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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:51 AM
Original message
To Revive Hunting, States Turn to the Classroom
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. When David Helms was in seventh grade, he would take his .22-caliber rifle to school, put a box of ammunition in his locker and, like virtually all the other boys, lean his rifle against a wall in the principals office so he could start hunting squirrels as soon as classes let out.


Hunting is on the decline across the nation as participation has fallen over the last three decades, and states have begun trying to bolster this rural tradition by attracting new and younger people to the sport.

In West Virginia, state lawmakers gave final approval on Friday to a bill that allows hunting education classes in all schools where at least 20 students express interest. The goal is to reverse a 20 percent drop in hunting permits purchased over the last decade, which has caused a loss of more than $1.5 million in state revenue over that period. At least six other states are considering similar legislation.

Moreover, in the last two years, 17 states have passed laws to attract younger hunters by creating apprentice hunting licenses that allow people supervised by a trained mentor to sample the sport before completing the required course work, which typically takes 8 to 10 hours and can cost more than $200.

NY TImes

Read as preparation for the military. Besides current day students ARE using their hunting skills when role playing as assassins on college campuses.
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frogcycle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:54 AM
Response to Original message
1. damn, we can't let the noble sport of squirrel hunting fade into oblivion
next thing you know bullbaiting will be dropped from the olympics
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ileus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
2. So all these dumbasses shooting up schools/colleges ect are hunters? Link please.
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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. U.S. history is replete with hunters and military
Marines Learn How To Hunt

March 5, 2008: The U.S. Marine Corps has added hunting skills to its combat training. You'd think this would already be a standard feature of infantry training, but the need to master lots of new tech had pushed it out. However, noting that in Iraq and Afghanistan, the enemy tried to remain hidden in plain sight (often among civilians), and then set up a bomb or just (more frequently) get off a few shots and run away, the marines sought methods that would make it easier to spot these irregulars, and quickly hunt them down. So the marines called in some professional hunters and quickly developed a training course that emphasized observation and deduction. That's what hunting is mostly about, spotting the prey first, and knowing where to position yourself to do that. Hunting irregular fighters turns out to be much the same. Over the last few thousand years, armies have gotten away from this hunting aspect of warfare. But the first "soldiers" were simply good hunters now going after different game.

This shift began nearly a century ago, with the appearance of the infantry squad. This was truly a 20th century development, but the original squad size fighting organization was the hunting party that was turned to wartime use. The Germans were the first to introduce the infantry squad as an independent combat unit. This happened when the Germans perfected their "Stosstruppen" (storm troopers) tactics in 1917. After that, the infantry squad was no longer an administrative unit, but became a more independent and effective combat organization in all the world's armies. This changed infantry combat dramatically, but the significance of the change was rarely noted.

But as the marines have rediscovered, a hunting party organization is only as good as its hunting skills of its members. So now marines practice looking at crowds and villages, to see if they can be the first to spot who the bad actors are.

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Redneck Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
3. Prep for the millitary?
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 09:49 AM by Redneck Socialist
Yeah, 'cause it's such a small step from learning a state's hunting regs to driving a tank.

Hunter Education classes in schools, as requested by students? Oh noes! Teh horrors!

Sometimes the things people get wound up about here at DU boggle the mind
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
4. public dollars to "bolster" hunting?
HuH? Oh reading the article - the point seems to be that state revenues from huntin licenses are going down, so this (and similar programs) are trying to increase the interest (and future revenues) from hunting licenses. I would love to see an economic cost-benefit analysis on these programs; how much spent vs. projected future revenues from hunting licenses. Otherwise, I just don't see that a past time that is losing interest - is worth public dollars and time away from regular educational endeavors in the classroom.

Per the OPs jumps in logic... an adolescent response of :whatever...
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
6. Well, that shoud help with the shocking excess of wildlife.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Surprisingly you are right on that point too. Wildlife is way way up.
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 10:26 AM by ThomWV
Particularly the deer population. The last two, almost three now, winters have been very mild. That means lots more deer live and it also means that the mast will be stronger in the spring. After a few years of this the populations get real high. Turkey are way way up too. Grouse populations, as most hunters know, fluctuate on a 5 year cycle and we're about to peak on them too. Anyway the effect of all this is predictable. Road kills are way up, gardens are being eaten alive, and we're starting to see a lot more coyotes, some in areas where they haven't been seen in ages.

Now this might interest you too. Although statewide hunting is down that statement is misleading. It implies that fewer people in West Virginia are hunting these days. That's not exactly true. In recent years the population of this state has been in decline, only leveling out in the last 3 or 4 years. So part of the loss of licenses over time comes from a smaller population, and it also comes from an aging population. You just don't see all that many 70-year-olds out in the woods. What was keeping our hunting numbers up was a continued interest by the people from this state coupled with increased hunting in the remote public areas by residents from other states. Basically as the suburbs of Washington got bigger and richer more of their new-found residents came here to hunt. That is falling off.
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frogcycle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Coyotes generally eat mice
That's a good thing. I'm all for more coyotes. And turkeys, grouse, foxes...

But until we restore the wolf population, somebody needs to prune the deer population. And the cars can barely keep up with the raccoons, skunks, possums. Might not get too many people to hunt skunk, but a resurgence in popularity of coonskin caps would be a good thing.

If the population of people interested in hunting drops off, I say create a market for venison and expand the hunting season. Let those who enjoy it make money at it. I'd much rather see deer turned into pet food than some of the overstressed sealife currently being vacuumed up.
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. A lot of deer simply starve; they are so overpopulated.
At least in some areas where there has been a lot of encroachment on habitat, which is practically everywhere.

The most pathetic sight I have seen was in a neighborhood of vacation homes near Canyon Lake in Texas. Many very tiny, scrawny deer begging for handouts. And people fed them so they became accustomed. Now it is not there fault we have overrun their habitat but we have also eliminated most large predatory animals. I am really glad wolves are making a comeback but I can't say that I want them in anything other than rural areas. In encounters between wildlife and humans, wildlife always loses.

But hunting is not the only answer because you can't hunt in areas with large human populations (especially in suburban areas where deer are likely to make pests of themselves) because it is not safe. So something else will have to happen. Trapping and relocating? Birth control for deer? I don't know. I don't worry too much about squirrels and raccoons; they have other predators that may help.

We also need wise development and not the unrestrained growth I see everywhere I go. Suburban sprawl sucks and it is bad for wildlife and habitat.

The problem with expanding interest in hunting is that there are just not enough opportunities for lower income people. Here in Texas, hunting has become a rich man's sport. There is some hunting in state wildlife management areas but it must be carefully coordinated so as to close those areas to the non-hunting public to keep it safe. I have no issue with hunting as a management tool. I am a fisheries biologist and wildlife biology is really no different. But I do have an issue with finding state agencies solely on the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. What happens when demand for licenses go down as they have been doing for hunting and fishing for a while? Well marine fishing license sales are actually up, which creates more pressure on the resource which is not necessarily a good thing. I understand the philosophy behind "user pays-user benefits" but it leaves out a whole lot of other people who just enjoy watching wildlife. And state parks are not self-sustaining with simply the entry fees. The problem with user-pays is that wildlife agencies tend to focus on those organisms that are utilized by humans rather than managing the ecosystem as a whole, although that is changing.
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frogcycle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. you are right about deer in heavily populated areas
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 04:53 PM by frogcycle
like my neighborhood!

I have deer tracks in the snow on my driveway every morning; have spooked them in the back yard a time or two. They spill over from the nearby forested public lands where they breed like rabbits. They eat flowers, shrubs, just about anything that grows.

Hunting would be inappropriate in the housing areas, of course, and even the forest preserves are not isolated enough.

A managed culling of the herd should be happening, but there is an outcry about "klling bambi" every time they propose it.

Rather than open it up to the public, they COULD have animal control people take them down with darts or something, euthenize and haul off to become pet food. I for one advocate that STRONGLY, because the pet food industry is decimating various ocean fish populations; also japanese whaling industry:

sells for pet food. The more we can reduce demand for ocean fish populations, the better.

It could go to human consumption as well.
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TheMightyFavog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. Car/Deer accidents are up, too.
These accidents can really put a person in a real financial bind. (Imagine a rural single mother who is now facing a $500-1000 repair bill just so she can get her only means of transport back in any sort of condition to get to her job/s in town.) Also in certain circumstances, car/deer accidents can result in personal injury, and some of these accidents can end up killing the people in the car.

In addition to being a valuable wildlife management tool, and a means of stimulating a local economy (often times outside of the normal tourist season) Well-regulated hunting can save lives.

Besides, if you're looking for organic natural meat, you can't get much more organic and natural than fresh venison! :9

Besides, I don't see this as unusual, The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has been using local schools as venues for it's hunter ed classes for decades now. I remember taking my Hunter Ed classes at my school when I was 12. We used the big playground out back for our safe firearm handling practical exams.
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BadgerLaw2010 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. You must not live in a state with deer. 150lb vermin.
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Sure do. But we also have mountain lions, and they think deer are delicious.
Deer aren't vermin. They don't spread disease (well, they do spread CWD if you eat them, but they got that from farmed deer people fed meat too, so that's a problem dumbass humans kinda brought on themselves.)

They just have a habit of thinking their old homes are still their homes after humans plant subdivisions on them, and people get pissy when they eat their flowers or dent their SUV when they run into one. I guess they don't know they should just evaporate when humans want their habitat.
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TransitJohn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. Most biologists
would agree with you, and not in the way you think.
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
7. Hunting is actually safer than boating, biking or swimming.
Not for the animals it isn't, moron.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
8. The "Hunter Education Course" they mention is required to get a license
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 10:16 AM by ThomWV
And its often taught in school buildings in the evenings by Conservation Officers. This is actually a good idea because it gets more people in the courses. In recent years there have been a lot more people hunting without licenses in this state than there ever used to be. It comes from a suprising reason too. They expanded what is considered an owner, on who's property no license is required. So I can hunt on my place without a license although I am bound by all other hunting laws. The thing is, my adult son, who lives in Morgantown, can also come out here and hunt without a license. So can his lifemate, and so can her parents, and her brothers. In fact anyone I say is a family memeber pretty much qualifies and won't be challenged by the local Conservation Officer (Game Warden to you city folks). So all of those people could tote a gun around this place without having had to attend that Hunter's Safety Course because they didn't have a license.

I think the course is a good thing. The more people that take it the better.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
10. Who needs reading, writing, and arithmetic anymore?
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TheMightyFavog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. Ummm... Didn't you read what Thom WV said? These classes are not taught during school hours...
They are taught during the evenings and weekends.
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tachyon Donating Member (520 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. Well, you can't eat a gerund or a cube root.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
20. Children should learn things like hunting, cooking, car maintenance, sewing, electrical safe,....

Its all basic self-sufficiency stuff.

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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Agreed. We should be making sure our kids can take care of themselves
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rockymountaindem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
22. What the hell is with the phobia of guns around here?
People want to learn to hunt, and to you that automatically translates to military training to you? That's ridiculous. Even if it were true, there's nothing wrong with it. Plus, "assassins" is just a way to learn peoples' names who live in your building. You have to learn to associate a name with the face. Dorms played it every years I was in college.

Everybody just needs to relax. Seeing a potential killer behind every gun makes as much sense as Tom Tancredo seeing a terrorist inside every immigrant.
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