Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™

B&C Fellow - Charlie Booher

University of Montana - M.S. in Wildlife Biology & Master of Public Administration - Projected to Graduate 2022
Project Title: Looking to the Future of Conservation: The Role of Hunting in Wildlife Policy


My path towards a career in wildlife conservation is a fairly typical one – I grew up hunting, fishing, camping, and paddling with my family and wanted to pursue a line of work where I might be able to ensure that my kids and grandkids have the same opportunities to pursue wildlife and explore wild places like I did. I chose to do that by studying conservation policy. In my time at Michigan State University, I had the privilege of combining traditional training in wildlife management and in the policy sciences. While I am originally from the Western Great Lakes region (Michigan and Wisconsin), I am grateful to have had a number of opportunities to pursue my passion for conservation policy outside of the classroom  and around the country by working for organizations like The Wildlife Society, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Looking to the Future of Conservation: The Role of Hunting in Wildlife Policy

Wildlife conservation in the United States was built by the dollars of hunters. Monies from the sale of hunting licenses, as well as excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, and archery tackle, fuel a complex system of wildlife conservation programs in both state and federal governments. However, the number of hunters in this country is rapidly declining, the sale of firearms and ammunition is increasingly unrelated to hunting, and contemporary constituents tend to express different values than traditional hunters. Given the changes facing hunters and the field of wildlife conservation, my thesis aims to address major issues facing the field of wildlife conservation by clarifying commonly used – but rarely defined – language surrounding wildlife consumption, compiling and analyzing state-specific responses to declines in funding for fish and wildlife agencies, and discussing issues for the future of the field nation-wide. 


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

-Theodore Roosevelt