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True Conservationists “Hunters” By Gary Howey

 For years, we’ve all heard anti-hunters yell and scream about animals having rights and that hunters don’t care about wildlife.

  I’m sure there are some of you reading this, may think what these anti-hunting groups are saying could be factual.

  When in fact, it was hunters supported the 1937 Pitman Robertson Act, which imposed a 10% excise tax on their purchases of guns, ammunition and outdoor equipment. Through this excise tax, hunters have contributed over $4-billion dollars used to purchase millions of acres of public land that benefits all species of wildlife.

   Another fact you may not heard is that hunters since 1923 asked for and have paid for their state’s hunting licenses.

  This amounts to over $6.5-billion dollars received from these licensing fees, that’s paid for by hunters, the dollars raised from these fees are a major portion of the Nebraska’s and South Dakota’s Game & Parks and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources budgets.

  Since 1934, our waterfowl hunters purchased their Federal Duck Stamps, bringing in close to 800-million dollars, with a percentage of these dollars going directly towards the purchase or lease wetlands and wildlife habitat.

  Add to this the dollars donated by hunters to wildlife groups such as Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Whitetails Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and others, they contribute an additional $300-million each year to wildlife conservation activities. 

  Other items that enter into these figures according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, is that hunting contributes over $30-billion to the economy every year and supports over 1-million jobs

 There are many ways hunters not only support wildlife but also contribute to other worthwhile programs, including numerous fundraisers such as celebrity hunts and benefit trap shoots. These hunters and celebrities at these events help to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. These events do not just support hunting related projects, but projects such as Habitat for Humanity and other events, proving hunters not only care about the outdoors and wildlife; they also care about their fellow man. [Read more…]

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Learning from the Outdoors By Gary Howey

  I’ve been serious outdoorsmen for over 40 years, each time I go out, I learn a lot from my trips to the field as well as those on the water.

  When I first got into the outdoors, I did it because I thought it would be a great way to get away from it all, those little problems, molehills that I’d blown way out of proportion, making them seem like huge mountains.

  I’m sure that some people just think that hunters and anglers do what they do because they enjoy eating what they harvest.

  To a certain extent that’s true, but too many, like myself, it’s more than that!

  It’s the experience as a whole, an opportunity to spend time in the outdoors.  Where we can enjoy all that Mother Nature has put together and have an opportunity to spend time with individuals who have the same interest that you have.

  I’ve learned from spending time in the outdoors is that there are some people I truly enjoy hunting and fishing with.

  While others, I’d never want to spend time with because of some of the things they do and their complete disrespect for the game & fish they’re after.

  It seems that some people don’t understand why we have limits, while others are down right dangerous when you put a gun in their hand or put them behind the steering wheel in a boat.

  One question that continually comes up at my seminars and personal appearances is why we release so many fish on our television show.  I’m sure that some people believe it’s because we’re fishing all the time and our freezers are probably full of fish.

  Nothing could be further from the truth; we release them because we’ve learned in order to have fish to catch on the next trip, we need to release some of them today.

  If we release some of the fish, especially the larger ones, it will allow those fish, the breeders to reproduce another year and there will be more down the road for us to catch.

  Perhaps that fish we release today will be an even bigger trophy the next time we catch it. [Read more…]