Letter: Wildlife by the numbers
A few facts in response to Debra Carr's March 11 letter, "Hunters and the God complex."
Hunting is a conservationist tool. In thirteenth century China, Kublia Khan (AD 1259-1294) controlled the harvest of wildlife. As early as 1718, American hunters and anglers became concerned about nature and the environment.
President Theodore Roosevelt, a hunter, introduced legislation for managing wildlife. Of all his accomplishments, he had one boondoggle. This was when he tried to totally eliminate hunting on the Kaibab plateau, a well-documented disaster. In the early 1900s the future of wildlife was in question due to the destruction of habitat and commercial exploitation.
Excise taxes paid by hunters through the Pittman Robertson Act of 1937 have been in excess of $3 billion, plus $6.5 billion for licenses. The following is an example of what hunters do with correct wildlife management.
The Canada goose - in the late 1940s there were 1,200,000. Today there are 3.7 million. The white-tailed deer - in 1900 there were 500,000. Today there are 18 million. Elk: in 1907 there were 41,000. Today there are 800,000. Turkey: in 1900 there were 100,000. Today there are 4.5 million. Antelope: in 1950 there were 12,000. Today, there are 1 million.