Keith Mark on hunting and the funding of game management

Hunter Nation President Keith Mark discusses the conservative hunting advocacy group's perspective on how the economics of game management plays a role in wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation.

By Nathan Denzin | Here & Now

March 13, 2024

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Keith Mark:
Sometimes I wonder if these anti-hunting groups really care about wildlife, like they say, 'cause they sure don't put their money where their mouth is. You can look at the Pittman-Robertson Act and see how much money that the American hunter pours into conservation on an annual basis. Billions of hunter dollars go to fund your Wisconsin DNR, Michigan DNR, Pennsylvania DNR, Kansas DNR, all of them, their funding comes from hunter dollars. Does the Defenders of Wildlife put any money towards game management, paying the salaries of DNR in any of these states? Any of them? I'm curious. I'd ask that question. I don't believe they do. So if they truly do care about wildlife conservation in spite of not putting their money where their mouth is, surely they want to see a sustainable population of deer. Surely they want to see a sustainable population of elk and moose and all the other animals. Or maybe, and you know, I'm not saying I believe this, but I sure hear this a lot from some people, or maybe their objective is they hate the thought of hunting so much, they hate the fact that there are these rugged individualists, self-reliant, self-sustaining individuals that live this hunting lifestyle, that know how to go out into the woods like our ancestors did and procure meat, butcher the meat, cook the meat, fill their freezers, fill the freezers of their families, fill the freezers of their friends, Hunters for the Hungry and Catholic Charities and many, many, many more of these hunting feed the hungry organizations out there are feeding people that need the protein desperately. But if the anti-hunting groups hate hunting so much that they would rather decimate the deer, elk, and moose populations just so humans can't hunt them, then you'll never find common ground. But if they're honest, if they're intellectually honest, if they're spiritually honest, and they do want healthy populations of wolf, elk, moose, bear, obviously, John, obviously there is common ground to solve this equation.

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