Below are the words of Chris Kubik who authored the Hunting is Conservation department in the May-June 2017 issue of Bugle magazine.
The title of this department, Hunting is Conservation, feels counter-intuitive. It seems like hunters are saying, “Killing animals saves them.” In reality, that’s exactly what we’re saying. Most hunters I know already know this is true. For those who don’t hunt, well, explaining how hunting saves animals is more than a two-minute conversation. Even so, as hunters, we should be able to explain our role to those who don’t hunt, and perhaps more importantly, to those who are opposed to hunting altogether.
If the title of this column were “Hunters are Conservationists,” it would be easy to explain. We have in the U.S. an astonishing number of conservation organizations for which hunters provide much of the work-force—groups such as the Elk Foundation, Turkey Federation and Mule Deer Foundation. On top of this, we provide much of the funding for government wildlife agencies through both license fees and excise taxes on everything from ammo to fishing tackle.
Conservation efforts at all levels often include habitat improvement, access to public land, expansion of public land, and ensuring wildlife population levels remain sustainable. Conservation is also rightfully known for restoring (not reducing) populations.
Chris Kubik grew up in rural Nebraska and spent three decades in the Army.