2/6/2011 11:17:50 AM
Section 9: Hunting
Subject: Endangered Species? Msg# 769338
I can definitely relate. I grew up hunting, and since my folks ran a hunting preserve I was guiding once I was old enough. Now we live in a city and find that accessing hunting land is not easy. Hunting clubs have leases on most of the better hunting land within a reasonable driving distance.
I took my kids camping and we took along firearms to plink with when they were young. My kids were 9-years apart in age and I took each of them hunting when they'd reached an age where I thought they would do OK. I didn't have much luck with my daughter. She'd go through the motions but it wasn't hard to see that her heart wasn't in it.
Things went better with my son. He'd become interested in dogs and we hunted birds over "his" dog a few times. That came to a sudden stop when I did something I'd done hundreds of times as a guide. The dog retrieved a quail that my son had shot and it was still alive. I immediately broke its neck to keep it from suffering unduly. Something about that didn't sit well with my son. In the end he seemed to understand why I'd broken the quail's neck, but he never again hunted.
Both of my kids have now gone Vegan, not because of animal rights, but because they believe it is a healthier lifestyle. I'm zero for two with passing on my hunting heritage.
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In another post about scopes you mentioned aging hunters. Thinks are not looking good. This from the NRA:
Just 20 years ago, hunters accounted for nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population. Yet, within two more years, if current tends continue, hunters will make up just 5 percent of the population.
Worse, as the number of hunters drops and their average age advances, fewer and fewer of them appear to be passing along that heritage to their children.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Survey of Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, on average, just one out of every four children from a hunting household actively participates in hunting.
One way to assess the health of hunting in America is to use the same models biologists use to gauge the health of wildlife populations.
For a wildlife population to be stable, every individual of a species lost to disease, predation or old age must be replaced by another of that species, in a 1-to-1 ratio, through a process known as "recruitment."
If you look at the recruitment rates of American hunters, you see we already may be endangered.
Since most hunters are introduced to the sport as youngsters, and since few adults take up hunting if they weren`t exposed to it in their youth, common sense suggests that having a stable population of hunters requires that the percentage of youth hunters should match the percentage of adult hunters. But it doesn't. Not even close.
Indeed, nationally, if you compare the percentage of the population between the ages of six and 16 that hunts, with the percentage of the population over age 16 that hunts, instead of getting the 1-to-1 ratio needed to maintain current levels, you get just 0.69-to-1.
Stated simply, we may be about 31 percent below keeping our heads above water.