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Zombie deer and our looming conservation crisis

The majority of funding for state wildlife programs comes from hunting licenses and taxes associated with hunting, fishing and guns. But a generational decline in hunters and a deadly disease are threatening the foundation of that wildlife management system. In North Carolina, a coalition of hunters and conservationists are trying to head off this looming crisis in the great outdoors.


  • Guy Gardner, Co-manager at the Harnett Area Deer Donation Site
  • Judy Gardner, Co-manager at the Harnett Area Deer Donation Site
  • Gabor Szentivanyi, hunter and mentor in training
  • Deet James, Hunter Engagement Coordinator at North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
  • Kip Adams, Chief Conservation Officer for the National Deer Association


  • Check out WUNC contributor Zachary Turner’s reporting on the efforts to recruit the next generation of North Carolina hunters.
  • You can find a transcript of the episode here.
Elizabeth Friend grew up in North Carolina listening to public radio in the backseat of the family station wagon. She has been reporting and producing at WUNC since 2016, covering everything from Army history to armadillos. She's also the co-founder of the beloved summer event series Audio Under The Stars. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the outside world with her family, dabbling in esoteric crafts, and cheese.
Jerad Walker is WUNC’s editor of narrative audio and podcasts. He joined the station in 2022 after nearly a decade at Oregon Public Broadcasting.
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