Monday, September 3, 2007

Ten Percent

There are a lot of reasons for the decline in hunting cited Sunday in the Boston Globe. I would guess that changes in our society, loss of habitat, growth of the suburbs and exurbs have all contributed to this trend.

One thing for sure, whether you care for hunting or not, it is a key piece of American Conservation, now and in the past, and hunting can be an indicator of how engaged our children are in the outdoors. The key to continued hunting is children, and they are being "targeted" by state agencies to revive the sport.

However, hunting groups and state wildlife agencies are striving to reverse the decline by recruiting new hunters. Vermont's Game and Wildlife Department, for example, sponsors thrice-annual youth hunting weekends, offers low-cost youth licenses and teaches firearms safety and outdoor skills each summer at youth conservation camps.

Besides hunting, hiking, canoeing, photography, and fishing are important ways of keeping people connected with nature, but it would be a shame if hunting continues to decline. And I say that as a person who has never hunted, but has the utmost respect for those who hunt with a clean hunting ethic.