Sent to: Salt Lake City Weekly, Desert News, & Salt Lake
If they could read the published reports, wildlife all
over Utah would be celebrating now that it has been made public that Utah’s
dwindling number of hunters reflects a long-term national trend and not a
temporary statistical anomaly.
The number of Utahans who continue to hunt is declining at
a rate nearly triple that of the national numbers. The past two decades have
seen the number of Utah’s hunters drop by over sixty-six percent, while the
national decline has been, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS),
over twenty-two percent.
Going back further, hunters made up 20.4 percent of Utah’s
population in the 1960’s, while today hunters represent only 8.6 percent.
Nationally, hunters make up only 4.6% of the population, compared to the 31%
who are wildlife watchers – those who appreciate our nations’ wild animals
without resorting to violence and bloodshed.
The 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and
Wildlife-Associated Recreation of the FWS disclosed that only six percent of
the nation's population over 16-years of age hunts.
It is becoming clear that the prediction of T.A. Heberlein
and E.J. Thomson, experts on hunting demographics at the University of
Wisconsin, is coming true. Heberlein and Thompson predicted that by 2050,
sport hunting could very well cease to exist. This latest numbers out of
Utah and those reported by the FWS shows that these experts were on target.
To the benefit of American wildlife, the end of sport hunting appears to be
no more than a generation away.
Joe Miele, Vice President
The Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting
New Paltz, NY 12561