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Before I started hunting I always considered hunting to be unethical. Why would anyone kill an innocent animal for fun? With time I came to learn that it was not all fun and games, sometimes it is employed as a measure to control the animal population in some areas. Other reasons for hunting is for food, pest control, and safety. By safety, I mean getting rid of animals that are likely to be a danger to you. So, what are the pros and cons of hunting?
The gradual change in hunting techniques has brought about very many advantages in the hunting scene. However, it has also dragged along several cons with it. Our ancestors employed the use of simple tools in their approaches, nowadays rifles dominate this field. The use of rifles is the most effective approach; however, the cons related to its use are not ones we can look past.
In the past, it was a necessity for basic needs. However, nowadays it is for recreational purposes and in some regions a competitive sport.
Pros of Hunting
Source of Food
The main objective of hunting has always been to get meat from wild animals. This meat adds a variety to our menu since there are thousands of species to hunt from the wild.
To those who are only limited to gathering, it is an excellent alternative to acquire a more healthy and tasty diet.
To the hunter, there is a lot of walking and hiking in the woods, creating room for regular exercise which has ideal benefits to their physical structure. Most of the woods where hunting takes place are untouched, clearing, and jumping over the blockades is an excellent exercise for your limbs. All through these hikes, they carry along with heavy weapons.
Apart from walking, the activity of holding certain positions for long positions to achieve a clear shot can act as an exercise to their bone structure.
Acquaintance with Nature
To call yourself a good hunter, you require to be one with Mother Nature. During the hunting season, hunters spend weeks in the woods. This amount of time in the dense forests will give them a better understanding of their surroundings.
Understanding the environment entails being familiar with animal patterns, habitats, and characteristics. You can track animals by recognizing their prints, and since I cannot yet do so, it almost makes me jealous of hunters.
Gain Survival Skills
Hunters get a first-hand experience with the wild, and this will improve their survival skills. At night, the forest crawls with vicious predators. If not a survivalist, you cannot last a night.
However, a hunter easily survives through several nights without a complaint. With their knowledge, they can efficiently trace water sources, and their hunted game acts as a source of food within and outside the forest cover. They do have weapons that can be reliable in case of attacks from predators. Having a better understanding of the forest enables them to avoid areas heavily infested with predators, avoiding danger.
Control Animal Population
Some species, if not hunted, can overpopulate and invade neighboring residential areas causing physical damage to property. The number of deer-related accidents is approximately at 1.5million, even with hunting taking place. These numbers show that there is a need to control the species population.
Not only do they cause damage to residential property, but some species are also responsible for the destruction of the forests. Some of the breeds in the wild prefer feeding on exotic vegetation; in the long run, these plants end up being extinct. Hunting these overpopulated species reduces their effects on their surroundings.
Cons of Hunting
This practice is a danger to both the hunter and the hunted. Hunting entails the use of dangerous weapons that can cause physical damage to humans themselves, mostly accidental. These accidents result in severe injuries and to an extent, even loss of life.
International Hunter Education claims that over 1000 individuals get shot during the hunting season in North America. I believe that an activity risking your life is not worth it, especially if there are other better alternatives.
Reduce Animal Population
Hunting is said to curb overpopulation. However, it is a fact that most of the animals hunted are not at any risk of overcrowding. Inexperienced hunters may sometimes take down animals whose population is wanting. In the past decades, at least 13 types of animals have been hunted down to extinction. Some of the hunters kill these precious indigenous animals knowingly, which is wrong.
Some of the approaches used in hunting are inhumane and cause unnecessary pain to the victim. A clean shot is what hunters aim for to incapacitate their prey immediately. However, some approaches made are not that effective; the animal may end up escaping wounded deeply. Environmental and animal organizations object to the use of these inhumane killing, and I do support them. Some hunters kill for the glory and not for the meat.
Some hunters are too lazy to go deep in the woods to hunt like the others. Instead they set up animal luring situations; this is not how hunting is done, and most organizations are against this approach. An example is creating a feeding station to attract animals; this is inhumane and heartless.
Trophy hunting is the killing of animals not for their meat but for fun, and Instagram likes to brag to their peers. Most hunters who do this often use very inhumane approaches to kill these animals. Hunting should be backed by a justified reason, if not for necessities. Our ancestors did not do that; why should we? In my view, trophy hunting is just disgusting and gross.
Does Hunting Help or Hurt our Environment?
The answer to this question varies with whom you ask. My answer is that it does not hurt the environment; instead, it helps. The disadvantages of hunting are vast and grand; however, the pros outweigh the cons. Some may differ with my opinion, which is okay. I hope that after this piece, you will see that I am not wrong in taking my stand.
Sustain Wildlife Population
One way in which this practice helps the outdoor environment is that it maintains the population of wild animals at an average. Hunters ensure that the species population is sustainable from one generation to another: efforts to keep the habitats clean and uncontaminated lies with them.
They support the wild in any way they can to ensure that during the next hunting season, there is enough prey to kill.
The tax collected in the issuing hunting licenses goes to the state. In the US alone, $5.3 billion worth of revenue was collected from hunting purchases in 2016.The states then reuses these funds to enhance wildlife habitat, management of parks, and conducting research helpful to the environment. This finding shows that were it not for the sport, some of these forests would receive less funding.
Room for Extensive Research
The habitats are not only helpful to the hunters; ecologists depend on these environments to conduct further research. A clean and undamaged habitat eases the research process and gives more accurate findings. This research is advantageous to every party involved, including the animals in their habitats.
Other groups that require a healthy environment are bird watchers and hikers. All these parties prefer different forest settings; however, all of them share a common goal. The shared goal is to have a healthy outdoor ecosystem.
Collaboration between Researchers and Hunters
Modern hunting has seen the frequent collaboration of research organizations and hunters in improving the environment. The forests are equally vital in both parties; hence the need for partnership arose. Having two parties work hand in hand is better than one.
This collaboration has led to tremendous developments in our environment—the application of research findings and hunters knowledge is one of the best evolution of this field.
In trophy hunting, the hunter kills the animal, not for its meat but its parts. Some of the parts trophy hunters look for are heads, claws, horns, or hides. These hunters use cruel and inhumane hunting methods targeting native species.
Numerous firms in the United States and across the globe are advocating for the banning of this practice. It is inhumane and painful, especially to the animals and to the wildlife. Research shows that over 126,000 animals are hunted for trophies in America only. If you believe that trophy hunting is wrong, take a stand and join these organizations.
Hunting Accessories You Didn’t Know You Needed
Hunting may not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, the benefits we get to enjoy because of this sport are uncountable from the juicy steaks to the sturdy leather on our articles of clothing. A decrease in the percentage of individuals who refer to themselves as hunters is visible. Hunters are growing older, and the young generation is not recruiting as expected.
Hunting has however more benefits to the wildlife and the society at large. I however find trophy hunting inhumane and propose that it should be banned if not regulated.
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36 years old, been hunting and fishing my entire life – love the outdoors, family, and all kinds of hunting and fishing! I have spent thousands of hours hunting hogs and training hunting dogs, but I’m always learning new stuff and really happy to be sharing them with you! hit me up with an email in the contact form if you have any questions.