A day at the Adk Sportsmans Dinner

Notes from the North Woods

Snow cover makes for an easy portage when hauling a guideboat into the ponds, early in the season.

Snow cover makes for an easy portage when hauling a guideboat into the ponds, early in the season.

According to the most recent survey, hunting is most popular among those aged 45 to 54 (3.1 million), closely followed by the next age group, 55-64 (2.8 million). Together, those two groups make up 43 percent of the U.S. hunting population. The heavy representation of older men does not bode well for hunting’s future. Hunters and anglers favor restoring Clean Water Act protections to wetlands and waterways in order to protect our health and important fish and wildlife habitat.

They also agree that children are not spending enough time outdoors. Which creates a problem and a threat to wildlife conservation in America. Unfortunately, more than two out of three sportsmen now live in metropolitan areas, where their children grow up less familiar with firearms, or fishing poles, and far removed from daily contact with field and stream. As a result, they are often uncomfortable with the pursuit of game as sport.

According to the survey, 47 percent believe that gun rights are important, but conservation is just as important. Another 37 percent believe that gun rights are the most important issue facing sportsmen, while 13 percent believe that gun rights are not as important as conservation issues.

Hunters and anglers want public lands protected and they want access to public lands that to date have been inaccessible and they want the government to take their needs and desires into account when issuing oil and gas leases. Outdoor recreation in this country contributes $730 billion a year to the U.S. economy.

These hunters and anglers believe global warming is occurring and believe we have a moral responsibility to confront global warming to protect our children’s future. They also believe that global warming is a cause of the recent hot temperatures we have experienced.

From the point of safety, it is important to note firearms are involved in less than 1 percent of all accidental fatalities. More Americans are killed in accidents involving vending machines than guns.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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