Does Promoting License Sales Match TWRA Mission?

bloodtrailing

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This is from the TWRA website.
"The Mission of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is to preserve, conserve, manage, protect, and enhance the fish and wildlife of the state and their habitats for the use, benefit, and enjoyment of the citizens of Tennessee and its visitors. The Agency will foster the safe use of the state's waters through a program of law enforcement, education, and access."

Does paying social media influencers match the mission statement? Should the TWRA be advertising? What is the purpose behind this? Increase revenue, hunter participation, create a hunting destination...for what end result? What are your thoughts?
 

younggun308

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If license sales lead to increased acquisitions over time, great.

The new Tier II blind endeavor should involve reimbursement from the Feds. So it’s not a threat to capacity to spend in the long term. If TWRA enjoys sustained license sales at a higher level, we should expect either robust improvements to existing public lands (besides ones they get reimbursed for), or expansion.
 

Pilchard

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I am in full support of TWRA growing the awareness of outdoor opportunities in this great state. More license sales is a good thing. A more educated populous is a good thing.

What's the downside? Extra hunters in the woods? I see that as a positive.

That said, I was previously on the other side of this argument when in FL. There was a TV show that promoted tarpon fishing in the area I fished most frequently. It drove more people to pursue tarpon and they mirrored the behavior they saw on TV which was in conflict with the way I chose to target the same fish. Looking back, it was a positive thing because it grew the sport, even though it made my hobby more crowded.
 

younggun308

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I must be blessed to be too young to know the old days when almost nobody hunted public in this state. It’d probably aggravate me too if I could remember.

All I know is it’s still a blast. I about enjoy scouting for turkeys on public more than hunting them. Had a 2 year-old tom gobbling his face off 15 yards away the day before the opener (didn’t mean to get that close of course—certainly never called). Had another tom out of sight earlier that week, but close enough to “hear the chalk in his voice” as I like to say, when he gobbled. If I shoot one next season, it’ll just be a bonus.
 

TheLBLman

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I'm afraid there are no simple answers to these opening questions.

The situation with turkey hunters (and turkey hunting lands) is vastly different from the situation with hunters in general. Same can be said for waterfowl hunters and waterfowl hunting areas.

The circumstances are very fluid, constantly changing.

A few decades ago, we had more rabbit & squirrel hunters than deer (or turkey) hunters.
Never mind today there is no shortage of great places to hunt squirrels & rabbits, and there should be more squirrels & rabbits per hunter than in times past.

More recently, relatively more of the hunters have shifted more to turkey & waterfowl hunting, creating more pressure there.

But at the same time, hunting in general (both the number of hunters and the number of hours per hunter spent afield annually) has been DECREASING. Most overlooked may be the collective hunters hours spent hunting annually, as this is not reflected via the number of license sales.

With our current wildlife management models in most states, certainly TN, we need a certain minimal level of hunter participation to "manage" our statewide deer herds. As we have already seen in many municipalities and even some states, once the hunters collectively become unable to control deer populations, that control may become a "job" for government employees, not hunters.
At that point, the future of hunting (as we know it) becomes more bleak.

Remember, the super-majority generally has more "say" in what happens than the super-minority.

Hunters and hunting is generally declining more than increasing, and already a majority of Americans don't hunt, and most of those non-hunters really don't care about what we hunters may perceive as problems with our hunting.

Meanwhile, both hunting and fishing seem to be getting "replaced" with other forms of outdoor recreation ---- other recreation that compromises traditional hunting & fishing activities. It becomes a sad situation for turkey hunters when turkey season is reduced so that hikers and atv users won't feel "uncomfortable" with people out shooting at turkeys in the same places they're hiking & riding.

You want to know much of the truth as to why we're trending towards less hunting on many public lands, like LBL? It's not all accidental that the dates are being changed, the number of days being reduced, the available opportunities reduced (like no more "bonus" game, 1-buck limit, etc.). While some are blaming "trophy-ism" with the deer management, the truth may be more about increasing the opportunities for other forms of outdoor recreation.

It's kinda a fine line between having enough hunters and having too many?
 

TheLBLman

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I must be blessed to be too young to know the old days when almost nobody hunted public in this state.
That thought is somewhat a myth.

Many our public lands were more crowded with hunters in times past than today.
And to as why some were not, it often was because of something you wouldn't like,
such as no deer, no turkeys, so therefore no one was much inclined to hunt those areas.

Since you appear to be from around the Cleveland area, I can assure you the Prentiss Cooper WMA and the South Cherokee National Forest were more heavily hunted for both deer & turkey over three decades ago than today.
 

Buzzard Breath

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That thought is somewhat a myth.

Many our public lands were more crowded with hunters in times past than today.
And to as why some were not, it often was because of something you wouldn't like,
such as no deer, no turkeys, so therefore no one was much inclined to hunt those areas.

Since you appear to be from around the Cleveland area, I can assure you the Prentiss Cooper WMA and the South Cherokee National Forest were more heavily hunted for both deer & turkey over three decades ago than today.
Three decades ago, South Cherokee was still benefitting from different forest management practices than what is currently taking place. It used to be a chosen destination due to its deer population and habitat. It's now mainly mature forest with an extremely low deer population. A hunter would have to really like to hunting the mountains to chose it over about anywhere else in the state. Turkey season there is becoming a zoo with non-residents, like the rest of the state.
 

megalomaniac

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TWRA must sell licenses to fund itself. No funding and ALL wildlife suffers.

So sell more turkey licenses, kill off one single species, so the rest of the wildlife can benefit. It's for the greater good.

Problem is, I'd trade off every single deer, dove, squirrel, rabbit, etc for the benefit of the wild turkey. But I'm in the minority, and TWRA would fold.
 

knightrider

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Has anyone actually set down and went through the whole mission statement and the plans to achieve it? If you do its very eye opening and maddening at the same time!
 

AT Hiker

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Record number of NR license sales, record number of WMA quota applications, record harvest statewide and on WMAs...Id say the influencers are doing what they are paid to do here in TN. All the while; populations are in a decline, seasons are shortened, bag limits reduced and quality habitat is disappearing.

I have no clue how the above fits into any wildlife agencies mission but the money they are investing seems to be working. :confused:

I will say if you want a real world example of how well paid influencers work, look to Arizona. They did such an excellent job that the state is now proposing to cut tags and in some units completely close the OTC units they paid people to pimp out. 🙄
 

Hduke86

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Record number of NR license sales, record number of WMA quota applications, record harvest statewide and on WMAs...Id say the influencers are doing what they are paid to do here in TN. All the while; populations are in a decline, seasons are shortened, bag limits reduced and quality habitat is disappearing.

I have no clue how the above fits into any wildlife agencies mission but the money they are investing seems to be working. :confused:

I will say if you want a real world example of how well paid influencers work, look to Arizona. They did such an excellent job that the state is now proposing to cut tags and in some units completely close the OTC units they paid people to pimp out. 🙄
That’s what blows my mind, the record kills and spread of cwd, the lower limits but hey we need more money. In this day and time I don’t think we need record sales to have “outdoor awareness” to promote Tennessee as a hunting “paradise”. Gone are the days of learning about hunting at the local check-in station and meeting new folks to introduce them to the sport. We don’t need more hunters aka “killers”.We need more stewards of the land and well-being of the resources we have. To promote Tennessee as a “hunter’s paradise” will only cause more folks to come and kill but not come and help promote true wildlife conservation.
 

megalomaniac

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We need more stewards of the land and well-being of the resources we have.
I cannot agree with this more.

It's gotten to the point where most hunters (esp the youtubers) are all about taking as much as possible, with the only 'giving' back the increase in hunter recruitment and pressure. But those they recruit are also just 'takers'.

Sure this past few months the youtubers are feeling the guilt... post a trapped coon here or there, post an episode highlighting the precipitous fall of populations with a biologist, post on their FB site in the past week about how bad aflatoxin is to turkeys.

But those real stewards hunting on land they owned have been doing this for over a decade. You cant just expect to to throw money at the turkey via hunter license sales or NWTF donations and think turkeys are going to multiply like rabbits (well actually, turkeys seem to be multiplying as poorly as rabbits that have 20 coyotes per square mile).

If you killed a turkey this past year but gave nothing back to help the future population, YOU are the problem. YOU are a taker, and the decline of the wild turkey is YOUR fault.
 

Antler Daddy

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Record number of NR license sales, record number of WMA quota applications, record harvest statewide and on WMAs...Id say the influencers are doing what they are paid to do here in TN. All the while; populations are in a decline, seasons are shortened, bag limits reduced and quality habitat is disappearing.

I have no clue how the above fits into any wildlife agencies mission but the money they are investing seems to be working. :confused:

I will say if you want a real world example of how well paid influencers work, look to Arizona. They did such an excellent job that the state is now proposing to cut tags and in some units completely close the OTC units they paid people to pimp out. 🙄
Wow, their herd must have been hammered in places. Where is some more info on that topic?
 

th88

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Wow, their herd must have been hammered in places. Where is some more info on that topic?
Here is an entire thread on it at the main influencer's forum. And the influencer even comments on it. Anyone who is concerned with the pimping out and overexploitation of our public lands should give it a read:

 

AT Hiker

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Here is an entire thread on it at the main influencer's forum. And the influencer even comments on it. Anyone who is concerned with the pimping out and overexploitation of our public lands should give it a read:

I haven’t read that thread but thank you for sharing it. I’m sure Randy Newberg will have a solid justification for it, rightfully so. But, like other “influencers” he will probably mention something about “hunter recruitment“ or something along the lines that they would have “altered the seasons regardless if there was a increase in hunter pressure or not” (think of every state that has reduced turkey opportunities and overlay them with how many youtubers promote it, paid or not).

The whole situation is definitely eye opening. As already alluded too, social media has really compounded the gap between givers and takers. Now we find out states are paying influencers to promote the hunting of the resource and at the same time dealing with declining habitat and populations.
I understand government agencies are extremely inefficient when it comes to fiscal responsibilities but this mess is self created on their part.
The left hand is sipping whiskey while the right hand is going to AA.
 

bloodtrailing

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TWRA must sell licenses to fund itself. No funding and ALL wildlife suffers.

So sell more turkey licenses, kill off one single species, so the rest of the wildlife can benefit. It's for the greater good.

Problem is, I'd trade off every single deer, dove, squirrel, rabbit, etc for the benefit of the wild turkey. But I'm in the minority, and TWRA would fold.
But should they promote license sales? Specifically out of state. Should it be like a business where advertising is spent to grow revenue? Where is the line drawn on license sales vs hunting quality and conservation?
 

megalomaniac

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But should they promote license sales? Specifically out of state. Should it be like a business where advertising is spent to grow revenue? Where is the line drawn on license sales vs hunting quality and conservation?
That's the real question...

TWRA has done a great job overall in managing TN's wildlife. They just suck at managing turkeys. I've bashed heads with all their turkey biologists since the early 00's. The new crew seems promising, but slow as molasses due to analysis paralysis.
 

Willysman

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Three decades ago, South Cherokee was still benefitting from different forest management practices than what is currently taking place. It used to be a chosen destination due to its deer population and habitat. It's now mainly mature forest with an extremely low deer population. A hunter would have to really like to hunting the mountains to chose it over about anywhere else in the state. Turkey season there is becoming a zoo with non-residents, like the rest of the state.
You are exactly correct on the situation on the South Cherokee. Hunted it since the sixties and will continue to hunt it until I'm no longer able. Tree huggers have taken away forest management. In the sixties there was a good population of deer and turkeys. Started turkey hunting the mountains in 76. Then you never saw another turkey hunter. Today you have to leave home at 2 in the morning to get a spot to hunt. Extensive trapping almost decimated the turkey population in times past and it has still not recovered. Nor will it ever. No deer management whatsoever.
 
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