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By contacting the DNR, a large state funded organization that supports conservation and the protection of animal species in Illinois and the entire United States, I received a valuable insight on hunting from DNR spokesperson, Tim Schweizer. My first question to him was how hunting had affected his work in conservation. He responded by saying, “As a hunter, I value habitat and wildlife conservation. Being able to work for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has given me an even greater appreciation for the work wildlife managers do to improve sustainable populations of wildlife, and the support conservation efforts has from hunters, landowners and citizens throughout the state of Illinois” (2016). My second question to him was if he thought hunting was helpful or harmful to animal ecosystems. He responded by saying that, “Hunting is one of the most important tools we have for wildlife management in Illinois. Hunting helps maintain wildlife populations, preventing disease and damage problems that might be seen from overpopulation. Hunting helps maintain the balance needed in our ecosystem” (2016). My third question to Mr. Schweizer was what his personal opinion on trophy hunting was. He stated that, “Wildlife management requires balance; that’s why there are limits to the number of antlered deer Illinois hunters can take during all deer seasons per year (no more than two). Having a balance of the number of does (females) and bucks (males) taken by deer hunters helps keep the deer population at manageable levels in Illinois” (2016). My fourth and final question to him was what impact he thought hunting had on the DNR’s conservation efforts and funding. He responded by saying that, Hunters provide the majority of funds needed for wildlife conservation in Illinois and throughout the U.S. Hunters purchase hunting licenses and permits to provide state funding, and they pay excise taxes on guns, ammunition, bows, arrows and other hunting-related equipment that is apportioned to state wildlife agencies like the Illinois DNR based on the land area and the number of licensed hunters in the state. The funds can only be used for wildlife management, including scientific research, wildlife reintroductions, and improvements to wildlife habitat. The projects benefit all kinds of wildlife, including species that are hunted and those that are not” (2016).
I felt that my interview with Mr. Schweizer was very useful because I was able to ask questions and get responses back from someone who works directly to continue conservation efforts on a daily basis. This source was more helpful than some of my other sources because Mr. Schweizer had evidence from his daily work with the DNR to support his claims in support of hunting and trophy hunting.
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