That short statement sums up the appreciation I have for Indiana’s hunters and my fellow conservationists.
It’s often said that hunters were America’s first conservationists. They recognized more than a century ago that unregulated market hunting and habitat destruction were wiping out some of our nation’s most treasured wildlife species. The time had come to reverse that trend.
As President Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nature was given to us in trust for the benefit of the present and the future. We must render an accounting to those who come after us.”
It was the leadership of Roosevelt and others, plus the grassroots buy-in of everyday citizens, that made it happen. Hundreds of small hunting and conservation clubs sprang up across Indiana out of this mutual desire to see wildlife survive and thrive. National organizations – the Izaak Walton League of America, Ducks Unlimited, National Wildlife Federation among others – soon followed. State agencies, like our own Department of Natural Resources, were created and tasked with managing the public’s natural resources.
But it’s you, the hunter, who has done the most simply by buying a license.
Your investment not only grants you the privilege to pursue white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, pheasants or some other game but also supports research, programs, and public lands that make it happen. You are part of the Hoosier conservation tradition every time you buy an Indiana license.
It’s hard to imagine that a lifetime ago there were no deer or turkeys in Indiana. What a different story we have today. The DNR’s dedicated wildlife biologists and land managers have played an integral role in that transformation.
And it all begins with you, a license-holding hunter. The future of Hoosier conservation looks bright with your continued support. Thank you.
State of Indiana Governor
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.