New Poll Released on Hunter, Angler Interests

A recent poll conducted by the National Wildlife Federation on hunters and anglers garnered some interesting results.
Hunters and anglers across the country are on average more conservative and tend to vote Republican and independent. While this trend may not come as a huge surprise, this same group when polled showed strong support for conservation, gun rights, public lands, making changes to the 1872 Mining Act, protections under the Clean Water Act, and concern for getting kids back outdoors.
Not surprisingly, 84% felt gun rights were extremely important issues, but interestingly 60% of those felt conservation issues were equal to or more important than gun rights issues.
An overwhelming majority believed that the Federal Government should give more consideration to fish and wildlife and recreational users before issuing leases to drill on public land (88%) and should conserve fish and wildlife on federal lands primarily for hunting, fishing, and other forms of recreation (84%).
Almost 80% favored the federal Clean Water Act and restoring the acts protections to smaller creeks, steams, and wetlands. Another 82% strongly or somewhat supported changes to the 1872 Mining Act to ensure public lands are protected and that royalty fees from extractions would be used for cleaning up abandoned mines.
Nearly 80% supported opening up public lands previously inaccessible to hunting and fishing, and a whopping 91% thought the lack of connection children have with the outdoors will be detrimental to the future of fish and wildlife conservation.
Maybe the most shocking data in the poll dealt with everyone’s favorite topic around the dinner table: global warming. While 72% of those polled identified as either Republican or Independent, and 87% claimed to have a conservative or moderate ideology, 57% believe that global warming is a primary, significant or partial cause of the high temperatures we’ve been experiencing, and an even higher 66% believed we had a moral responsibility to confront climate change. Commence blood-curdling debate…now.
While this is just one poll, it tells and interesting tale that interest in not only gun rights, but conservation ethic issues are alive and well in the hunting and angling communities. It also shows that hunters and anglers are seeing the broader connection between good conservation and public land policies and the rights and abilities to have quality hunting, fishing and trapping.
But do our elected officials make the same connection? It’s one thing to say that you are pro-gun, pro-hunting/fishing, pro-conservation – but when push comes to shove, are they making the policies and doing the things that allow for more shooting opportunities, better hunting and fishing, cleaner water and woods?
It’s an interesting question, and not a bad one to ask your candidates or legislators the next time you see them.
The link to the entire poll can be found here

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