Here are a few ways you can help contribute to the future of hunting in America:
Complete State Wildlife Agency Surveys
State agencies often email hunters surveys to complete regarding their season and hunting satisfaction. They’re easy to scroll by in a cluttered inbox but sharing information regarding your season helps biologists and other state agency staff adjust hunting regulations to better protect habitats and wildlife populations, ensuring hunting opportunities exist for future generations.
Mentor Someone New
If you’re passionate about bowhunting and practice safe, legal tactics, you can introduce others to the sport by becoming a mentor. Taking new people bowhunting is a fun, rewarding and sustainable way to keep hunting relevant. Plus, you’re creating the next generation of bowhunters who can keep the tradition alive.
If you care about the future of hunting, you must get involved. You can make a difference through hands-on habitat work. Volunteer to clean up public lands, plant native species, remove invasive species or work on other outdoor-related improvement projects, like wetland restoration or prescribed burns. Connect with your state wildlife agency or conservation organizations to learn about nearby opportunities.
Give financially to state wildlife agencies, conservation organizations, and wildlife foundations and federations. All these groups can combine donations to make funds go further and be more impactful.
Participate in a Conservation Fundraiser
If you prefer to get something in return when you give, look for a fundraiser that gives the proceeds to conservation programs or projects. For example, the National Wild Turkey Federation hosts numerous Conservation Cup Golf Scrambles across the country. People pay to play, and the funds funnel into habitat restoration projects. Look for similar opportunities, including fun runs and food fundraisers that benefit the outdoors.
Attend a Wildlife Organization Banquet
Conservation organizations like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation or National Deer Alliance have annual events and banquets. Proceeds from ticket sales, raffles and auction items are put toward hunting and conservation efforts. Attend these events for a fun evening out while supporting your favorite pastime.
Attend Public Meetings and Hearings
Go to meetings and public hearings hosted by state or local representatives to voice your concerns and support for regulations and policies that affect wildlife, hunting and bowhunting.
Positively Represent Hunting
Only 4% of the American population hunts, meaning the other 96% actively watch, analyze and critique what hunters do at home and in the field. You must represent hunting positively online and in person. That means tactfully talking about hunting, carefully transporting your harvest, and advocating for hunting.
Abide by Hunting Rules and Be Courteous
Poachers put hunters in a negative light. Follow all hunting rules and regulations to ensure the public sees hunters acting responsibly. Even if there’s no rule about where to dump a carcass, don’t leave it anywhere people might be disgusted or offended. Always be mindful of the impression you leave. It will impact the future of hunting.
The more you do to protect hunting (and its traditions), the more likely these opportunities will exist for future generations.
Portions of this article originally appeared on the Bowhunters United website