Reports Afield

News from the hunting world

How the study of these big African cats helps ensure their future.

By Paula A. White


Hunting makes critical contributions to the future of wildlife populations around the world.

"Sustainable hunting will continue to be a major conservation tool in the 21st century. It conserves wildlife populations and biodiversity in general, whereas hunting bans can speed up extinction," said the President of the CIC Tropical Game Commission, Dr. Rolf D. Baldus, at a conference during the international IWA-Outdoors Classic trade fair in Nürnberg, Germany. The conference on "Hunting and Sportshooting in the 21st Century" was organized by the "World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities" (WFSA). The WFSA represents over one hundred million sport shooters from all around the world.


Women are the fastest-growing demographic in the hunting world

More women than men took up hunting last year, according to new data from the National Sporting Goods Association. While total hunters in the USA decreased slightly (.05 percent) between 2008 and 2009, the number of female hunters increased by 5.4 percent, netting 163,000 new participants. Growth areas for women included muzzleloading (up 134.6 percent), bowhunting (up 30.7 percent), and hunting with firearms (up 3.5 percent).

Data also show women outpaced men among net newcomers to target shooting with a rifle, where female participation grew by 4.1 percent.


Are Yellowstone-area bears really more dangerous?

By Anthony Acerrano

As hunter-grizzly conflicts increase in the Northern Rockies, one name keeps appearing in the accounts of run-ins, charges and maulings: Yellowstone.

That so many bad encounters occur "north of Yellowstone," or "not far from Yellowstone Park," seems to substantiate a general belief that grizzlies in the greater Yellowstone area—which includes hunting lands in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho— collide with hunters more often than bears in other regions.

"Yes, historically that's true," says Kevin Frey, bear management specialist with Montana's Fish, Wildlife & Parks, who works in the Yellowstone Ecosystem. "We do seem to have a higher number of conflicts."

In the last 4 years, according to Frey, 21 people were injured by Yellowstone-area grizzlies, and 48 griz have been killed by hunters.
Why so many clashes? The problem is not solely a matter of bear numbers, as some believe; other areas have as many grizzlies, with a lower percentage of conflicts.


Hunting Super Exotics Conserves Rare Big Game

By Matthew L. Miller

If the last Eld’s deer disappears from the forest, will anyone notice?
The answer, as is so often the case, is this: Hunters will. And they’ll do something about it.

Eld’s deer had disappeared from the forests and plains of Thailand, where they are the national animal. Poaching and habitat loss had decimated them, and none were believed to have survived. Of course, most people didn’t notice, because most people don’t even know what an Eld’s deer is.

Serious trophy hunters know. They know that the Eld’s deer is a striking animal, with antlers shaped like a streamlined caribou rack. A hunter wanting an Eld’s deer today must go to a Texas game ranch, the only place on earth where these very rare animals can be pursued.

If shooting one of the world’s rarest deer seems irresponsible, consider this: If Texas game ranches quit allowing Eld’s deer hunting, the animals would find themselves in far worse trouble.