Thank a Hunter for Supporting Wildlife Conservation
By Marilyn Shy, Kalkaska Conservation District
Another hunting season is upon us. It’s the busiest time of the year in my corner of Kalkaska County. Hunting cabins have two or three trucks parked out front. The increase in human population is evident as you walk the streets in Fife Lake. Local shop keepers are happy to see their restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores busy.
But it’s not just the local economy that benefits from hunting season each year. Hunting plays an important role in contributing to wildlife conservation. And that means all wildlife species, not just the ones that are hunted.
How does hunting contribute to wildlife conservation? Here are three ways:
1) Hunting is an important conservation management tool. For many wildlife species, hunting
helps to maintain populations at levels compatible with human activity, land use and available
habitat. For example, hunting culls deer so that there is less starvation in years with below
average temperatures, or above average snowfall. Hunting can help limit browse in agricultural
areas and deer-car collisions.
2) Hunters pay for the bulk of wildlife conservation through the Pittman-Robertson Act. This act
created an excise tax on hunting-related equipment. The money generated is allocated to state
wildlife agencies based on the land area and the number of hunters in each state. These funds
are matched by state hunting license fees. Money from hunting license sales can only be used
for wildlife management. Projects include conducting research, wildlife reintroductions, and
improving wildlife habitat, which benefit many species, including those that aren’t hunted.
3) Hunters often participate in local sportsman’s clubs to raise funds for conservation, to conserve
private lands for wildlife habitat, and partner with state and federal agencies on large-scale
So thank a hunter you know for helping to conserve wildlife for all of Michigan’s citizens!
There are several ways you can help to conserve wildlife:
Encourage youth to be interested in wildlife and hunting.
Support local and national conservation groups.
Make a tax-deductible contribution to a conservation organization.
Support hunting, even if you don’t hunt.
For more information on wildlife conservation activities you can do on your land, call the Kalkaska Conservation District at (231) 258-3307 or email Renee Penny at: firstname.lastname@example.org.