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Fishing News - 1/22/04

Fund for Animals, a anti-hunting group, crows that hunting is on the way out. What do they claim about fishing?  Are the fish we catch "victims" too?

STATE OF HUNTING: DECLINE CONTINUES WITH FEWER HUNTERS KILLING FEWER
VICTIMS, REPORT REVEALS

SILVER SPRING, MD (January 21, 2004) -- Following last night's State of the Union address by President Bush, The Fund for Animals released a new report today on "The State of Hunting in America." The report, titled "A Dying Sport," reveals that the decline in hunting which began in the 1970s is continuing unabated in the 21st century despite intense efforts by the hunting industry to recruit new hunters. The report utilizes statistics provided by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and
state wildlife agencies to document the ongoing drop-off in both the number of hunters and the number of hunting victims.

During the 2002-03 hunting season, hunters killed 115 million animals, a decline of 42% in the 14 years since the 1988-89 season, when hunters killed 200 million. The most victimized species is the mourning dove, of whom 22.7 million were killed in 2002-03, followed by squirrels with 22.6 million. By contrast, deer represented only 6% of hunting victims, with 6.4 million killed.

According to Michael Markarian, president of The Fund for Animals, "While only 6% of hunting victims are deer, who are typically perceived to be 'overpopulated,' 40% are doves and squirrels who don't cause car accidents, don't provide meat on their tiny bodies, and don't need to be 'culled' or 'managed' in any way. So-called 'wildlife management' is just a ploy to mislead the public into believing that sport hunting performs some useful function. But thankfully, killing wildlife for fun
is on its way out."

This decline in the number of victims has been accompanied by a decline in the number of hunters. In 1991 there were 14 million hunters age 16 or older. By 2001, the latest year for which statistics are available, that number had fallen to 13 million, a decline of 7%, or nearly 1% per year.

The report also revealed that in 2001, 66 million wildlife watchers spent $38.4 billion on their hobby, while 13 million hunters spent only $21.6 billion.  

Said Heidi Prescott, national director of The Fund for Animals, "Hunters like to brag about how much they contribute to the economy. But wildlife watchers contribute almost twice as much. And when the hunters are in the woods, the wildlife watchers stay home. State wildlife agencies should stop catering to the hunting lobby and start paying more attention to wildlife watchers."

Read more of their stuff at http://www.fund.org/

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