How to Conserve Hunting Habitats

Ways to Conserve Hunting Habitats

­At first glance, it may seem like th­e best way to conserve hunting habitats would be to disallow human alterations of the area. It makes sense to let the area just grow wild on its own. It's true, one method of conserving land is by enforcing zoning restrictions and contributing money toward an organization that buys tracts of land for the purpose of wildlife, but it is not in the best interest of all landscapes to be left to their own devices.

It is important to remember that hunters are out in different habitats, searching for different species of animals. Some may be hunting big game while others are seeking to bring home feathers rather than fur. Those interested in conserving habitats will need to be aware of the needs of each area. Because the variety in habitats is great, you will only be able to get a taste of one conservation plan here.

For an example conservation plan, let's look at attempts to save the American Woodcock's habitat. American Woodcocks depend on early succession forests, meaning they need forests that are not overgrown and not too mature. A popular misconception about forests is that they should be left to their own devices. People seem to fear forest fires and work to prevent them, but in actuality, forest fires are a necessary part of the cycle of tree growth and maintenance of mixed growth forests [source: Ruffed Grouse Society].

A lack of controlled burns has contributed to the maturity of forests, preventing new tree growth and thereby contributing to the decline in woodcocks. Conservation groups, such as the Ruffed Grouse Society, have decided to plant new trees in order to create and maintain early succession forests. This will help build up American Woodcock numbers and preserve good hunting grounds [source: Ruffed Grouse Society].

Read on to learn why it is important to conserve hunting habitats.