The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains that Hunting Is Conservation. There are many vital links between hunters and conservation efforts from coast to coast.
Hunters spend much time afield and can serve as the eyes and ears for biologists and game wardens alike. State wildlife agencies often conduct post-hunt surveys by asking hunters about species they saw or did not see while hunting. Hunters also spot unethical or illegal activity and report such to wardens or game agencies.
An editorial by the Yakima Herald spells out the important role hunters play in assisting biologists and scientists as they gather more information on hoof disease that affects elk populations.
“Their efforts will depend on hunters in the field. The state has used volunteers to seek out diseased elk, and elk-hunting permit holders who fill out annual hunting reports also see a question about elk hoof disease,” the editorial states. “Hunters can perform a valuable service by helping scientists gather information to prevent further outbreaks — and perhaps find a cure.”
Wildlife managers in Washington recently found an elk infected with the crippling disease east of the Cascade Range for the first time.
(Photo source: Barbara Claybo Haight)