Future of Hunting

Question Hi i was wondering what organizations benefit our hunting rights and what ones would be the very best to join? I would really hate to put my money into the wrong cause. Bowhunting has become my favorite sport and with the latest stories I'm hearing about the anti's i want to support my rights and the sport i enjoy. Any help would be great!! Thank You

- Steve Marshall 02/05/2005, ID=2491

6RosPZ http://www.QS3PE5ZGdxC9IoVKTAPT2DBYpPkMKqfz.com

Question I'm from Normal Illinois and I want to know when the next and the close's hunters safety course is to me.

- Blake 01/20/2005, ID=2452

Blake, go to NBEF.org and you will find a link to instructors in IL. Call the contact name there and they should be able to help you find the nearest course.

Question In Illinois, we are attempting to recruit more hunters from a declining youth hunting base. Would you have the #s of hunters graduating from Illinois specifically and I would imagine the other states would be useful too. Our goal is to try some idea of awarding every sucessful gratuate a 1 year membership in our statewide Illinois Bowhunter Society. Has this attempt been tried in other states? If so, did it help?

Thank you

- Jim McFarlane 02/28/2004, ID=2309

Dear Jim,

I do not have figures for the number of hunters graduating from the hunter safety-education program for Illinois. Contact your law enforcement or Information and Education Office of the DNR in Springfield for that information.

Relative to youth hunter recruitment. Though there is some recruitment going on, via youth hunts, in most states, this number does not offset the overall decline of hunters each year. I do not think that giving a free year in the bowhunters association will do much, simply because you will be dealing with very low numbers.

I've got an idea that your organization should consider. Two years ago Kentucky started an archery program aimed at public schools. I won't go into the details here, but this 2-week program was organized really well, got good training for the physical education instructors, and was (and is) extremely well received by students and school teachers. On archery days, school attendance is up. Discipline problems are down. This year they will run 150,000 kids in Kentucky through this archery program. That program is spreading by leaps and bounds and your state may already be starting this program. Contact Roy Grimes in Kentucky for information on how your organization can support this program (his email is Roy.Grimes@ky.gov ). Here is why this program is so good for hunting. In Kentucky 38% of the kids that took this course, wanted to go bowhunting. What if every school in Illinois offered this program, and 38% of those kids wanted to bowhunt? Major hunter recruitment. The cost to get the program up and running in a public school is $2300. Your organization could partner with other sportsmans clubs, Rotary Clubs, etc. in each community to help get it going. Just a thought. Thanks for the question. Dave Samuel

Question Dear Dr. Dave, I live and hunt deer in New York state and have been very successful over the years, but somehow I don't believe there is such thing as a deer bedding area. I feel that they bed whereever and whenever they feel comfortable. If there is such a thing as a bedding area in general and how will I recognize it for what it is? Thank you very much, Jerry king, Long Island, NY

- Jerry King 02/15/2004, ID=2307

Jerry, I think you raise a good point. Deer do bed in a number of places, where they feel comfortable. However, knowing where they do feel comfortable is the key. Thick cover, high open ridges, the areas vary from place to place. But, I do believe, that deer in many areas, do tend to bed in the same general areas from one day to the next. There will be several such places on a 200 acre area, for example. I stay out of those areas, especially during the bow season. How do you find such areas? Back track deer in the winter, when there is snow on the ground, from known feeding locations. For me, that is the best way to find such bedding locations. Once found, stay out. But, come fall, it sometimes pays to hunt very close to such sites in the morning, if you can go in there way before daylight and get in your stand. Good question. Thanks for writing. Dave Samuel

Question Hello Dr. Dave, I am from Manitoba, Canada. Ive taken the hunter safety course, and I've been in archery for 2 years. And my question is, if there are so many deer out there, why are they making it so hard for hunters to go out and shoot a deer? I'm not sure what it is in the States, but in Manitba alone there are 10 deer-vehicle collisions per day!

- David Dearman 02/06/2004, ID=2305

David, I'm not sure from your email what you mean. If you are asking why you have to take the hunter safety course before you can hunt, then, the answer is rather simple. Hunter safety courses are required of all hunters in all states and provinces, for many good reasons. First, requiring all hunters to complete an education course, makes the non hunting public feel better about hunters being in the woods, both on private and public land. It also makes the hunters more responsible, less likely to break the law, and safer hunters as well.

Relative to your comment on deer car collisions, I assume you are making the point that there are a lot of deer out there since you have 10 auto car collisions each day. Maybe. However, in many states, such as my own state of West Virginia, there are over 40,000 auto/deer collisions a year, which would average out to be much more than in Manitoba. In some states there are over 100,000 such collisions each year . Thus, I'd say that the deer numbers per square mile, are low in Manitoba, then in more southerly states. The basic reason is that your winters are severe, and limit the carrying capacity for deer.

Your game agency is probably doing a good job with deer management and with hunter education. You have some great bucks in Manitoba, so take every day you can and legally chase those big bruisers around. Best regards, Dr. Dave

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Dr. Dave Samuel
Be sure to visit Dr. Dave Samuel's Website - Dr. Dave Samuel is widely considered an authority on wildlife mgt. as well as the social and cultural influences of hunting. Dr. Dave spent 30 years as a wildlife professor and served as the conservation editor for Bowhunter Magazine since 1971. He is an author and much sought-after speaker in the topic of wildlife mgt. and hunting.