- The Government Isn’t Saving Your Wild Lands Or Wildlife—It’s Up To Us
The Government Isn’t Saving Your Wild Lands Or Wildlife—It’s Up To Us
Author: Brad Luttrell
If you talk to enough anti hunters, you stumble into an astounding amount of misinformation. I’ve talked to people who think hunters pursue endangered species, who have no clue that wild pigs are destroying billions of dollars of property, and I’ve even talked to some folks who didn’t know deer hunters still eat the meat.
Even more shocking than this, though, is the number of hunters I speak with who have a totally complacent attitude towards defending our rights as hunters. Beyond just shock value, this is concerning, given the neverending battle hunters have with states who chip away at our rights with a legislative chisel. These hunters have a “they aren’t going to ban hunting” attitude.
They’re right in the short term, but also horribly wrong.
At any given moment, there are dozens of politicians or activists who are attempting to interfere with hunting and wildlife management. They aren’t coming for hunting outright because you don’t eat an elephant in a single bite. There is never a “ban all hunting” bill. These antagonists target hunting one niche at a time—hunting with hounds, predator hunting, migratory birds, mountain lions and so on. If you want to fill a pond, you don’t do it with a two acre bucket. It’s done one scoop at a time.
No other organization in the country has more impact on fighting for my rights as a hunter than Sportsmen’s Alliance. And no other group keeps me so informed as to what’s happening with hunting legislation. I’ve known the Sportsmen’s Alliance team for years, from their executives to their head of communications. Every single person within the organization exists to monitor, fight and win for the hunting, trapping and shooting sports.
There are many approaches to these battles. Some hit back with flashy public facing language, creating punchy but short lived sound bite arguments. Others focus on groundswell communication and community building, such as the R3 movement. Sportsmen’s Alliance, though, fights these battles where they are won—in legislation. Few other organizations can claim to match the national effort of Sportsmen’s Alliance’s lobbying efforts. To see just a fraction of their work, you can review the news section of their website. These battles are more than most people can even digest, let alone digest and dissolve through legal battles.
Too often in today’s society, decisions about wildlife management are being made emotionally. Bleeding heart politicians and activists want to let nature be when it comes to hunting, but fail to realize how far past a “let live” approach we are. We can’t interrupt migration corridors with sub divisions, industrial sights and interstates then dust our hands off and say “let nature be.” It’s critical to allow our field biologists to do their research, and these field biologists and state agencies are largely funded by the hunting and shooting sports.
Without proper management, species can overpopulate, causing extensive crop damage, vehicle collisions (whitetail alone kill hundreds of people annually), and human-animal conflicts, as often seen with coyotes in suburban neighborhoods that didn’t exist a decade ago. On the other side of this coin, without proper management and as a result of the commercialization of our country, species can deteriorate due to modernity, as we’ve seen with the wild turkey in the past.
We are active stewards of these wild lands and wildlife, and I choose Sportsmen’s Alliance to be my No. 1 organization that I support because I have seen the impact they make. I recently read “The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt, A Lifetime of Exploration, and the Triumph of American Natural History.” Few did more to fight for the fair pursuit of and the protection of game than Teddy Roosevelt. Today, it’s rare to find politicians who will use their clout to fight for wildlife and our right to pursue it. We depend on the tactical efforts of groups like Sportsmen’s Alliance.
If you are not a member, I encourage you to change that—right now. New members will be shocked at the quality of their magazine, the robust explanations of the latest fights in their emails, and you can rest well knowing your annual contribution is protecting the thing you love most. Visit sportsmensalliance.org to take action today.
Sportsmen’s Alliance member