U.S. – Russia Part 1:
Impact of War on Hunting in the United States

Kenny Flermoen - TheInsideSpread

Kenny Flermoen

JUN 27, 2023

element digital - Impact of war on hunting - The Inside Spread

Category: Policy

The ongoing rub that Ukraine & Russia war has started continues to evolve by creating tension with the United States. Our aim here is not project if there will be a war between these nations, but what impact of war on hunting and wildlife conservation if conflict deepens. However, we want to hit this hot topic from a hunting and conservation perspective. This series will be discussed from variety angles over the next several weeks. Stay tuned to The Inside Spread’s Hunting New page or subscribe below to get these stories sent directly to your inbox.

As the geopolitical landscape continues to evolve, the potential for conflict between major world powers, such as the United States and Russia, is a topic of concern. While the implications of such a conflict would be far-reaching, one area that may not immediately come to mind is hunting in the United States. However, the effects could be significant, impacting everything from ammunition availability to wildlife populations and conservation efforts.

Hunting Cost

The first and most immediate impact would likely be on the availability and cost of ammunition. Many hunters may not realize that a significant portion of the ammunition used in the United States is imported from Russia. In 2020, the United States imported approximately 770 million rounds of ammunition from Russia. This accounted for just over 22% of all ammunition imported to the United States that year. In the event of a conflict, these imports would almost certainly be halted, leading to a shortage of ammunition.

This would not only affect hunters but also those who participate in shooting sports or use firearms for personal protection. The shortage would likely drive up prices, making hunting a more expensive endeavor and potentially pricing out some individuals..

Moreover, the impact of war on hunting could lead to increased domestic production of ammunition to fill the gap left by the loss of imports. However, ramping up production takes time and resources, and the initial shortage could last for several months or even years. Additionally, increased production could lead to environmental concerns, as the manufacture of ammunition involves the use of heavy metals and other pollutants.

Impact on Wildlife Populations

The potential impact of war on hunting could also have indirect effects through its impact on wildlife populations. For instance, if a war led to economic downturns, funding for wildlife conservation could be reduced. This could lead to decreases in wildlife populations, as less money would be available for habitat preservation, anti-poaching efforts, and other conservation initiatives. In turn, this could lead to fewer hunting opportunities.

Furthermore, a conflict could lead to changes in migration patterns for certain species. For example, if military activities were to occur in Alaska, which shares a border with Russia, it could disrupt the migration patterns of species such as caribou. This could have a knock-on effect on predator populations, including bears and wolves, which could then impact hunting in those areas.

Additionally, a conflict could potentially lead to increased domestic hunting pressure. If a war resulted in economic hardship, more people might turn to hunting as a source of food. This could lead to overhunting of certain species, further impacting wildlife populations and potentially leading to more stringent hunting regulations.

Psychological Impacts

The psychological impact of a conflict should not be underestimated. Hunting is often seen as a leisure activity, a way to connect with nature and escape from the stresses of daily life. In a time of war, the public’s focus would likely shift away from such activities. This could lead to a decrease in hunting license sales, further reducing funding for wildlife conservation.

At face value, while the impact of war on hunting in the United States may not be the most immediate concern, the potential effects are significant. From ammunition shortages to changes in wildlife populations and conservation efforts, such a conflict could change the face of hunting in the U.S. As always, it’s crucial for hunters and conservationists to stay informed about these issues and advocate for policies that protect our wildlife and the future of hunting.

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