Sportsmen (and women!), hunting, and wildlife
Conservation Northwest supports the protection and restoration of habitat for all native wildlife (including carnivores). We also support science-based wildlife management and fair chase hunting according to the laws of the state of Washington.
Conservation Northwest supports the protection, connection and restoration of wildlands and habitat for all native fish and wildlife, including "game" species. And we champion rare and recovering wildlife in our region, including predators.
We also support science-based wildlife management and fair-chase hunting according to the laws of the state of Washington. In fact, we have several passionate hunters on our staff.
In 2015, we're partnering with organizations including the Mule Deer Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to protect and connect critical habitat for mule deer, grouse, lynx and other species in north-central Washington's Okanogan region through Safe Passage Highway 97 and the Working for Wildlife Initiative.
This effort seeks to maintain the Okanogan's working lands and wildlife heritage through land conservation, wildlife corridors, improved access for sustainable outdoor recreation (including hunting and horseback riding) and education about the importance of wildlife and wildlands for the local community. This new project builds on our experience working to create wildlife corridors for deer, elk and other species in the Snoqualmie Pass area through our I-90 Wildlife Corridor Campaign.
We also support efforts by state, federal and university researchers to better understand the impact wolves have or do not have on deer, elk, moose and other ungulate populations. Predator recovery and management needs to be successful for all wildlife, not just wolves and other predators. Solid scientific data helps make that possible.
We're working with Eyes in the Woods, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and other organizations to continue to host trainings and seminars around the state to help hikers, hunters, anglers, horsemen and other citizens better report and reduce poaching, habitat destruction and natural resource abuses that hurt wildlife.
To further combat poaching, Conservation Northwest offers standing rewards for information that leads to a poaching conviction in Washington state, with up to $7,500 available. Whether it’s deer, elk or rare predators, poaching is an unacceptable abuse of our shared natural heritage. No matter how one feels about predators or other wildlife, poaching is never OK.
Sportsmen like Teddy Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold were some our nation's first and most vocal conservationists, and their legacy lives on today. Most hunters have a deep respect for wild areas and choose to take their enjoyment further by becoming skilled at stalking and harvesting wild game animals.
For an excellent overview of the 'North American Model of Wildlife Conservation', which includes fair-chase hunting, public access, bans on wastage of meat, and conservation-oriented wildlife management, we encourage you to watch this video from the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and author and TV personality Steven Rinella.
When hunting is based on the science of animal population management, is done under the rules of fair-chase, and hunters hunt lawfully and ethically, taking care of and respecting the animals they harvest, there doesn't have to be a "for" or "against" hunting attitude. It is just another important way some people choose to experience nature and wild places.
More on hunters and conservation
- Modern day hunters, lifeblood of conservation - Lee Davis, Kittitas County Field & Stream Club President
- Predators, backcountry and their future - Dick Rivers, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
- Predators and prey - why we need them both - Joe Scott, Conservation Northwest
- Backcountry conservation - Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
A sportsman's ethic
Hunters take enormous pride not only in harvesting an animal in the field, but in properly cleaning and handling the game so that they and their families can enjoy some of the healthiest meat available anywhere. The recent movement to eat leaner, local and more sustainable meat and know where it comes from has been a common practice with hunters for many generations.
Despite many years of decline, including in Washington state, in the past decade participation in hunting has increased nationally, particularly among women and hunters hailing from urban areas. We hope this trend catches on in the Northwest and that the new generation of hunter-conservationists continues to grow.