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Hunting and Its Place in
Conservation Efforts 

Hunting does two main things for conservation.  One, it acts as a funding source for state agencies that help conserve habitat.  Secondly, it helps control prey species (deer, elk, bison) who might otherwise have population explosions due to reduced predator populations.

Theodore Roosevelt himself believed this to be true:

“In a civilized and cultivated country, wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen,” the 26th president of the United States said years ago. “The excellent people who protest against all hunting, and consider sportsmen as enemies of wildlife, are ignorant of the fact that in reality the genuine sportsman is by all odds the most important factor in keeping the larger and more valuable wild creatures from total extermination.”

More recently, even the Department of Interior officials recognized this.

“Hunters are a driving force behind funding many of our nation’s conservation efforts,” a 2017 Interior Department blog said. “After the extinction of the passenger pigeon and the near elimination of the bison and many migratory bird species in the early 1900s, Americans realized the impacts humans could have on wildlife. To ensure that there would be animals to hunt in the future, hunters began to support programs that helped maintain species populations and protected habitat for wildlife.”

Hunters and anglers were the driving force behind the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, a set of wildlife management principles established more than a century ago that declares that wildlife deserves to be enjoyed by everyone, not just the rich and privileged.

For more information, please visit the following links.  They both have excellent information and are a great starting point.

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