Hunting is a major component of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. It is necessary to keep the populations of game animals in check. But it also ensures those who hunt will feel a connection to wildlife and wild places, and because of this, we will be more likely to work to protect them.
And we do. Hunting and fishing license fees pay for the bulk of conservation work done by state wildlife agencies, and Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson taxes on hunting, fishing, camping and outdoor gear helps, too. Those taxes, by the way, were asked for by hunters and anglers.
But there’s more we can do. We can join conservation organizations and go to their banquets – when they finally start happening again, anyway. And we can go a step further and add our voices to call for action to protect wildlife and wild places or add our muscle to on-the-ground projects that do the work to protect them.
One of the ways to get involved is to attend wildlife meetings. The Platte Valley Mule Deer Migration Working Group met last week, and other migration working groups are going to be established soon. Keep an eye out for information about these working groups and get involved.
This is only one of the many projects the Wyoming Wildlife Federation and other conservation groups are working on to protect wildlife and habitat. As the name of this group suggests, it focuses on the mule deer herd in the Platte River valley – a herd that is 25% below objective right now.
Whether it’s with the Platte Valley Mule Deer Migration Working Group, joining a conservation organization, or something else, get involved. Our wildlife, and our hunting heritage, depend on you.