Sad State of Affairs

This story and the numbers suggest the numbers of hunters is declining.

Across the country, the number of hunters declined from 14.06 million to 13.03 million, or 7.3 percent, from 1991 to 2001, according to the Census Bureau and the Fish and Wildlife Service. The drop was greater in the West — 9.6 percent, from 2.46 million to 2.22 million.

Now for the irony:

It’s a delicate relationship that hunters and state agencies share. States depend on hunters to help fund their conservation projects and to control animal populations.

“Traditionally, the people that have paid for and cared for wildlife have been hunters and anglers,” said Steve Huffaker, director of Idaho Fish and Game and past president of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

“If we lose that support base, then we’re concerned who’s going to be there to take up the needs of fish and wildlife in the future,” he said.

They need us to fund their highly-regulated, bureaucratic agencies, but our numbers are dwindling. Without us, they don’t have jobs. Are they worried about less hunters or the loss of tradition? No, they claim to be worried about the future needs of the fish and wildlife. Did I miss something? If the number of hunters and fishers is going down, won’t the fish and wildlife make out much better?

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