director Blog : Prairie Potholes

Hunting Brings You Face-to-Face with Nature’s Thrills, But Not the Way you May Think

I was lucky enough to spend some time this month week at SHOT Show, a trade show on hunting, shooting and the outdoors, where I got a chance to talk with hunters and shooting enthusiasts about conservation.

Huner

A hunter walks through at Selawik National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Credit: Steve Hillebrand/USFWS

Just like fishing (it’s called fishing, not catching), getting into the outdoors is often the best part of hunting. Many of the stories we shared reflected the hours we’ve spent waiting for waterfowl or elk or deer without even touching the trigger. That’s more than just OK. Being outside, away from the day-to-day, we are free to embrace an important part of our national heritage as well as, in my case, a big part of a family one.

Maybe we’ll see something we have never seen before – nature is always surprising and always a thrill.

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Some Amazing Conservation is Happening out West Despite Challenging Issues

I ventured down to Tucson, Arizona, for a few days recently for the winter meeting of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA).

Lee Metcalf NWR The landscape at Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge in western Montana is just one type we manage with WAFWA. Credit: Bob Danley/USFWS

WAFWA represents U.S. states from Alaska and Hawaii to Texas and the Dakotas. Several Canadian provinces are also members. That’s almost 4 million square miles, home to more than 1,500 wildlife species.

WAFWA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worked, side-by-side, on a number of conservation successes last year.

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Last updated: August 31, 2011