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Response to primavera (Reply #93)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:17 PM

99. Cost / benefit

There are substantial benefits accruing as the result of hunting, since you are apparently ignorant of what they are, let me share some of them with you. First, let me comment regarding your statement that many species have been hunted to the brink of extinction by humans. Instances of that occurring took place long ago and were the result of commercial or market based hunting, where animals were killed for food or hides or feathers, which were then sold in commercial markets. With very few exceptions, market hunting of game animals was banned in the early part of the 20th century. Around the same time, most states adopted what is know as scientific or modern game management practices, which allow hunting for recreational purposes but which preclude the sale of any animals harvested.

Modern game management has been on of the greatest success stories in natural resources management that this country has ever seen. It's been responsible for bringing many of those populations of game animals back from the brink of extinction that was caused by market hunting, the result being the healthy and viable populations of a wide range of animals that we enjoy today. Another huge benefit resulting from hunting managed under modern game management practices has been the billions of dollars which has been generated specifically by a tax on firearms and ammunition, which is then earmarked for habitat restoration, acquiring increased amount of public land that can be used by all public stakeholders, including birdwatchers like yourself, environmental education and a number of other outdoors related purposes that benefit everyone, not just hunters. I'd suggest that you Google Pittman Robertson excise tax for more information. Since 1937 this tax has generated about $250 million dollars a year that is put back into programs that benefit our natural resources. Another huge benefit is the fact that hunters are the most effective tool that wildlife professionals have in managing game populations and keeping certain species, such as white tailed deer, at reasonable population levels. Absent hunting, those populations would explode and cause billions of dollars in agricultural damage, personal property damage, increased human injuries and fatalities and increases in diseases such as Lyme disease, which deer serve as a vector for. In my home state there are 50,000 car/deer accidents every year, that number would easily double or triple if hunters were not removing around a half a million deer annually. Hunting also generates billions of dollars of economic activity in this country, providing many people with the means of earning a living.

Those are just a few of the benefits resulting from modern game management that utilizes hunting, there are many, many others, as well. So that public land that you want to bird watch on and are upset about having to wear orange to enhance your level of safety? There is a good chance that hunters paid for the acquisition of that property, that provides you with the opportunity, as well as bringing a number of spectacular avian species, such as the wood duck, back from the brink of extinction, to numbers that we enjoy today.

Cost/benefit? The benefits derived from modern game management far outweigh the potential costs, which you noted, not even close, really.

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