Hunter numbers on the decline

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Hunter numbers on the decline

Postby Trois_beaux_canards » Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:55 pm

Posted on Sun, Apr. 10, 2005

Hunter numbers on the decline

ASSOCIATED PRESS


As a teenager, Bryan Dinkins and his grandfather would go out before dawn on many a winter morning to hunt duck. They would quietly discuss school and life while waiting for the birds.

Dinkins, now 40, hasn't been hunting in six years. He's too busy, he says, and anyway it would take six hours to drive somewhere to hunt ducks in California.

It's a common lament in the new century, a time when urbanization and hectic lives can get in the way of hunting traditions. Hunting now is not just about when to go, but where to go? How much will it cost? And, more than ever, who will go?

"If we think about how the country was explored and developed, it was hunters, it was trappers," said Steve Williams, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "If we lost that, I think in some way we lose part of the American character."

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.

Hunting has survived through generations by fathers passing the tradition on to their children, and families bonding during hunting trips. But many people have given up on hunting, or never tried it at all.

The decline in Western hunters came even as the population jumped. California had the largest drop -- from 446,000 to 274,000, or 38.6 percent -- followed by Colorado, Arizona and Nevada.

Most hunters said in the 2001 Census and in the Fish and Wildlife survey that they did not hunt as much as they would have liked because they were too busy or had family or work obligations. The reasons were the same for those who gave up hunting altogether, another study found.

As the West becomes more urban, with new residents flocking to cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix, development inevitably leads to fewer hunting lands.

"A generation or so ago, it was still possible to take a son and daughter out to the country, knock on a farmer's door and be out in the field hunting in pretty short order," said George Cooper, spokesman for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

"That's how young people got into hunting."

Those who rely on private land often find they must pay for the privilege, and it can be expensive. Duck hunting for the season may cost $10,000 on a private hunting preserve.

Eventually, it will be up to children to carry on the tradition. But a study by Responsive Management, a public opinion research firm for natural resources issues, found if people are not exposed to hunting before they are 16 or 17, they most likely will not hunt as adults.

And the more people grow up in urban areas, the less likely they are to be exposed to the hunting culture, said Mark D. Duda, executive director of the group.

Many states are promoting hunting by sponsoring outreach programs and youth hunts. In Kentucky, special youth hunts have helped to build junior license sales above 30,000, for the past three years, from a low of about 20,000 in 1996, according to figures released by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
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Postby frazier2209 » Sat Apr 30, 2005 6:12 pm

trois, this is sad but true. This is becoming a more common occurance all across the country :help:
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Postby Trois_beaux_canards » Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:57 pm

It's a wonder I came out the way I did. My brother and I got my dad back into hunting. We are also fortunate to have good friends with hunting property, as well as a small plot on a MN lake not far from a lot of public land. Land access is a problem for many, even if they do have someone to hunt with. I would like to believe that those of us who hunt realize just how lucky we are, and that we still need to work to keep the tradition alive. Not just in our blood, but in our laws.
I look forward to graduating here soon, and would like to use my free time to get some of these city kids into gun safety and hunting. This article just shows me the importance of keeping it all alive. Thank you for bearing with me. :thumbsup:
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Postby Duck Crazy » Sun May 01, 2005 8:55 pm

i know im my class im the only kid who hunts period. nobody in my class even understands hunting anything, ducks, deer, anyting. I'll start talking about hunting(which is almost all the time) and ppl will just kinda be like oh hunting whatever. no one in my class shares my obsession.

But it doesn't discourage me, i still ram it down their throats wheither they like it or not. For my speech class i gave a speech on "How to succesfully lure ducks into your decoy spread," and even gave a calling demonstration and boy i gotta A+ on that one. Looks like the best sport came out on top like it should! :mrgreen:
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Postby Trois_beaux_canards » Sun May 01, 2005 10:55 pm

congratulations, keep it up! :thumbsup:
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Postby frazier2209 » Mon May 02, 2005 7:09 am

crazy duck, wanna post a copy of that speech here or PM it to me?
I think i have a "how to" speech coming up to end out the year.
Maybe even an overview for what you did on the calling part.
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Postby Duck Crazy » Mon May 02, 2005 5:45 pm

Basically i broke it down like this:
Introduction- just basically started with a capture statement like the ducks have been working but cold steel hasnt touched feather today. In the distance you see a duck and blow 3 hails at him and he comes in and lands. and then asked how that happened and said its a 3 step process that involves scouting, setup, and calling
scouting-said scouting is most important b/c if there are no birds where you plan to hunt then whats the point. broke down into 3 parts, going to actual place you want to hunt and seeing what birds are doing where ur hunting(feeding, resting, flight patterns), then tracking water levels(if water is high there is going to be newly flooded food, so ducks will be there, and if there is a low amount of water, ducks will move out into open water since there is less food), and finally tracking weather fronts cus duck will move on a big weather front.
Setup- three parts,(blind setup, decoy setup, setup in relation to the sun & wind) blind setup- covering blind in natural looking foliage, making it not look conspicuous/ or getting down in cover in like a makeshift blind. Decoy setup-(i had a decoy to show them what one was) # of decoys you need and however you like to setup decoys(i get 2 big group on either side of me and there's like a landin strip w/e) then setup in the sun and wind, always want sun at back or directly to the sides. not inface b/c with the sun in ur face you will lose the ducks and the ducks can see you better. sun at back b/c sun in their eyes and they cant see you. duck land in wind so if the wind is comming from left ducks come from right ext. want wind at ur back so that duck land coming to u. if wind is coming from left you need to shift decoys to right ext.
calling-Compare the single and double reed tell the qualities of both types. go over the basics of calling, hand position, how to put call up to ur mouth. then go over after learning that you need to learn the single quack or in the duck language a word and that its not blowing but more like pushing up hot air. and you want to say a word tell the types of words to use.(have a call to demonstrate) then say once mastered that that you need to learn the sentence or 5 note series(demonstate) Then go over all the types of calls you would use, hail, feed, comeback(demonstate all of these) Finally talk about how if you know that there will be other species of ducks try bringing other species calls out hunting (gadwall, widgen, pintail ect.)(have one to demonstrate)

Finally end with a conclusion talking about what aspects you like about duckhunting and encourage people to go duckhunting.

and thats basically what i did it. You can change it up however u want i dont care. just have fun with it.
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Postby Gooseboy » Mon May 16, 2005 6:41 pm

Huneter declining! Thats what us kids are here for! dun dun da daaaa!!! youth hunters to the rescue! :mrgreen:
The group ended up with 420 birds.

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Postby Duckhunter16 » Thu May 19, 2005 6:37 pm

It is a bad thing in a way. The decline in hunters dose mean a lot of bad things such as more law agents hunting but I have to take a positive look at things and think about all those ducks and geese that aren’t being killed by others and go kill them myself. :yes:
IF IT FLIES IT DIES

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