The thing the member above seems to forget. Simple quotes from Aldo Leopold are quant, but they don't really discuss the issue at hand.
We live in a package society. They don't care about philosophical poems of dead people. We need to discuss issues.
We need to stand up and say "NO" and look at the impact higher fees have on our sport. We're driving more and more people away from hunting by our own DNR's.
On one hand, higher fees lead to fewer hunters, giving those of us who hunt public ground less pressure, but on the other hand, fewer hunters gives us less clout when it come to our future.
I'm sorry but it just feels like when we went from looking at hunting as a way to put food on the table, to an enterainment sport the DNR only sees $$$$. This gread and perspective has lead to the decline in license sales.
When a tag cost more than purchasing two turkeys at the local grocery store, the DNR needs to realize that the bottom line of most people won't justify purchasing a tag. The DNR sees it as entertainment and people will pay higher fees if they think it's entertainment as well. The DNR and Iowa Representives push the fees on licenses to levels which are too high.
I know some will argue that we need the money to fund the DNR. I agree, but the DNR should be focused on conservation, but they all seem to be driving new cars and trucks. I have yet to find a DNR officer driving a vehicle older than mine. Oh thats right, my buget can't afford a new vehicle so I have to drive used vehicles.
On my part, it's also hard to swallow the DNR's plea for more money when they don't spend much in southern Iowa. Go up north around Des Moines or Okoboji and see all the nice shelter houses, paved trails and roads, while those of us in the south are lucky to have a gravel parking area when we go out to enjoy our parks.
It's not just the DNR's fault. Just look at shotgun shell prices. I reload and know that their isn't much difference in cost when loading for different performance needs. Marketing has been used and by putting a pheasant on a box of shells the company usually doubles the price tag, put a turkey on the box and lower the numbers of shells to ten seems to triple the cost of the shells, putting a deer on the box and new advances in bullet design can make shooting a slug more expensive than shooting a high power... and you get 20 shells with a box of high power and only 5 shot gun shells.
I guess this is why America is in a resesion. We aren't satified with standard anything and pay too much for simple things.
Why my views?
My dad wasn't into hunting. I was blessed with two people who opened the door for me by letting me hunt on their ground. One was a church member and the other an assistant scout member.
I've spent countless hours on these peices of ground and treat them like my own. I've harvested many animals and learned a ton about wildlife. I even used borrowed fire arms trying to match the gun to the game. The gerosity of many has helped me not only become a better hunter, but a better person.
My fear is that hunting is becoming a sport only for the privaliged. I see farms being purchased soully for the purpuse of hunting. Acces is cut off to neighbors and even long time hunters of the property. The old school of letting people hunt on your property is being changed to No trespassing signs or paying for hunting.
The higher cost of ammo is also a concern. Growing up I spent a lot of time on the range, and I've learned that the more you shoot the better one is when it comes to harvesting game. It builds confidence.
The marketing ploys used by ammo manufactures, make people believe they can't harvest a specific animal unless you use a specific line of shells. The high price tag, on these special shells, leads most hunters to practice less. They have confidence in their ammo, but not in thier skills. When they miss, they blame the gun or the ammo...
Why is this a concern?
How will future kids afford to hunt? How will future kids find a place to hunt? How will parents justify spending money on hunting? This is already happening....
The number of hunters is on the decline. The median age of hunters continues to rise. Hunting regulations almost seem to be counter to promoting hunting for our youth. DNR's never give out free tags or licenses to young hunters.
Minnesota is the only state that I know of that actually offers classes not only to educate people on the regulations, but on techniques on harvesting specific species. They want people to be successful...
As hunter numbers fall, we loose more ground against groups like PETA and those who are against gun ownership.
We need the DNR to be a leader in promoting hunting and educating people on hunting. We need the DNR to open more private ground public hunting. We need the DNR to give out free deer tags to young or old hunters who pass their hunter safety courses. We need the DNR to educate people on techniques on harvesting specific game species. We need the DNR to be pro hunting and pro gun.
The Iowa DNR needs to look at other resourses of revenue besides people who hunt or fish. This well of revenue is getting shallower and shallower... the path the DNR is on will lead to a dry well and a very thirsty DNR. As hunters, we'll find our way of life changed forever and maybe lost forever.