Deer Breeders, Privatizing Wildlife Draw Criticism from Boone and Crockett Club

Once a wild game animal, now a product of commercialism and chemistry.

Today’s upward trend in deer (and elk) breeding and shooting operations is reaching critical mass, compromising traditional hunting and conservation, and fueling a strong new response from America’s first conservation and hunter advocacy organization, the Boone and Crockett Club.

The Club today published a new position statement outlining its concerns.

“We encourage every hunter to read this position in its entirety,” said Morrie Stevens Sr., president of the Club. “The core topic – privatizing a public resource for individual profits – has the power to change the foundations of hunting and its historic ties to conservation. And crossing the line from wildlife to agricultural commodity represents a fundamental shift in American culture. We think the ramifications are worth considering carefully.”

The position statement also addresses:

  • Selective breeding, artificial insemination, regimented feeding and pharmaceutical drugs to achieve unnaturally large antlers in deer and elk.
  • Commercial values based on artificial trophy size.
  • Ethics of altering native wildlife and then shooting these animals in escape-proof, fenced enclosures.
  • Breeding operations’ potential for transmitting diseases to wild herds.
  • Risk of weakened public support for hunting. In a democracy, hunting exists only at the pleasure of voters. Hunting’s public image matters more than ever.
To read the Boone and Crockett Club’s full position statement, click here or visit the URL below.