Even as turkey populations nationwide have declined, turkey hunters have remained optimistic. That attitude stands in contrast to hunters overall, particularly deer hunters, who seem grumpier all the time. Game agencies weigh these attitudes as they seek ways to reduce turkey harvests without reducing hunter satisfaction.
Harvest data from Western states and provinces suggest shooting more bucks one year reduces the prevalence of chronic wasting disease the next. What’s more, the pressure on the buck segment seems to be more effective if the harvest occurs near or during the rut.
In 1949, your NRA developed a program that became the basis for hunter education nationwide. Today, as new modes of communication allow such education to reach even further, your NRA crafted a new hunter education curriculum and offered it to the hunting world free of charge.
In 2013, only weeks before the annual “Harrisburg show” was to begin, the event’s producer announced it had banned the sale or display of AR-style rifles. The sporting world was angered, and responded en masse to force a boycott. A year later, the NRA stepped in to rebrand the event the Great American Outdoor Show.
In 1985, we launched a program to facilitate friendly competition among youths 18 and younger that would advance hunting skills including wildlife identification, orienteering and rifle, shotgun and archery marksmanship. Today, thousands of hunter education volunteers and parents still conduct this program at the state and local level to produce safer, more skillful and more ardent American hunters.
In 1949, New York asked the National Rifle Association for help to improve hunter safety afield. The four-hour course that followed was a “pioneer effort” that has saved lives ever since. Today, no one can imagine American hunting without hunter education as a prudent rite of passage.
Theodore Roosevelt, our 26th president, was perhaps the most forward-thinking hunter-conservationist in our nation’s history. He also was an NRA Life member. Learn how his vision and leadership created what today we call the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.
Through the remarkable vision of conservationists including NRA members, Americans today see wildlife thriving from sea to sea.