It’s that time of year again when hunters are blamed for killing our nation’s symbol (Another lead-poisoned bird euthanized at U’s Raptor Center.)
Instead of vilifying hunters, we should thank them for being the nation’s largest contributor to conservation!
Hunters also contribute to the economic strength of our state, according to Hunting Works for Minnesota, hunting creates over 12,000 jobs and has a $1.3 billion ripple effect on Minnesota’s economy. The licenses and stamps hunters purchase to hunt fund conservation efforts that benefit hunted and non-hunted wildlife. Plus over the past 82 years hunters have paid an 11 percent federal excise tax on all firearms and ammunition they buy, pumping millions of conservation dollars per year into Minnesota.
One of the biggest conservation success stories is the bald eagle, which was removed from the endangered species list. Annual counts of eagles were even dropped a few years ago because Minnesota has so many, only Alaska has more.
I think we should be more concerned about wind turbines, power lines and cars harming eagles.
Copper ammunition is more expensive than lead and may get even higher, as new copper mine approvals are held up for years with environmental reviews. Meanwhile, most lead ammunition uses recycled car batteries, you can decide which is better for the environment.
Warren Robertson, Zumbrota