Middle River Dispatches is a gumbo of posts about fly-fishing, conservation, politics and days afield.

Thank a Hunter

Steve Sanetti, the head of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, knows what he is talking about. More that three years ago he wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post titled Hunter Green.

While some of the data he cites may have changed, his points were spot on then and even more relevant today.

Good for you food.

Sanetti notes “wild game is organic defined.”

Wild game isn’t raised with hormones or processed feed or in pens, fenced enclosures or feed lots. Game meats are low in fat and cholesterol and high in protein. It is not the commercially produced mystery meat of fast food fame. Want to really know where your food comes from? Go get yourself.

Locavores? Around here, we call them hunters.

Hunters have always been locavores. It is what we do. According to the NSSF, 84% of hunters hunt in their home state. Where does food in your supermarket come from? It may have traveled as much as 2,500 miles or more from source to market. And who know what has been used to keep it fresh?

In Sanetti’s words, “we are model locavores.”

Healthy habitat for all to enjoy.

“Today, every state has thriving game populations in habitats that sustain hunted as well as non-hunted species. It’s a richness of life that many Americans enjoy regardless of their environmental persuasion. Yet most also take it for granted, unaware of the mechanisms that sustain this public resource. They see more wildlife every year but are oblivious to why that’s so,” writes Sanetti.

Much of  the healthy fish and wild life habitat and the recreational opportunities it provides exist because of hunters and anglers and the funding they provide by purchasing equipment. That’s right, there is an excise tax on hunting and fishing equipment. The excise tax money has to go to conservation, education and habitat. License revenue also go to conservation and habitat programs. Things that all Americans can enjoy whether they hunt or fish or not!

The voice of experience.

Hunters know the land. They are stewards of the wild things and wild places. The possess a first hand knowledge of the natural world. You don’t have to hunt to learn from them. They share their knowledge freely.

“As civilization struggles to balance modern lifestyles with organic, local, renewable resources, hunters are indeed among the deepest wells of expertise on the planet,” writes Sanetti.

Steve Sanetti does indeed know what he is taking about.

Check out the wealth of information on the NSSF website in the Hunter Green section.


  1. The Reverend Fowl ™ says:

    I feel that hunters who harvest wild game not associated
    with commercial crops should receive more recognition. It is a coincidence that
    commercial crops and genetically modified crops often occur on private property,
    however for scoring, recording, publishing and promoting hunting achievements,
    there should be separate categories and full discloser of animals associated
    with commercial crops.

  2. Tom Sadler says:

    Thanks for the comment. That one might be hard to implement and administer but I understand and appreciate what you are suggesting. 

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