The folks at the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) invited me to speak at the association’s first-ever North American Whitetail Summit this week, and I jumped at the chance.
A father and son spend time deer hunting at Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Missouri. Credit: Carol Weston
It’s hard to find anyone who has done more to sustain and conserve the nation’s natural resources than sportsmen and sportswomen.
More hunters pursue whitetail deer than any other game species in the United States, and whitetail hunting contributes millions of dollars each year to local economies.
All hunters play an integral part in conservation and always have.
Throughout the country, you’ll find hunting groups getting young people interested in spending time outdoors, restoring habitat and financing conservation.
Heck, without waterfowl hunters, we might not know the honks of geese or the quacks of ducks.
Driven by the urgent threat of market hunting and later, the environmental catastrophe of the Dust Bowl, waterfowl hunters organized themselves a century ago to plan and build a solid future for waterfowl hunting.
One part of that plan was the Federal Duck Stamp that waterfowl hunters are required to purchase and carry. Taxing themselves? What an out-of-the-box idea. It worked. Since 1934, the money from sales of Federal Duck Stamps has purchased or leased more than 6 million acres of wetlands habitat in the United States.