On August 4 of this year, the Great American Outdoors Act was passed into law, ensuring $900 million annually for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, as well as providing $9.5 billion in funding over five years to support their ongoing maintenance.
This funding is seen as essential not only for those in the hunting community, but for anglers and explorers generally who enjoy everything that the Great Outdoors have to offer.
Hunting remains one of the driving forces for modern American conservationist efforts, with 40% of the US population over 16 having participated in wildlife-related activities as of 2016.
With an increasing variety of ways to hunt, is now the time to get into one of the great American pastimes?
Getting outdoors is one of the easiest things to do, but you’ll need to kit yourself out properly before your first hunt. Advice varies on the range and expense of the equipment required for a first hunt.
A sturdy backpack, high quality hunting boots and a means of keeping properly hydrated are all considered essentials. Alongside these items, acquiring a quality long distance rifle scope is key—which is, after all, what you’re going to spend the majority of the time looking through. For example, 22-250 rifle scopes are must-have investments for the hunting enthusiast.
It’s worth investing in the right gear, as you’ll be spending a lot of time with it, and they could make the difference between a successful hunt and an unsuccessful one.
It is well known now that the outdoors are good for us, yet fewer and fewer people are doing it. In a study of 12,000 Americans, over half reported that they spent five hours or less outside per week. This works out to just over 40 minutes per day on average.
Hunting trips regularly involve spending whole days at a time out in the wild, with little or no connection to the wider world.
If you’re looking for a way to digitally disconnect for a while, be it from your workplace or your city or your home life, hunting is a way to actively engage in a natural pursuit, adding a sense of freedom and adventure to your down time.
Hunting offers you the opportunity to put yourself back into a natural order while providing a way to develop a skill that can be honed and improved. giving you the time and space to reconnect with nature and maybe even yourself.
The Future of Conservation
Teddy Roosevelt believed it was our responsibility to look to preserve the natural world:
“The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value. Conservation means development as much as it does protection.” A statement as true now as it was then.
With fewer people getting out and experiencing America’s conservation spaces, hunting may just be the driving force for more measures like the Great American Outdoors Act.
Ensuring that more time and money is invested in protecting these spaces for generations down the line. Plus, it can also help more people get back to our natural roots and appreciate Mother Nature.
With more people taking to the outdoors for recreation, hunting can provide the perfect outlet for time well spent in nature.
So if you find yourself staring out of the window recently, if you are noticing a need to re-engage with your environment, or even if you want to take on a new outdoor pursuit, maybe give hunting a try.