Fund for Animals claims FWS data shows "end is near"

spectr17

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"The End is in Sight," Says The Fund for Animals, as New Government Report Charts the Continuing Decline of Hunting in America

5/21/2002

The Fund for Animals

SILVER SPRING, MD -- Proclaiming that "The end of hunting is in sight," The Fund for Animals, a national animal protection group, is celebrating yesterday's release of preliminary results from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) report showing that the number of hunters in the U.S. declined by 7% between 1996 and 2001. During the same five years, the number of wildlife watchers, people who enjoy wildlife without harming them, increased by 5%.

This latest in a series of reports issued every five years documents a continuing trend. According to the USFWS, in 1985 there were 16.7 million hunters in the U.S, while in 2001 there were only 13 million, a decline of 22% over fifteen years. This led Heidi Prescott, national director of The Fund for Animals, to comment that, "These are long-term trends, not just a blip in the numbers, and we're delighted to see that more and more people are trading their guns for cameras."

The USFWS results showed the largest declines in "small game" (22%) and "other animal" hunting (31%). According to Norm Phelps, a program coordinator at The Fund and author of the report Body Count: The Death Toll in America's War on Wildlife, "The decline is taking place primarily among hunters of small game. Since they kill many more animals than big game hunters, we can expect the total number of hunting victims to decline as well."

Michael Markarian, executive vice president of The Fund, noted that, "Hunters now make up only 4.6% of the population, compared to the 31% who are wildlife watchers. It's time for the Fish and Wildlife Service and state wildlife agencies to start paying attention to their own numbers and stop catering to a tiny special interest group. Wildlife belongs to everyone, not just the few people who hunt."

Concluded Prescott, "Over a decade ago, T.A. Heberlein and E.J. Thomson, experts on hunting demographics at the University of Wisconsin, predicted that by 2050, sport hunting could well cease to exist. This latest report shows that they were right on target. The end of hunting is no more than a generation away."

The Fund for Animals was founded in 1967 by best-selling author and humanitarian Cleveland Amory (The Cat Who Came for Christmas, Ranch of Dreams).

End article

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Since we are losing more land to hunt and  fish every day (50 acres a day according to Field & Stream magazine). our numbers will continue to decline. The only way we can keep our right to hunt is to become more politically active to stop these anti hunting groups.

We may not agree with this press release but we darn sure better heed it as a warning shot across our bow. The fight won't be for us older sportsmen and women but for the next generation who may lose the ablility to even fish or hunt.

~Jesse
 

Kickaha

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I suspect their second statistic is bogus: "the number of wildlife watchers, people who enjoy wildlife without harming them, increased by 5%".  Exactly how would they obtain that number?  Do they issue licenses for "wildlife watchers"?  

This is where the NRA could shine, but does not.  The NRA has a really bad image outside of those who support the causes it supports.  And I'm not talking about with their image with the tree-huggers, but with the general unknowing public.  The NRA's attitude seems to be "we know we're right, we don't have to prove we're right to the likes of YOU".  Well, I know their right too, but their self-rightous attitude is hurting both them and their supporters.  The NRA is in need of a major revision to their public-relations department.
 

JBarn3

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Their number of wildlife watchers could include people who see a wild animal once a year, while driving. And I would venture a guess that hunters are included in the 31% who are "wildlife watchers". I know I watch wildlife when I hunt, and very often when I am not hunting.

I also wonder how many of those "wildlife watchers" help conservation, how many litter or otherwise damage the wilderness when out "watching".

And how many have ever hit and killed or seriously wounded a wild animal whit their vehicle while on such "watching" expeditions.

Many areas that have declining hunter populations are having serious problems with over population, causing collisions, animals moving into residential areas, and even attacks on humans and pets by wild animals such as coyotes or the sacred mountain lion (ya know, I hate going to a lake and seeing a sign "Mountan Lion Attacks have been increasingly reported in this area, please enjoy at your own risk" especially when I am required to leave my .45 at home because of guns being restricted in the park).

Why don't these people realize that hunting is NECESSARY.

Hey, I have an idea, these people should be taxed on their film or photo processing to cover the decline in revenue from hunting license/tags sales. How else do they plan on funding all the conservation projects?

Oops, wait a minute, I sounded like a democrat for a minute, wanting to tax another harmless product. (like that soft drink tax, or Don Peratta and his bullet tax)
 

huntducks

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Kickaha

I would like for you to tell me what the NRA should do, I have read this from you several times so give me your ideas, I would like to hear them.
 

Kickaha

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Okay.  But let me do it properly.  I have a few things going on at the moment and won't be able to flesh it out for a couple weeks.  I'll say that I won't continue to harp on the NRA thing until I've finished explaining in detail.
 

Marty

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For one, the NRA can stop sending me "nonsense" mailers.

Instead use the money to reprint the material explaining, to the general populace, how much of the hunter/firearms industry money goes toward habitat restoration, conservation projects, and fish & game management.  We can hit on the firearms safety programs later.  NRA may even want to partner with other outdoor associations (U4WD, AMA, ADA, DU/QU...)

Then call upon the "watchers" of this land to step up to the plate and contribute.  
 

Bald Eagle

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As a lifetime NRA member I can truthfully admit that many, many times I have been turned off by the posture of the NRA in the public's eyes.  I get "crap" mail from the NRA almost every month.  And it's very expensive type of mail to boot.  Glossy, heavy paper with lots of expensive photography and artwork.  There are usually three or four or five different size sheets of paper in the envelope and every one has a general theme of begging for more money.  The envelope size is almost always odd so that we get to spend MORE money on postage.  Just what are they thinking?

I get the idea that the public sees the NRA as gun toting, tobacco spitting, slobs in cammo who want to carry their automatic rifles into Macey's on fifth avenue in New York City or L.A. to settle a dispute.

I think I would like to see my money spent on short T.V. spots (commercials) that show a daddy with his son and/or daughter enjoying watching a doe with her twins in the woods.  I would like to see a mommy teaching her daughter how to shoot at pretty colored balloons with a BB gun.  I would like to see a hard hitting TV spot that reveals the consequenses of an unarmed population and how the governments of the world have a history of oppressing the public after they are dissarmed.

I opted to get the American Hunter magazine.  Yes it's fun to page through but the articles are watered down and not very interesting.  These are very expensive to publish and distribute.  I would rather see the good side of the NRA on T.V. instead of the American Hunter.

Now you have MHO.
 

huntducks

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Bald Eagle

I would like to start off by saying i'm also a NRA member, and don't mind one bit getting the mail that's how they fight the fight, not with the money from your dues, that money covers the Mag. and day to day operations.

Second the NRA HAS tried to get TV time but the networks will not sell it to them, they have been able to get time on the outdoor network, but in many cases your just preaching to other gun owners, but at least there being informed.

You should have seen that in the monthly mag about the Media & networks not willing to sell time, the NRA has offered 2-3 times the going rate to all of the major networks, so if you have a solution on how they can buy TV time i'm sure they would be interested, they have been able to get radio time in many area's but not the one's that they need to, remember the old saying  a picture is worth a thousand word.

Thrid the bulk of the NRA money goes into fighting AGAINST gun control, hunter safty programs, police training and marksmanship, not pro hunting issues, because without guns you wont hunt unless it's with a stick or rock.

Why would you think that the public see's the NRA as a bunch of Redneck's, because that's the imiage that the media likes to project & percive us as, but MR. Heston has dispelled that.

If 10% of the gun owners in America belonged to the NRA our membership would be 10 million.

(Edited by huntducks at 1:59 am on May 24, 2002)
 

Kickaha

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huntducks,

Could you possibly find the reference about the networks not selling ad time?  Was it in the Rifleman?  Do you know what issue?

Thanks
 

huntducks

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Kickaha

I have no clue what issue it was in but this has been on going since about 94-95 it has been in a number of American hunter, and a number of mailings that I have received in the last 5 years.

I suggest you email the NRA they will fill you in on the media and buying air time, NONE of the major networks will sell it to the NRA.

Someday the media will awake and the 1st ammendment will also be gone, and they all will be stand around screeming & scrathing there a$$ wondering what happened they have brought this demize upon them self
 

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