Friday, May 29, 2009

Is Poaching Hurting Our Wild Game?

Many years ago when I first started hunting wild game of all kinds, game was abundant. Today, I find it harder to find a place to hunt, people willing to hunt by the laws set forth by our wildlife resource agencies and wild game in abundance as it used to be years ago. Now I know that where I live the farmers have alot of problems with hunters crossing their fences to hunt without permission and trash being left behind by hunters and make-out parkers ( kids parking on the side of the roads to make out at night or day ), fences being cut, livestock getting shot not only by hunters but by drive-by shooters and farm land being destroyed by vehicles driving on wet muddy grounds but this doesn't mean that there isn't some hunters out there that don't respect the lands and the owners and the wild game. Though disease does claim many of our wild game animals that still doesn't account for the drastic decline of nearly half the wild game animals. Yes the human population expanding throughout the countryside is taking a great toll on our game but that only causes the game to move to new locations. Poaching is what I believe to be the biggest problem with our wild game decline and I've watched this happen many times throughout the years I've been hunting. Hunters don't like being told they can't shot but one buck if the limit is four and four show up in the field in front of them. Hunters don't understand the license fees going up almost every year and not seeing any return on this increase only more laws preventing them from filling their tags. Hunters not being able to hunt lands they see big bucks on ( which many never even ask permission to hunt the lands ). Small farms and acreage being hunted with deer only crossing them causing the hunters to shoot or cross the property lines to take a deer. License fees to high for some people to be able to afford them so they hunt deer and other wild game without a license hoping not to get caught ( and most don't ) and not checking in the deer. Folks not able to find a place to hunt so they ride the roads both at night and during the day to hunt wild game, pulling onto farm lands looking for game to shoot. This is what our hunting world is coming to and there has to be some kind of solution to the problem. Our wildlife agencies can't do all the work for us, we've got to help bring this problem under control. Earn the respect of the farmers and the community and show them you can be an ethical hunter who understands the cost they sustain in farming and values of their property. Support the wildlife agencies in your area and work with them to control the poaching problems we all face, reporting any suspected poaching. Share your wild game with the farmland owners and your community citizens, the elderly and the poor. Through this process we will all gain in a greater outlook on the outdoors and the wildlife that lives for our hunting heritage to continue for years to come.