If it weren’t so alarming that some people think this way, it might be laughable.
Animal rights’ zealots have petitioned the Obama Administration to “Declare all anti-predatory animal organizations as domestic terrorist groups.”
The petition reads, in part: “Groups like Lobo Watch, Big Game Forever, Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, NRA, Safari Club, etc., are a menace in our midst. Not only do many of them want our native predators like bears, wolves, wild cats, and the like decimated to the brink of extinction, but some of them have the nerve to harass, threaten, and downright intimidate anyone who dares to oppose them, even the government.”
At the moment, the petition has a little over 500 signatures; 25,000 signatures are needed before the White House will respond.
I know I am preaching to the choir, but let’s just look at a few facts:
Hunters have done more for wildlife conservation in this country than any other single group. We pay for it through the licenses, permits, and stamps we buy. This year is the 75th anniversary of the Pittman-Robertson Act—though it, and the similar Dingell-Johnson Act, hunters and anglers have generated $11 billion for wildlife conservation since 1937 though excise taxes we pay on guns, ammunition, archery tackle, fishing gear and boating fuel. If hunting were banned, as these radicals want, there is no other source of funding for wildlife management. Who would pay for habitat work? Land acquisition? Disease control? Research? And what would the fate of wildlife be without it?
It’s hunters who lobby for legislation and regulations that benefit wildlife.
Hunting and fishing are the basis of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, the most successful such system in the world.
Without hunting, species such as deer, snow geese, and feral hogs would cause massive economic losses to agriculture. Deer-auto collisions would increase, causing more fatalities and racking up high car repair costs. Lyme disease would spread, too. Without hunting, these and other species would overpopulate, with dire results to the animals themselves.
Wildlife management is a science in which hunters and fishermen pay to play a key role. Emotional, anti-hunting rhetoric contributes nothing to the well-being of any wildlife species.
Poll after poll show that the vast majority of Americans approve of hunting.
Hunting is a $34 billion industry that provides strong economic support to rural communities nationwide
Finally, there is not a hunter in the world who wants any animal hunted “to the brink of extinction.” Nor do we “harass or threaten” people.
While it is probably safe to believe that nothing will come of this absurd petition, it is nonetheless important for all of us to know the mindset of anti-hunting extremists and the extent they are willing to go to end our hunting heritage.
Ultimately, what that means to us is that we need to do more to educate people about the hunter’s value to wildlife conservation.