SCI Advocates For Hunting

waterfowlhuntingfirstforhunters030614In response to recent media coverage attacking hunting, SCI began calling for hunting critics to learn the facts on what hunting does for wildlife and conservation, and to respect and honor hunters’ legal rights and personal beliefs.

In early September, SCI’s Corporate Secretary Al Maki, who is also SCI Foundation’s Conservation Committee Chair and a distinguished wildlife biologist, wrote an op-ed in the Daily Caller explaining the on-the-ground impact of the North American Conservation Model to both wildlife and local people. Contrary to anti hunters’ claims, Maki described, among other things, how safari operators use quota systems and that a quota is “based on population field surveys and is determined to be a sustainable off take that will not compromise the overall population.”

Maki also addressed the impact of human population and how hunters help minimize human-wildlife conflict to the benefit of both. “As the African human population skyrockets, more and more land is needed to support this growth resulting in lost wildlife habitat. Also, with the human population increase, poaching increases and big game animals are poisoned, trapped and snared since they are in direct competition with livestock,” he writes.

Later that same month, SCI’s Director of Governmental Relations Chip Burkhalter penned a piece for The Journal by IJ Review defending lawful hunters and criticizing those who “vilify and threaten violence or even death” to hunters. Burkhalter, who lived in Africa for six years, explained that he has a “keen appreciation for the value of freedom of expression,” but pointed out that the antis ignore the rights of hunters and obfuscate the benefits that hunting brings to wildlife, habitat conservation and humans.

Instead of the vitriol, Burkhalter challenged those opposed to or confused about the benefits of hunting to seek out someone they know who hunts and talk. “Listen to why they hunt and what hunting does for wildlife management and conservation. You may not agree with their opinion, or their argument, but we are a nation founded on the notion that people should not be persecuted because of the beliefs they may hold. Let’s honor that founding principle and have a real conversation based in facts and science – not reflexive hatred,” offered Burkhalter.

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