- photo by Bill Buckley
As a group, hunters are more interested in wildlife issues and contribute more to conservation efforts than the general public, according to a study by Ducks Unlimited, the world's leading wetlands and waterfowl conservation organization.
In a nationwide telephone poll, Americans were asked about their participation in hunting, their interest in wildlife, and their contributions to non-governmental conservation groups. Those that identified themselves as hunters indicated a higher interest in wildlife and higher participation in the efforts of groups like Ducks Unlimited.
Hunters were more than three times as likely as non-hunters to participate in organized wildlife conservation efforts. Only 15 percent of non-hunters said they were a member of, or donated to, any organization dedicated to the protection or conservation of wildlife. But 51 percent of hunters said they belonged or donated to such an organization.
When asked how they would gauge their interest in wildlife, 77 percent of hunters answered "high," compared to 61 percent of non-hunters.
"There's no doubt that people who enjoy the outdoors are more committed to taking care of our natural resources, and this is evidence that hunters are the most passionate and the most sincere about putting their money and time into conservation efforts" said Don Young, Executive Vice President of Ducks Unlimited. "We certainly see this within our own organization. DU was founded by a group of concerned sportsmen 65 years ago, and today a large majority of our members continue to be waterfowl hunters who want to give something back."
Hunters were identified as those who said they had been hunting in the last 12 months. The study was conducted by Responsive Management, a research firm specializing in public attitudes toward natural resources and the outdoors. The survey results are based on a random sample of 1,000 adult Americans (18 years and older) with a sampling error of +/- 3%.