive or not. Hunters generate tons of hours for conservation efforts.
The same can be said for the truly dedicated hunters who pursue their favorite hunting sports on public lands either state or federal. They, too, work to upgrade hunting areas for their own personal benefits, but also for the advantage of any other hunter that walks onto the property, even the hikers, photographers and campers that mostly contribute little.
Hunter-conservationists or huntervationists are the critical link between humankind and the maintenance of our native habitats for every wildlife species on it, as well as ancillary care of waterways of all sorts, and protected areas.
If you want to get involved, just contact a conservation group like the state affiliate to the National Wildlife Federation and do your part.