FACTS ABOUT WILDLIFE........ An excerpt from
"The National Shooting Sports Foundation"
Some people oppose hunting because they feel that by preserving wildlife, it will increase. Wildlife, however, is a resource that
cannot be stockpiled. If any annual overabundance of game is not harvested, nature often takes over in a cruel and harsh way.
Weather, more than any other factor, often decides the fate of wildlife. Just as wildlife will flourish under ideal weather conditions
“mild winters and bountiful springs “the opposite is true when seasons are harsh. In a harsh winter, when oversized white-tailed deer
herds deplete all available food, merciless death by slow starvation is inevitable. Predators attack the young and hunger-weakened
stragglers. Disease and parasites add to the toll. Most often, the end result is a weak, unhealthy herd with far fewer deer than would
be present if hunters had taken a reasonable surplus in the fall. Research shows that a healthy white-tailed deer herd, reasonably sized
to make the most of available habitat, can be reduced each year by as much as 40 percent with no ill effect on the future population.
Hunters in most states rarely take more than 15 percent of the herds. Yet, if left alone, a white-tailed deer herd can double in size in
only two years, quickly deplete available food supplies and face certain mass die-offs. This management concept is even more
evident with gamebirds. Quail has an annual mortality rate of 75 to 80 percent whether it is hunted or not. Dove and pheasant
populations are likewise regulated far more by factors of feed, cover and weather, than by hunting. It is apparent that hunting is a
useful part of todays wise game management practices. By teaming habitat improvement with carefully regulated hunting seasons
and bag limits, our professional conservationists make sure that hunters take only the surplus of game populations. An
overabundance of any one species can cause a shortage of food and an increase in the spread of diseases. Hunters help to regulate
and maintain wildlife while not affecting future populations.