Episodes - Lessons
America's Conservation Legacy
America's Conservation Legacy

When European settlers began spreading across America's wild landscape, their guns combined with uncontrolled market hunting dramatically impacted the estimated 45 million white-tailed deer that inhabited the countryside. In fact, market hunting decimated deer populations to the point that only an estimated 300,000 deer remained in the United States by 1903. With such a downward spiral, they seemed doomed to near extinction, right?

But thanks to the birth and evolution of "wildlife conservation" and modern wildlife management, things changed dramatically for the white-tailed deer. Now there are about 100 times more deer, some 30 MILLION that now inhabit North America. Think about that for a moment… 100 times more deer today than 100 years ago. And today, the “whitetail”, as many people call them, represent the nation’s most abundant wild game resource and one of America’s great conservation success stories… all rolled into one.

So who, what, and when changed to reshape the future of wildlife populations in America? Watch the full Emmy-winning TV episode here. Or, for classroom or distance learning, explore the related classroom videos with special lesson activities in the "Educational" section of the website. In particular, explore; Managing Black Bears, Managing White-tailed Deer and the Birth of Wildlife Conservation.

This wildlife education program is made possible with support of the follow educational partners. Teachers can link to their websites for additional information and educational opportunities, such as their American Wilderness Leadership School Youth Program.

At SCI Foundation’s American Wilderness Leadership School location in Jackson, Wyoming, educators and students learn about conservation, wildlife management, and outdoor recreation through outdoor, hands-on activities. Their Hands on Wildlife (HOW) program provides educators with conservation education instructional tools they can use in hands-on instruction.


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