Hunting in America: Why it's expensive, and on the decline
The Sept. 27 article, "Hunters as endangered species? A bid to rebuild ranks" strikes close to home with me. Though I was raised in Chicago and firearms were utterly absent in my upbringing, when I was a young adult, a friend shared his passion and knowledge of firearms and target shooting with me.
Today, my friend and I drive to southern Wisconsin to hunt and practice shooting, but suburban sprawl is threatening this venue. And when we add up the cost of the nonresident hunting license, the state and federal stamps, the transportation and lodging expenses, well, the game we hunt is extremely expensive!
While all the hunters I know are members of wildlife conservation organizations, and they contribute significant sums annually to habitat conservation, state regulatory coffers, and the local economies where they hunt, high cost, urban development, and restrictions on hunting are rapidly making the sport out of the reach for all but a handful of ordinary Americans. Hunting is becoming a pastime only of the wealthy - those who can afford to fly overseas for a worthwhile experience.
To make hunting more available for ordinary people again, I suggest that federal and state governments obtain land on which to provide people with hunting opportunities.
Sadly, this is unlikely, and only those in the remaining rural areas of the US, or the affluent folks of my son's generation, will get to experience the wonders of predawn in the field and learning to track and hunt animals. Bernard I. TurnoyLife member, NRADeerfield, Ill.
It was distressing to read in the Sept. 27 article on hunters that state wildlife management agencies are being used as a means of "building commerce" for the gun- and shooting-sports industry. State wildlife agencies, in serving the greater public interest, should have but one job: protection and preservation of wildlife and its habitat. Instead, these agencies have become little more than pawns for those who see killing wildlife for sport as "wholesome" entertainment. …