wildlife and habitat protection was followed albeit on a smaller scale in many

Wildlife and habitat protection was followed albeit

This preview shows page 6 - 7 out of 12 pages.

wildlife and habitat protection was followed, albeit on a smaller scale, in many areas across the eastern United States. Sportsmen used the Press of the early 1870s in their efforts to conserve wildlife. American Sportsman, Forest and Stream, and Field and Stream were periodicals estab- lished then. These papers not only related hunting and fi shing stories, but described the natural history of wildlife and published articles de fi ning the character of a sportsman, extolling the virtues of fair chase, and lambasting market hunters for destroying North America s wildlife heritage [ 21 ]. These papers supported legislation to limit deer harvest, and to change public attitudes from a strictly utilitarian view of wildlife to a richer set of values celebrating the virtues of sport hunting. In the late 1800s the Boone and Crockett Club (B&CC) promoted wildlife and habitat conservation, especially North American big game. In addition to securing National Parks, National Forests, and National Wildlife Refuges that supported conservation of white-tailed deer, the B&CC acted speci fi cally on behalf of deer. In the 1890s, Club members worked through the New York state legislative process to eliminate night- and hound-hunting of deer, actions that soon cascaded through other eastern states to limit these controversial hunting methods [ 12 ]. The patchy distribution of white-tailed deer across the continent during the late 1800s and early 1900s meant there were large areas of suitable habitat devoid of deer. Scattered reintroductions of white-tailed deer into these areas began in the 1870s and 1880s [ 22 ]. Early reintroductions in eight states were conducted by private individuals interested in establishing deer herds that could eventually be hunted. Restocking efforts picked up in the early 1900s as state game agencies became established. The Pisgah National Game Preserve in western North Carolina, established in 1916 from property of George Vander- bilt, was instrumental in helping reestablish deer in at least eight states from Pennsylvania to Mississippi [ 22 ]. After the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act in 1937, restocking efforts expanded greatly because hunter-generated funds were now available to support wildlife restoration. Translocations of over 105,000 white-tailed deer have been documented in the United States since 1878, with about 100,000 occurring after 1937 [ 22 ]. All these reintroductions were promoted and fi nancially supported by hunters. In the 1940s, the Key deer, a diminutive race of white-tailed deer in the Florida Keys, had declined to fewer than 50 individuals [ 1 ]. The B&CC recognized that poaching and a poor understanding of the population s ecology threatened to extirpate this unique sub- species. In 1950 the B&CC put US$5000 toward hiring a biologist to patrol the islands where Key deer were found until more permanent protection could be secured. Although it took seven more years, authorization for a National Wildlife Refuge was passed by the US
Image of page 6
Image of page 7

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture