**As published at Future Female Leaders
President Theodore Roosevelt was often quoted saying “The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak, so we must and we will.”
An avid hunter, fisher, and overall wildlife enthusiast, Roosevelt dedicated his life to preserving America’s natural wonders. It’s no secret that the sport of hunting is not booming like it once was in Roosevelt’s generation, though. In a recent study by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, researchers found that the amount of American hunters over the age of 16 has dropped to five percent; over half of what it once was 50 years ago. This rate is expected to continue to decline in acceleration. Hunting participation declined by 2 million participants from 2011 to 2016 to 11.5 million. Total hunting expenditures declined 29 percent from $36.3 billion to $25.6 billion. This is primarily caused by a shift in the culture of American life. Urbanization is occurring rapidly in even the most rural states. This has caused a limit on hunting areas. Digital entertainment continues to dominate markets and incorporate itself into people’s’ lives. This correlates to a posing issue with the age demographic of sportsmen. Nearly one-third of hunters are baby boomers. There is an obvious and urgent need for mentor and mentee programs, increased sportsman and outdoor education for younger generations, and an overall change of perspective on hunters. These issues pose an extreme threat on the environment, wildlife management, and how the United States funds conservation. Yet, leftists across the country demonize hunters, while simultaneously ‘championing’ environmentalism.