Did You Know You’re A Hero Of Conservation?
By Patrick Carrothers
President & CEO of Havalon Knives
Today we salute all the hunters and anglers in our great land. As a group, all 34 million of us, we do more than anyone to help keep our wild places wild. You may not think of yourself as a conservationist, but we support conservation of our natural resources with every hunting and fishing license we buy. That’s not all, every time we buy a firearm, box of ammo, bow and arrow, or rod and reel, about 10 – 11 percent of the purchase goes to conservation agencies in your home state. As a group, we contribute $1.75 billion with our product purchasing alone to the agencies responsible for managing wildlife, fish and habitat.
What are some of the accomplishments of this natural resource management we pay for? Look at white-tailed deer. Once on the verge of extinction, today they’re one of America’s most popular and plentiful wildlife species. Not too long ago, wild turkeys were nearly gone for good too. Now they are abundant just about everywhere in the US. Unless you’re out hunting for them, of course. Then they’re dang hard to find.
Some of America’s favorite game species, like elk, pronghorns, wood ducks, Canadian geese, bears and many more, all share a similar history. They went from vanishing to flourishing, thanks to hunters.
On the fishing side, money from anglers pays for fish stocking programs, water quality and harvest management. We help fund the careful management of our aquatic resources across the country and thus contribute to making our water’s a haven for fish and wildlife.
Maybe we don’t think of ourselves as heroes of conservation, but we sure do a lot to protect our wild places for future generations. In 1972, Congress recognized our contributions and established this day to honor hunters and anglers like us for our role in conserving wild America.
So that means this is our day to celebrate what we do as a group to protect the things we love about the Great Outdoors. I’m proud to be part of this tradition that dates back to President Theodore Roosevelt. I tip my hat to Ira Joffe, owner of Joffe’s Gun Shop in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania back in the late 1960s, who was the first to suggest an official day of thanks to sportsmen for their role in conservation.
Thanks to the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the efforts of many others, we now have this national day of celebration honoring our contributions. Let’s keep the tradition going by passing along our respect for our resources, and for our fellow hunters and anglers, to the next generation. See you out there.
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