Turkey Hunting Is A Safe Outdoor Activity

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Editor:

Turkey hunting is actually one of the safest outdoor activities whether you are talking about team sports, other types of hunting or outdoor hobbies such as mountain biking.

According to a report published by American Sports Data, Inc. that examined more than 100 sports and activities, hunting ranked 29th on the list of 30 in terms of injuries per 100 participants. Football ranked No. 1, soccer No. 5, cheerleading No. 6, baseball No. 10, volleyball No. 16, tennis No. 21, and aerobics was No. 25.

Experienced hunters are diligent in their efforts to make hunting even safer. Adults volunteer time to help teach hunter safety education courses throughout the state.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department along with other state wildlife agencies across the country are doing an outstanding job of educating youth to be safe hunters. In 2002, with 1.7 million young hunters spending more than 15.3 million days in the field, there were 77 hunting-related shooting incidents reported.

Statistically, the number of people injured or killed in hunting-related shooting incidents is similar to the number of people injured or killed by lightning strikes.

Hunting is much more than just a recreational pursuit. It furthers character virtues such as self reliance, responsibility, competence, discipline and resolve. It employs and awakens one’s senses and physical condition. Hunting activities help people to better enjoy the outdoors, understand the importance of wildlife management and conservation and appreciate hunting as an honorable pursuit. That is why hunters have been, and still are, by far, the foremost conservationist of wildlife and wild places to the benefit of everyone.

Hunting and angling are the cornerstones of the North American Wildlife Model of Conservation. These activities continue to be the primary source of funding for conservation efforts in North America. Through a 10 to 12 percent self-imposed excise tax on hunting, angling and shooting sports equipment, hunters and anglers have generated more than $10 billion toward wildlife conservation since 1937.

Though past conservation efforts have focused on hunted species, non-hunted species reap rewards as well. Protecting wetlands for ducks, forest for deer and grasslands for pronghorn have saved countless non-hunted species from peril.

Regardless of whether one chooses to actively participate in hunting or angling, people interested in wildlife and its future should understand the conservation role sportsmen play.

Gary Barcom

Mogollon Sporting Association

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