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Old Jan 31st 2011, 06:07 AM   #1
 Russell's Avatar
Site Founder
  Mar 2009
  Edmonton, Alberta CANADA

Cervid: Western Canadian white-tailed deer
I am reprinting this article from the American Deer and Wildlife Alliance newsletter as I believe it has implications for planning for the future of the cervid farming industry.


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While SHOT Shot organizers patted themselves on the back for record-setting attendance and while the attendees marveled at the latest products (myself included), the show did little to prepare for what is about to come. For hunters and wildlife enthusiasts, there’s a storm brewing.

Today, 46 of the 50 states are facing massive budget crises. California, for example, has a pension shortfall of half a trillion dollars. Illinois is in even worse shape with a shortfall of 54 billion and it has recently raised individual state income tax 66%. In fact, some states are in such bad financial shape, pundits are talking about bankruptcy loop holes and legal maneuvering that would allow a state to default on its debt.

With all the pennies being pinched, state fish and game departments and other conservation agencies will not be spared. The State of Washington has already fired the first shot. Faced with a $20 million budget shortfall, Washington has proposed the first across-the-board increase in hunting and fishing license fees in 14 years. House Bill 1387 seeks to increase revenue by 7.3 percent from hunting licenses, 12.6 percent from sport-fishing licenses and 51.4 percent from commercial licenses.

Of course, raising taxes is not the answer. Necessity will demand severe budget cuts, and the money previously allocated to state wildlife programs and hunter education will simply not be available in the years to come. That means hunting participation and recruitment will take huge hits at a time when we can ill afford any more losses.

According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, youth participation in hunting declined by 26 percent between 1990 and 2000. Plus, the number of Americans (16 and older) who have hunted in their lifetime plummeted 12.5 percent from 1975 to 2006.

So now when we consider dramatic budget cuts on state programs, scaled back conservation efforts and rising costs of fees and licenses, you don’t have to be the Amazing Kreskin to see a ‘perfect storm’ in our very near future.

While slashed state budgets and increasing taxes should be a concern for every American, sportsmen should be particularly troubling. Our love of wildlife and our duty as stewards of the land place us in a unique class. We care about wildlife and nature. We voluntarily invest countless dollars and time in conservation programs across the country. The outdoors is a central part of who we are and we strive to preserve our American outdoor traditions.

This is a storm we cannot afford to try riding out. We must take action. The use of private lands for wildlife management and hunter activism are now more important than ever before.

Game ranchers, deer farmers and private property owners who commit themselves to preserving wildlife and open space — all of whom in my mind are true “habitat heroes” — will serve increasingly important roles in helping to maintain wild areas. Hunting as a land use, for example, preserves open spaces for wildlife as well as brings joy to others and creates revenue for the land owner. So does deer farming and exotic game ranching.

Secondly, we must become the activists, and I strongly urge all hunters, anglers, game ranchers and deer farmers to step up and become ‘Outdoor Patriots.’ Speak up loudly on outdoor issues, publicly defend our traditions and, most importantly, introduce our youth to the outdoors.

Our children are more disconnected from nature than ever before in human history, and we must share and demonstrate our passion for the outdoors with the youth. Our children are the future of the industry. We must help them experience the outdoors today so they will care about the outdoors tomorrow.

The Nanny State is failing, and the future of wildlife conservation and hunting rests in the hands of individual sportsmen, organizations and private property owners now more than ever.

We can weather the storm. But only if we stand united and all work together to preserve our hunting and agricultural heritage.

John Meng, ADWA President
Russell is offline  
Old Feb 7th 2011, 04:51 PM   #2
  Mar 2009
  Blairstown, LA
Thanks Russell, I re-posted this to my membership and forwarded it to the Legislators in Mississippi for their review.
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Old Feb 7th 2011, 05:08 PM   #3
 South Alabama Whitetails's Avatar
  Jul 2009
  Deer Park, Alabama

Cervid: whitetails
I agree completely, outdoorsman must become activist. The government needs to cut the budgets in many areas but hunting and fishing bring in revenues. What is ridiculous is the waste in our government at most levels. I am sick of seeing goverment workers ride around on my dime and do nothing but prepare themselves for a pension. I know that all government employees are not sorry by any means. Ths does not change the fact that we have way to many government employees.

We should demand cuts and not increases in fees to balance the budgets. California spends enough on illegals to make a huge difference in their budget and their waiting on everybody else to bail them out. Sorry for the rant!
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