Bozeman, Montana. The Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF), in partnership with Conservation Visions and its Wild Harvest Initiative® (WHI), today shared the results of one in-depth analysis of the sharing of wild-harvested meat by sportsmen in Texas.
This first survey, Texas Wild Meat Sharing and Consumption Index Survey, was conducted by the WHI in cooperation with Texas Parks and Wildlife between August and October 2018. Its purpose was to gather information about the amount of wild meat harvested by recreational hunters in Texas and explore their subsequent consumption and sharing habits.
“This is unprecedented and important work, and this is just the beginning,” commented Gray N. Thornton, president, and CEO of the Wild Sheep Foundation. “Wild meat sharing is just one component of Wild Harvest Initiative. Another is scientifically calculating the total tonnage of healthy, organically grown, and humanely harvested wild meat procured annually by sportsmen in North America. This is why WSF is a founding partner of the Wild Harvest Initiative. We know why conservation matters. These data offer more proof.”
Two thousand seven hundred thirty-five (2,735) Texas hunters completed the survey, and 97.7% stated they shared their wild harvest. With 1.19 million licensed hunters in Texas, this translated to, on average, 5.8 million individuals annually benefiting from the wild food sharing practices of hunters, including 2.1 million individuals inside the hunters’ households and 3.7 million other community members. On average, hunters shared a staggering 42.9% of the meat from their hunt with individuals outside their households.
“We know that the benefits of recreational hunting extend well beyond the harvesters, themselves, and this is especially true in terms of food security,” says Shane Mahoney, President of Conservation Visions and Founder of the Wild Harvest Initiative®. “Hunters have a unique tradition of wild meat sharing that contributes meaningfully to the food security of others, including many, many non-hunters. The Wild Harvest Initiative® will quantify this phenomenon and the resulting societal benefits as part of its mission to provide a new, comprehensive valuation of wildlife and wild places.”
Other findings revealed motivations for sharing:
- 27.3% shared because they had more than they could consume themselves
- 24.2% shared because they wanted to help family and friends with their food stocks
- 14.0% shared to raise awareness of the health benefits of wild game meat
“Having lived and hunted in Texas for 11 years, I’m not surprised,” Thornton explained. “The magnitude of wild meat harvested and shared in Texas, and the motivations for these activities reflect a tradition founded in community and stewardship in the state.”
The next Wild Meat Sharing and Consumption surveys will be conducted in Arizona, Nevada, and Alaska.
For more details on this survey visit this link.
For more information on the Wild Harvest Initiative visit https://thewildharvestinitiative.com/
The Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF), based in Bozeman, Mont., was founded in 1977 by wild sheep conservationists and enthusiasts. With a membership of more than 8,500 worldwide, WSF is the premier advocate for wild sheep and other mountain wildlife and their habitats. WSF has raised and expended more than $135 million on wild sheep habitat and population enhancements, education, and conservation advocacy programs in North America, Europe, and Asia to “Put and Keep Wild Sheep On the Mountain”®. These and other efforts have increased bighorn sheep populations in North America from historic lows in the 1950-60s of 25,000 to more than 85,000 today. www.wildsheepfoundation.org.