Minnesota Adult Hunter Safety Course


Chapter 12: Wildlife Management & Identification

With the world's human population ever increasing, there is also an increase in urban and industrial development. Every day, thousands of acres of natural habitat are converted into housing developments, shopping malls, parking lots, factories, highways etc. Habitat loss is, without a doubt, the greatest immediate threat to wildlife populations. Some species such as squirrels, mice and skunks, are highly adaptable and can migrate and thrive in an urban environment. Others such as deer, moose and bears, for example, are not so lucky and need access to their natural habitat in order to survive.

Conservation and wildlife management practices came into being in North America in the 19th century after people noticed wildlife populations declining, and market hunting threatening species all together. These practices involve methods of limiting human impact on habitat, and conserving ecosystems in a way that benefits both wildlife and humans.

Generally these practices are headed by scientists known as wildlife managers, who conduct studies on birth and death rates of populations, animal behavior, and the interactions of certain species with humans. Through these studies, wildlife managers work with state agencies in order to adopt sound hunting regulations and conservation programs, as well as public education.

IMPORTANT! Hunting does not endanger wildlife! No animal has ever become threatened or extinct because of regulated sport hunting.

Goals for This Chapter

You will be required to show the following skills and/or knowledge at the Optional Field Day:

NOTE - the numbers listed below correspond the the program objectives listed on the "Firearms Safety Education Program" print-out, available in your exam center.

  • [5.1.1] Provide a short definition for the following terms: "wildlife management", "conservation", "carrying capacity", "mortality factors", "harvestable surplus", "renewable resource", "cover", and "preservation"
  • [5.1.2] Name at least three reasons why hunting is an effective wildlife management tool
  • [5.1.3] Identify at least three native big game or game bird species native to Minnesota, and three more migratory bird species that are hunted in Minnesota.
  • [5.1.3] Identify the males from the females of these species, provide daily and possession limits for each