By Joel Hodgdon, Central Midwestern States Coordinator
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism recently reported that the state’s 2017 hunting seasons concluded with a record low number of hunting-related injuries. Department staff attribute the record low number of injuries in recent years to the ongoing efforts of Kansas’s 1,400 plus hunter education instructor volunteers.
“I’d like to commend our state’s 527,000 sportsmen and women, as well as [Department] staff and volunteers, for another safe hunting season,” said Department Secretary Robin Jennison. “I’m looking forward to another enjoyable and safe season this fall.”
Kansas’s impressive hunting safety numbers mirror national trends showing hunting to be among the safest activities in America. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, statistics show that hunting with firearms is three times safer than tennis, mountain biking, water skiing, and golf. A person is 50 times more likely to be injured playing basketball than hunting, and over 125 times more likely to be injured playing football.
Hunters and anglers in Kansas spend over $629 million annually on their outdoor pursuits, and this spending supports close to 10,000 jobs in the state. In 2017 alone, Kansas sportsmen and women also contributed over $43 million towards conservation funding in the state.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?