Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

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Letters to the Editor and Others

Hunting a Dying Sport in Utah

Sent to: Salt Lake City Weekly, Desert News, & Salt Lake Tribune.

10/18/03

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
Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561
201-368-8271

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