Why Hunting is Good for the Environment

It’s not easy to see why hunting is good for the environment. It’s even harder to explain it to people who are set on thinking that hunters are merciless killers who don’t care about anything but getting their shot. It’s not black or white. Like everything in life, it can be as complicated or as simple as you make it to be.

The truth of the matter is that at the end of the day, there are quite a few arguments that support hunting. We’re talking about scientific facts.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

Conservation Funds 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a hunter who just packs his gear and heads into the woods by himself. There are quite a few things you need in order to be able to finally chamber your round. I’m talking about buying a hunting license and paying taxes for your hunting equipment, your guns, and ammo.

“There’s a tax on everything. Why should I care?” but you should care! The funds raised through these taxes go toward supporting wildlife conservation agencies supported by the state. About 60% of their funds come from the taxes and licenses paid by hunters! 

These funds are being used to protect the populations of many different species. Let’s talk elk; in 1907, there were only about 41,000 elk in North America. Today the population is well over one million. The funds collected from hunters are a very important part of what made this possible. In 1900, whitetail deer and wild turkey populations were 500,000 and 100,000 for the latter. The funds collected from hunters were funneled into conservation agencies that helped rebound them to 32 million and 7 million, respectively.

A portion of the money also goes towards research and surveys that are aimed at achieving a better understanding of the impact that certain animal species have on certain environments. As it stands, we can deduce that the environmental benefits of hunting are clearly there; and we’re not over yet.

Animal Population Control 

Why is hunting important?” That’s another good question we should ask ourselves when we try to educate ourselves and find out if hunting is good or bad for the environment. 

Humans have been here for a long, long time, and the way we do things has changed accordingly. There are countless lists that can be made in order to illustrate exactly how far we’ve come, but for the sake of our sanity, let’s stay on topic; we don’t hunt nearly as much as we used to.

As of right now, there are 15.2 million hunting licenses holders in the United States. 

Once upon a time, one of the most commonly hunted game, deer, was being hunted for food, pelt, and bone. Fast forward to 2021. We have food, clothes, homes, and a plethora of things that our ancestors could not have imagined even in their wildest dreams.

The result of this is overpopulation. This happens because less and less people hunt animals that were once hunted on a daily basis. This is more than a nuisance. It’s a possible environmental hazard for people and wildlife alike.

Just like with humans, once there are too many of any one species, the need for food becomes greater than the supply. The species becomes more likely to stare and succumb to disease.

This fact is only worsened by the constant expansion of buildings that push the animals more and more out of their natural environment.

This also makes animals more likely to wander outside of their “comfort zones” in search of food. Often, they wander into places that are dangerous to them. Take deer that wander into roads, for example.

Preventing the spread of disease

The benefits of hunting are also closely related to the prevention of disease spread.

As we’ve pointed out above, the large number of animals causes a shortage of food. Food scarcity among animals, as well as humans, leads to a weakened immune system, which causes animals to be more susceptible to becoming ill. Diseases can spread to other animal species, posing a threat to whole populations. Maintaining population control among species that are prone to disease helps protect communities, man and animal alike. Certain animal diseases can also be transferred to humans, which makes keeping certain populations under control even more important.

Hunting keeps things in check

A fact many people either don’t know or choose to overcome is that hunting is a necessary part of our lives, and more importantly, the lives of wild animals. 

Hunters take care of the game on their lands. It’s as simple as that.

Having stable and top-quality populations is crucial to hunting. Let’s take deer, for example; letting deer grow huge and valuable antlers takes anywhere from 10 to 13 years. In that timespan, hunters (we’re talking about the real hunters here, the ones who are ethical and responsible) take great care of the game on their land.

Poachers

Poachers are people who hunt illegally, to put it simply. Fishing and hunting without a license, taking wildlife on land that is restricted, or capturing wildlife outside legal hours and outside the hunting season, to name a few.

Easily the most hated part of the hunting community, which is ironic because they aren’t even really part of the hunting community. Poachers are what people think of when they say hunting is bad. Poachers are the people responsible for wiping out whole species solely in the pursuit of profit or pleasure. 

They don’t care about wildlife management and conservation. Hunters play a huge role in trying to undermine the efforts of poachers. They’re often the first line of defense against them, which says a lot about the ethics of hunters.

In conclusion

It’s all too easy to think that hunting is bad for the environment, but the truth is that hunting is a crucial part of managing wildlife and ensuring that it can leave a good, long life. It’s easy to ignore facts just because you might not agree with them, but at the end of the day, hunting is crucial to the survival of many wild animals.

People often find themselves hard-pressed to understand that hunting is about a lot more than just, well, hunting. That’s exactly why this is a very complicated subject. Most people never hear about why hunting is good for the environment. About how the control provided by hunting is immensely beneficial to both humans and animals. They don’t hear about the constant problem of overpopulation. People just hear about “hunting.” The answer is obviously more public awareness, but that’s a different story for another day.

 

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