Last weekend, I attended our state's Deer Classic as our association put on a taxidermy display. They had several speakers including our state Deer Biologist. Besides informing the public of potential changes in deer hunting regulations to INCREASE the harvest, he stated that the number of deer hunters will be declining as the average hunter age increases.
I asked him if the Education division of the Conservation department was developing any lesson plans for public schools of the value of hunting and trapping as a management tool. He had stated that hunting was the ONLY effective management tool. As far as specific lesson plans, he was not aware of any that addressed this concern.
Well, it is pretty obvious that if we have fewer hunters, therefore less hunting tradition being passed on, that the anti-hunting sentiment will continue to gain ground. In response, I have decided to develop a comprehensive lesson plan that can be used throughout our state. I have a few connections and feel it will be a realistic undertaking.
So, besides describing the evolution of the societal viewpoint(a lack of sound ecology resulting from a shift from cultural lifestyles of the past), I will scientifically validate the managagement tools of hunting and trapping.
Now here is where I need assistance and I may be opening a can of worms. I would like to emphasize the insanity of "political correct" or "animal rights" laws that contradict sound wildlife management. For example, the prohibition of killing mountain lions in California while attacks/deaths to humans increase. If you know of any "Contradictory Laws" concerning wildlife, I would appreciate your bringing them to my attention.
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Ever since they outlawed trapping over there, the beavers have reclaimed their state.
The federal government published a VERY informative booklet on trapping as a management tool. I believe it came from USFW. Not sure who to contact but E-mail if your interested and I'll try to get you some more information on the subject.
Also, the National Trappers Association (the good NTA) has a video called Balancing Nature. I've got a few of them around and I'll be glad to send you one if you like.
Let me know if I can help.
I cannot believe that hunters will be decreasing, I think there are more young people hunting now than elderly. I think the number of hunters has increased than they had years past also. Therefore there should be more traditions past down than there are now. I know for a fact hunting is booming around here, that would mean more youngsters would be around the sport. We also have the youth season wich is pretty popular. I think what you are planning to do is a good idea.
Also look at New Jerseys Bear population.
Californias Mt Lion population.
Arkansas bear population and population control by hunting.
I cannot provide information that Lonnie Hansen based his statement upon but I can tell you that I have only around 10 students per hundred who hunt in my classes. Kearney HS is a suburb of Kansas City and we have a lot of habitat available in the surrounding area. I also butcher a deer in class each year and a much smaller percentage has ever done or watched the process.
Bottom line....our youth are NOT being educated toward the values of hunting and trapping as an effective wildlife management tool. And, the masses often determine the laws for the rest of us. If they do not possess sound ecological principles then how can they vote correctly or avoid misplaced compassion?
Those who responded with examples, thank you, Terry