Anti-hunters Outnumber Hunters by Three to One


It’s like the 1% vs. the 99% ratio. This graph came from an opinion piece entitled, “Who Owns the Wildlife?” which starts out:

More and more we as a society are facing problems with how wildlife of all types are managed in the United States. We see increasing conflicts and polarization between hunting and anti-hunting groups. On the one side, invoking the pioneer tradition of our ancestors, hunting groups contend that the right to hunt is undeniable and is essential to the sound management of our wildlife resources. On the other hand, anti-hunting groups contend that the need to kill wildlife animals is no longer justified and hunting represents a next to barbaric act against living, feeling animals.

Long line of hunters on a mountain trail.

Long line of hunters walk a mountain trail. Hunters contend that they are the only ones who should have a say in how wildlife are managed.
[I just want to interject here that as a wildlife photographer/watcher, the parking permit I purchase (the same one that comes with a hunting or fishing license) allegedly goes toward enhancing habitat. I recently saw the results of my contribution when I pulled down what used to be a quiet road which ends at a river and found that the “game” department had built a huge paved parking lot with 20 lined, blacktop spaces for trucks and boat trailers. They also put in a boat launch with a brand new dock and installed a shiny new 2-seater pit toilet–all for the sake of duck hunters and sport fishermen. Meanwhile, they did nothing for ducks or wildlife habitat.]


On one side, hunters contend that because they pay the bills for the management of wildlife resources through their licenses and a federal excise tax on their hunting equipment, they are the only ones who should have a say in how wildlife are managed. On the other side, anti-hunters argue that moral objections to the slaying of innocent animals overrides any priority as to who has a say in these matters. 

And the arguments go on and on….


15 thoughts on “Anti-hunters Outnumber Hunters by Three to One

  1. Unfortunately, the hunters are correct (mostly) in their contention that they pay the bills for wildlife management. Even though non-consumptive users spend much more money and generate much more income for local economies, very little of that goes to the wildlife managers. And although the North American Model for Wildlife Management says that wildlife are to be managed for all Americans, game and fish departments tend to favor management policies that cater to their constituents, thus treating wildlife like cash cows. Non-consumptive users need to have more of a voice into how wildlife are managed, with an eye toward healthy balanced ecosystems, rather than maximum sustainable yield of individual big game species.

  2. Pingback: Anti-hunters Outnumber Hunters by Three to One | redemptionforanimals

  3. No Chris, the Hunters are not right, try this, add up your states revenue from hunters licenses, and you will see that there are subsidies coming from the budget somewhere. Then do the research of when they actually did their research for the data they use, you will find it is extremely outdated, and biased to the actual needs of wildlife. C.A.S.H. has alot of statistics to refer to. Peter Muller has written a plan based on real statics of “Wildlife Watching” generating 7-10 X’s the revenue for wildlife and Parks for everyone to enjoy. The “Hunter’s” want you to believe the propaganda they put out, and the only reason we have not been able to discredit them so far, is because, NRA buys the Politicians.

    • Dominique, I agree. But I think that very little of the “wildlife watching” money makes it into the coffers of state game agencies, and at least proportionally, most of their money still comes from licenses and Pitman-Robertson funds (from taxes on guns and ammo). This gives the consumptive users too much of a voice, and given that most state game agencies are staffed with consumptive users, there is little incentive to give the rest of us a voice.

  4. Most of the hunting is being done on public lands, which our tax dollars help to support. Thus, all tax-paying Americans deserve a say regarding what happens on these lands. Indeed, every American citizen legally owns public lands. It’s time for the majority to take our public lands back from the minority that is destroying the wild diversity that resides on them.

  5. The other 79% pretty much just don’t give a s***. If they did, something would have been done long ago to rectify this problem. If these numbers indeed be true and anti-hunters really do outnumber hunters by 3 to 1, the question then is why have hunters been so successful at swaying the public and government agencies to do their nefarious bidding? The answer, if we are honest, is perhaps because the hunters are more passionate, more single-minded, more aggressive, more ruthless about promoting their cause than the more polite, more accommodating, more law-abiding folk who oppose them. What’s called for is recognition that these “sport” hunters, whose stooges in government are today pretty much running the asylum, constitute an alien and intrinsically evil species of life, somewhere between bedbugs and pond scum on the evolutionary continuum, and beyond the pale of compassion or tolerance; combined with a grim acceptance of the idea that anything, anything at all, that can be done to thwart, frustrate or eliminate them is not just acceptable but a moral necessity.

    • I think it’s just really, really hard to organize people to do anything. The “right to hunt” and the way wildlife is managed is like a well loaded ocean liner – it’s going in one direction because that’s the way it’s always gone – Trying to turn it would take a really consistent, concerted effort over lots of time. We’ve as a society become uninvolved in what our government does overall leaving the as you say most single-minded and aggressive though often not the most correct or even representative to determine how things are done. Then there’s the NRA…

  6. Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife has a total appropriation for the next two-year biennium of $367,556,000. The Pittman-Robertson allocation to the states for 2013 is $376,308,000. So, if Washington F&W received all the PR funds, it would last two years. However, Washington’s estimated PR for 2013 was $7,257,378, or about 4% of one year’s budget. Total game license sales in WA were $16.3 Million in 2012–there’s another 8.9%. That’s 12.9%. Now, since hunters constitute 4.1% of Washington’s population, I’ll credit that percentage to them as citizens that pay taxes. Now, we have 17% of the Dept’s budget from hunting. That seems short of a majority of the funding.

    Probably more that half of the US Congress belongs to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus sponsored by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Foundation. Read the article, watch the video, follow the links, and then see if you still have questions regarding the political strength of a small proportion of the population.

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