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Recent entries


Versatile Hunter

Hunting Continues Decline

Mon, December 24, 2018

More than 11 million hunters still exist in North America, however, those numbers have declined sharply just since 2011.  A 20% reduction of big game hunters has occurred since then as well as a loss of over 2 million hunters. Given that our model of wildlife program funding consists of a “user pay” model, that leaves wildlife managers with essentially two options in order to continue to fund conservation: attract new hunters or generate new revenue sources.  The R3 programs funded through the federal government are attempting to recruit new hunters through various “learn to hunt” courses with some amount of initial success.  I believe this has the potential to recruit some new hunters especially given the recent push by “city folks” to eat organic foods and to live lives that have a lesser impact on our environment.  I also believe that non consumptive users helping to pay the bills will also be necessary in the not too distant future.  One of the most popular models and likely also a big part of future funding consists of requiring big business to pay for operating on federal lands (oil and gas extraction as example).

Read more on this subject here:


IMHO, too many programs are geared to pre-teen and early teens, who have little or no money and no mobility.  Plus, many of those youths that show up for the “Learn to Hunt” programs come from hunting families so they are already exposed to the culture.
A day of training, possibly coupled with a day or two in the field does not a hunter make.  IMO, it may take several years of mentoring, especially with people from non hunting/outdoor backgrounds.


Posted by riverrat47 on December 25

Those 2 million we lost where mostly from hunters just ageing out, not many hunt over the age of 70. Yes I know there are those that do hunt well into their golden years, but on average when someone hits that mark of 70 numbers go down hill fast. I agree with River Rat, we have focused way to much on the ultra young, and forgot about those that are able to afford to play this game.


Posted by Ringtailtrapper on December 27

I think accessibility to hunting land is becoming an increasing contribution to the problem.  Public land around me (n. central IL) is over-hunted and over-pressured and frankly, just not that great.  A lot of landowners and farmers tend to not let a friendly stranger onto their land to hunt.  The days of door-knocking are far gone.  Add to that the increased cost of land and even buying your own chunk of land to call yours is too difficult.

Posted by Lasrael on December 31

Yes, access is a major problem, especially for those close to urban areas.  The days of just driving around and knocking on doors is all but over. If the ground isn’t leased by deer hunters, many farmers are reluctant to open their land to complete strangers.
Even connections with the farmer, it’s hard to compete with the lure of deer leasing $$$$$$. In the rural area where I reside, I’ve seen life-long friendships turn bitter over leasing. 

Posted by riverrat47 on January 02

Hunting will continue to decline for many years but there will be a point it levels out and we will have a base. It will be very low but there will be a base eventually. In 100 years it will be a sport of the past

Posted by yellowstone on January 08

And by the way, even scarier that out of 30 articles on here over the past month that there are 0 comments on most all of them. It wasn’t like that 5 years ago when there were 20. i think everyone has had it with the Illinois DNR and just given up on all this stuff.

Posted by yellowstone on January 08

I think the decline in comments is more so because there were only 4 articles on this site in the past month…..not 30.  But that’s just my opinion.

Posted by bw on January 10

Decline in articles has hurt, but many have also been afield the past several months. Hard to write about something your not truly experiencing for some, and I find a lot of the articles here are those that the writer has had some short of personal connection with. I find that approach very creditable,


Posted by Ringtailtrapper on January 11

Besides fewer main articles, look at the sidebars.  The ‘News Outside’ and ‘News Briefs’ haven’t been updated since July.  ‘Hot Forum Topic’ has two recent posts, followed by several SPAM posts. (I don’t think I’m in need of Pakistani written thesis!)

Posted by riverrat47 on January 12

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