Neb. (KCAU) – There’s no place conservation officer Brian Stehr would rather be than the great outdoors. “It’s just kind of peaceful and quiet and away from cell phones and electronics,” says Stehr.
But recent studies show less and less of the population would want to join him.
Nebraska Game and Parks public information officer, Greg Wagner says, “A lot of our youth are indoors. They’re not experiencing outdoor activities like a lot of us did.”
And with more people choosing to stay inside on their downtime, hunting participation is rapidly declining.
According to a survey done by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, between 2011 and 2016, there were 2.2 million fewer hunters. Putting some animals at risk for overpopulation.
Stehr says, “Hunting is beneficial to control the population of deer and other species so disease and stuff like that does not become more of a problem.”
State Hunting licenses also provide critical funding for wildlife management positions.
Ironically enough though, in order to increase hunting in the state, Nebraska Game and Parks wants you to get back online.
Wagner says, “It’s a challenge. You go online you take a pledge to take someone new or that person or that person that’s lapsed for a while back out to the field out hunting.”
The new program is called “Take em hunting.” All you need to do is snap a picture while you and your partner are out hunting and post it to the online challenge. Putting you in the running for dozens of prizes.
Wagner lists, “Hunting gear, overnight park stays and the grand prize which is a john deer UTV.”
Along with the guaranteed prize of carrying on a long-standing tradition.
Stehr says, “Get them involved at an early age and get them a good experience. They’re more likely to continue later on in life.”