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HABITAT AND THE FUTURE OF HUNTING

WILL THERE BE GAME TO HUNT IN THE YEAR 2010?

There is a definate difference between PRESERVATION and CONSERVATION.

President Teddy Roosevelt, an avid hunter and outdoorsman, noted a very large population of Mule Deer on the Kaibab Plateau, a part of the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. He lead efforts to have a large part of the 673,644-acre park closd to hunting, for the preservation of the herds. In addition, predator populations were made smaller.

For several years the mule deer population grew. Then there were so many deer that one winter there was not enough food for all of them. The ate it down to the point where the foliage could not grow again the next spring and summer.

During the next years there were starving, dying deer on the Kaibab. President Roosevelt had hundreds of cowboys try to move the deer to a better feeding area. It was a great failure...not even one deer herded to greener pastures. Even the weakest deer escaped the drivers and returned to familiar but foodless areas. The starvation and dying continued until the population was small enough that the food supply could begin to grow again.

This honest effort at preserving the mule deer paved the way for CONSERVATION to take hold. Whereas

PRESERVATION is the term used to protect endangered species, CONSERVATION means to use resources wisely to ensure wildlife.existence (management) in both numbers and quality.

Wildlife requires a "habitat" to survive and to thrive.

HABITAT requirements include:

1. FOOD, the amount and kind an animal eats. Each species of wildlife needs certain kinds of food.

2. COVER. wildlife needs cover to protect it. Depending on the species, cover can be trees or brush grass, rocks, a burrow, or a cave.

3. WATER. All wildlife needs water. This can be surface water such as streams, lakes, or ponds, dew, snow, or moisture from plants and food.

4. SPACE. The area in which only a certain number of animals can live.

5. ARRANGEMENT. How food, cover, water, and space are located in an area determines how much wildlife can live there. The best "arrangement" is when the habitat factors exist in small blocks close together, with a lot of edge (the zone of transition between the different habitat factors.)

When Hunters take to the field, they have a moral obligation to protect this habitat. Food and water sources should not be contaminated in any fashion. Cover should not be destroyed simply to gain a better "shooting zone". When hunters negatively affect any of these habitat factors, the CARRYING CAPACITY will decline.

CARRYING CAPACITY. Habitat can only support a certain number of wildlife each year without hurting the wildlife or habitat. The only way to INCREASE WILDLIFE in an area is to increase the carrying capacity. This can be done by making the habitat better, or by building new habitat.

NEW HABITAT. We see governmental efforts in this through the establisment of areas such as Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), National Forests, and Game Refuges.



The next time you park your vehicle and start into the woods, please remember that you in the home of the game you hunt. Just as you wouldn't mess up your Grandmothers house, don't mess up grandfather Bucks "house".

LEAVE NOTHING BEHIND WHEN YOU LEAVE...except your footprints - happy Hunting.
 

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GREAT write up!!!!
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I pick up garbage here in the columbia wma,but i have to say this..it ain't hunting garbage,it's the slob teens that party and f***nicate in the parking lot and there's some stuff that i won't touch...what do ya do?? I've seen people riding dirtbikes there on sunday? I was outnumbered and my truck isn't hard to forget so you risk them getting even while you're in the woods during hunting season..??I try not to leave footprints..can't have those whitetails tracking me...
 

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Most of the garbage isn't from hunters but guess who gets blamed....Most hunters respect the land as well as the animals and want to keep it as clean and natural as possible.
 
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