Bowhunters United Protects Your Right to Bowhunt. Here’s How.
Cassie Gasaway May 2, 2023
The right to bowhunt is constantly being challenged in today’s ever-changing society. Bowhunters United, the premier bowhunting organization in America today, protects and defends bowhunters’ rights and represents all bowhunters, regardless of why, how, when or where they participate.
“We must advocate for bowhunting right now to secure its future,” said Jeff Poole, CEO and president of the Archery Trade Association. “It’s urgent. There weren’t many problems facing bowhunting 20 years ago, but there are today. And if the trajectories hold true, we’ll have twice as many problems 20 years from now. We can’t give up ground.”
Threats Bowhunters Face
Public hunting land might decrease by 2030. Photo Credit: Bowhunters United
Bowhunters are part of a broader hunting conservancy, and the hunting community is under multiple direct and indirect threats that jeopardize bowhunting opportunities. Let’s take a look at some forces chipping away parts of our hunting lifestyle.
- Urban sprawl: As towns grow, they overtake rural spaces, destroying wildlife habitat and decreasing public land access for hunters. According to a Yale research group, urban land coverage will expand 463,000 square miles by 2030, which is equal to 20,000 football fields being paved over every day for the first three decades of this century. With more cities and fewer wild spaces, places to hunt become harder to find.
- Societal changes:
- Environmental shift: In 2015, the International Organization for Migration estimated that around 3 million people are moving to cities across the globe every week, and approximately 54% of people worldwide now live in cities, up from 30% in 1950. Other sources estimate this will grow to two-thirds of the world’s population in the next 15-30 years. According to Grayline, today, 82% of Americans live in urban areas. As people shift from living in rural areas to urban ones, they often become more disconnected from the outdoors and where their food comes from. That societal shift could reduce bowhunting participation to the point that the sport becomes obsolete.
- Recreation shift: The Kaiser Family Foundation found kids ages 8-18 spend an average of 7.5 hours in front of a screen for entertainment each day. Additionally, the Child Mind Institute found American children spend about four to seven minutes playing outside. Research finds similar trends for adults. Because people spend more time inside watching screens than they spend outside engaging in nature and physical activities, it’s unlikely they’ll be introduced to or interested in bowhunting.
- Changes in state and federal laws and regulations: Lawmakers introduce bills that inhibit or prohibit hunting. For example, anti-hunters and animal extremists are regularly proposing “animal personhood” laws that would give animals the same obligated, bodily right as humans, which would make harvesting a wild game animal equal to murder. Ludicrous laws are becoming one of the biggest threats to bowhunting’s longstanding tradition.
BU Advocacy Ensures Bowhunting’s Future
Thankfully, Bowhunters United protects and defends bowhunters’ rights with unwavering advocacy efforts at the state and federal levels. We reject negative laws that derail bowhunting and promote positive laws that preserve bowhunting by uniting members, partners and bowhunting enthusiasts.
BU Focuses on Change in Two Ways:
- BU Uses Partners to Identify and Further Advocacy Initiatives
As an ATA-created organization, BU leverages the full support of the archery industry to safeguard and expand bowhunting opportunities. With all archery entities on our side, we’re aware of more issues, work with more partners and can correspondingly get more done to benefit our members.
- BU Informs and Engages Members Regarding Important Advocacy Efforts
We bring bowhunting issues and proposed legislation regarding conservation, hunting, public land access, equipment regulations, federal excise taxes and other bowhunting related topics to your attention.
BU’s advocacy webpage lists four to six current issues and keeps a log of dated legislative changes to provide education and keep members in the know. BU also informs and encourages members to take action through our Action Alert System. BU members who opted in to get emails receive messages with background information on issues. Then, with a few clicks they can send a prewritten message to their representatives voicing support or opposition for the issues.
Thanks to our partnerships, action alerts and efforts to inform and educate members, we make it easy for individuals and partners to take action, which helps preserve and strengthen the future of our sport. The collective voices of all our partners and members are much stronger than the voice of BU alone.
Get Involved by Joining BU
Join Bowhunters United and watch your membership dollars benefit advocacy and conservation on your behalf. Photo Credit: Bowhunters United
Join BU now to hold the line for current and future bowhunters. As a BU member, you help defend your favorite pastime, get important bowhunting-related updates, and receive action alerts on critical issues, which explain how to take action against potentially destructive policies. BU members are also encouraged to connect with us.
Your insights help us stay abreast of current issues. Connecting with us also gives us the opportunity to provide further education, connect you to like-minded individuals or partners and share news of critical bowhunting threats with our partners for additional support.
“Our members don’t have to act alone,” Poole said. “When members communicate with us, we can respond and engage the broader outdoor recreation community thanks to our platform and industry position. Our combined voices and efforts will create favorable changes and help people understand how important bowhunting is to individuals, conservation and the environment.”
Visit BowhuntersUnited.com for more information or contact ATA’s Aimie Loehnig at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have advocacy questions or want BU’s help addressing a bowhunting threat.