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Conservation Trumps Energy Production in Nationwide Poll of Sportsmen

Photo: Hunter in Sunrise   Courtesy of: NWF
Photo: Hunter in Sunrise Courtesy of: NWF
October 8, 2012

CHEBOYGAN, Mich. - Anyone who thinks hunters vote mainly on the issue of gun rights might want to think again. A new poll of sportsmen finds the vast majority concerned about things like wildlife habitat and clean water. Most who were surveyed for the National Wildlife Federation consider themselves conservative or independent, but Michigan fishing enthusiast Brenda Archambo says their love of the outdoors trumps all politics.

"We hunt. We fish. We vote conservation."

Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed said the federal government should not issue any oil or gas drilling leases without first considering wildlife habitat and keeping public lands public.

Two in three believe we have a moral responsibility to address global warming. Archambo says in Michigan she sees plenty of evidence of climate change.

"We've had fish kills, ticks and Lyme Disease, West Nile Virus, the pine beetle infestation, the forest fire in the Upper Peninsula. We know that climate change is fundamentally altering our environment."

Matt Misicka, chairman of the Bull Moose Sportsmen's Association, says no one should stereotype the 37 million Americans who hunted, fished or did both during the last five years.

"I think this poll clearly illustrates that candidates of all political persuasions who are running for office, seeking to represent us, cannot take for granted the vote of America's hunters solely on the lip service they pay toward our Second Amendment rights."

Most who answered the survey want Clean Water Act protections restored, global warming confronted, and investments in renewable energy; nearly half say conservation is just as important as gun rights.

The poll was conducted by Chesapeake Beach Consulting. The respondents were randomly drawn from a list of self-identified hunters and anglers who also are registered voters.

The full poll results are available at

Mary Anne Meyers, Public News Service - MI