The moral of the story of Frankenstein is simply: don’t try to resurrect the dead, lest ye unleash a monster. Just as Doctor Frankenstein hastily dug up a grave and extracted the cadaver of an oversized, freshly executed criminal with a defective brain and reanimated it, the captains of the hunting industry are trying to breathe new life into the dying sport of stalking and killing animals.
When I wrote my book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport, the most current data available on the popularity of hunting was a 2006 US Fish and Wildlife Service survey which clearly demonstrated that hunting was steeply in decline. Now, they’ve come up with a new survey, taken in 2011, which suggests that blood sports may be seeing a minor revival.
It wouldn’t completely surprise me, considering all of the hip new pro-hunting books out on the market in the past few years (versus only one anti-hunting book) along with a stomach-turning smorgasbord of wildlife snuff shows on cable television lately. Not to mention, the ever-growing popularity of camouflage clothing…
According to the new survey, the percentage of Americans who hunt has grown from 4% in 2006 to 6% in this, the second decade of the new millennium.
The current survey breaks it down as follows: “Nationwide, 6% of the population 16 years old and older hunted in 2011. Regional participation rates ranged from 3% in the Pacific Region to 11% in the East South Central Region. Regions with participation rates above the national average of 6% were East North Central, West North Central, East South Central, and West South Central.”
Meanwhile, their figures for wildlife watching are more hopeful: “2011 participation rates for wildlife watching indicate its popularity across the country. 29% of U.S. residents 16 years old and older participated in around‑the‑home activities. Around‑the‑home wildlife watching is closely observing, photographing, feeding, visiting public areas, and maintaining plantings and natural areas, all within a mile of home. Participation rates for these activities ranged from 24% in the Pacific Region to 35% in the East North Central Region. Residents of the New England, East North Central, West North Central, and East South Central regions participated at rates above the national average in 2011.”
Of course, the new survey could be a sham. As Madravenspeak suggests, “I am guessing that hunters gave their federal hunting killing pushers (USFW) a frantic plea to change the way they estimated the money spent by hunters versus wildlife watchers and how they gauged the numbers. I have been told you can pretty much swing a survey to the desired result.”
Either way, we, the non-hunting majority, can’t let the mad scientists succeed in their plans for a full-on resurrection of hunting.