The government is us; we are the government, you and I. -Theodore Roosevelt

Hunting in America


On August 13, 2007, President Bush signed Executive Order 13443 to enhance hunting opportunity on federal public lands. The stated purpose of the Order is “to direct Federal agencies that have programs and activities that have a measurable effect on public land management, outdoor recreation, and wildlife management, including the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of hunting opportunities and the management of game species and their habitats.”

"This is a tremendous opportunity to help secure the future of our hunting heritage," says Bob Model, chair of the council and past president of B&C, "not since 1973 has wildlife and hunting garnered such positive, nation-wide attention."

Although Executive Order 13443 is not a silver bullet that will suddenly lead to better hunting on the 450+ million acres managed by the federal agencies in question, it does clearly direct these agencies to place additional management emphasis on hunting and game wildlife. The order also directs federal land management agencies to work closely with state fish and wildlife agencies and the federally sanctioned Sporting Conservation Council (Council) to aid in achieving its stated purpose.

The Council includes 12 leaders from the wildlife conservation community and is charged with providing advice to the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture on issues related to wildlife conservation and sport hunting. The Boone and Crockett Club can be justifiably proud that of these twelve, nine are members of the Boone and Crockett Club.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to help secure the future of our hunting heritage in America,” says Bob Model, chair of the council and past president of B&C, “not since 1973 has wildlife and hunting garnered such positive nation-wide attention.”

It was in 1973 at the Wildlife Management Institute's North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Washington, D.C. that the new wildlife policy was released. Dr. Durward Allen, chairman of the Institute's policy committee, was a member of B&C as were some of the other several individuals serving on the committee. The 1973 Policy set the stage for efforts to sustain our hunting heritage, focus on non-game and game wildlife, establish international agreements to support wildlife conservation, provide incentives for private landowners for wildlife habitat management, enhance range management and wetland protection, and expand public outreach and conservation education. The 1973 Policy was an update of the 1930 American Game Policy, which was presented by Boone and Crockett Club member Aldo Leopold that year at the American Game Conference.

The first collaborative effort to develop a vision for wildlife in America, one that is considered by many as the origin of natural resource conservation in our nation, was the Conference of Governors held in 1908 at the request of President Theodore Roosevelt. The Conference included representatives from federal and state governments who confronted critical issues including the use of our nation’s minerals, soils, water, and forests.

The recent executive order sets two lofty goals:

  1. A White House Conference on North American Wildlife Policy is to be convened no later than September 2008. The objective of this White House Conference is to identify solutions to those issues that currently impede hunting opportunity and participation on federal lands.
  2. A 10-Year Recreational Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Plan will be developed to outline concrete steps that will promote the stated purpose of the order for the next decade.

A work group has been established to identify existing barriers to enhancing hunting and wildlife conservation on federal lands and outline potential solutions. The efforts of this work group will form the foundation for the upcoming White House  Conference.

“Members of the work group are extremely focused,” Model said, “[and] there is broad consensus that the White House Conference and subsequent 10-Year Plan must be substantive and bipartisan if we are to be successful in preserving the opportunity for future generations to learn the passion today felt by so many for our hunting traditions.”



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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt