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Joined: 09/29/2002
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NY Times reporter seeking interviews

My name is Kirk Johnson. I'm a reporter for the New York Times, working on a story about deer hunting in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut area. There's a lot of talk these days about the aging hunter population, tougher to get young people interested, etc. I'd like to speak to some people who are facing that situation, having hunted perhaps all their lives, but now struggling to keep the tradition alive in their families.

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Joined: 01/27/2002
Posts: 7916
NY Times reporter seeking interviews

Hi Kirk, welcome to the board.

There are a few from the region you discussed that are registered with this board. Please try posting your message in the black bear and whitetail forums if you don't get any response. Although they may not be struggling to pass on their hunting pastime. Wink

While demographic information does point to an aging hunter population, this does co-inside with a general aging trend for the nation as a whole. What would be interesting is if the hunter population was aging at a rate faster than the aging of the nation. That would say something and I have not seen evidence of such.

Nationally, there are some reports put out by various game management departments that show there has been a decrease in the national population of hunters between 1990 and 2000. I'll try to get some sources for you.

One thing is for sure, many native species (deer, bear, small mammals such as beavers, turkey) populations have exploded particularly in the North East in the last decade. The banning of trapping and conversion of once farm land to fallow ground is being blamed for the increase in game populations.

These increasing game populations are causing more pressure on endangered species habitat and causing more unwanted human/animal conflicts. A nice WSJ article documented this phenomena a few months ago, although I don't remember the exact issue. Some groups are even calling for more hunters:

http://magazine.audubon.org/incite/incite0203.html

There are states that are active in trying to introduce more young people to hunting. North Dakota comes to mind immediately with its YOUTH program:

http://www.biggamehunt.net/sections/North_Dakota/Successful_Start_for_YO...

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