In response to an Associated Press story in today’s Washington Post about the challenges hunting faces, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has replied with the following letter to the editor.
To the Editor:
Mark Twain once said, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” So is the demise of hunting (“Hunting Traditions Sag as Land, Desire Disappear,” Dec. 13). Yes, hunting license sales have declined in recent decades and reduced access to hunting land is a serious issue, but state wildlife agencies, conservation groups and the National Shooting Sports Foundation have countered with programs that are beginning to have a positive effect. Among those are Families Afield, which helps youth understand that hunting can be more exciting than a computer game, and the Hunting Heritage Partnership, which has provided millions in funding to states to create more hunting opportunities. The steep decline in hunting licenses sales has ended, and approximately 27 states have seen increases in recent years. With nearly 20 million active hunters going afield each year, the real news is that hunting remains a vital part of our American culture.
Stephen L. Sanetti
Newtown, CT 06470
(Note that the Families Afield program is a partnership effort of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and National Wild Turkey Federation.)