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Importance of America’s Hunting Culture

Pheasant hunting in North Dakota

The media often demonizes hunting.

You see it all the time. Media outlets focus on highlighting egocentric hunters who poise defiantly over their slain game, creating the portrayal of hunting as merciless and barbaric. Rarely do you see the other side of hunting, not just as a sport, but as a socially relevant way of life. Hunting actually yields many benefits within American society, both in wildlife management and conservation, through financial contributions and in promoting organic lifestyles.

Wildlife Management and Conservation

In many U.S. cities like Austin, Texas, urban sprawl has caused ecological unbalance in species such as whitetail deer. When humans spread out into lesser populated areas, they chased off many of the species’ natural predators causing huge influxes in deer population, which in effect, causes overgrazing. This overgrazing leads to the demise of other creatures within the same ecosystem by diminishing their food sources. So, as a means of wildlife management, hunting contributes to equalizing wildlife populations, ensuring that species numbers fall under what the land can support, it curtails crop damage and and it lessens the chances of disease outbreaks.

If you want to help in conservation, you cannot just grab a rifle and head out into the wilderness. Hunting is carefully monitored in each state to ensure your safety and the safety of others. If you want to become a hunter, you need to take the mandated hunter education course. You will also require a hunting license valid in your state of residence.

Economic Benefits of Hunting

It is through state licenses and fees that hunters end up contributing more than $795 million annually toward conservation programs, according to Sportsmenslink.org. In 1937, hunters not only accepted but requested an 11 percent tax on bows, arrows, guns and ammo to help support conservation efforts. So far, that tax has produced over $7.2 billion for wildlife conservation.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, hunting creates an excess of 700,000 jobs throughout the country. Annual spending by America’s 14 million hunters equals an approximated $22.1 billion. The ripple effect of hunting-related activities is estimated to have a $61 billion nationwide economic impact.

Promoting Organic Foods

In the U.S., there is a growing concern regarding chemicals and pesticides included in the mass production of food. Naturally, meat acquired through hunting is not processed and does not undergo the chemical treatments that many foods available in grocery stores do. Game is hunted domestically and is as “free-range” as you can get. Wild game is a lean protein product similar to what you would find in an organic food store. There are no artificial hormones, antibiotics, herbicides, pesticides, or questionable feeds used, as the game is raised in the wild. Wild game is also slaughtered more humanely than many farm-raised animals used for food.

Additionally, the impact of hunting on the environment is very minimal. Wild animals do not cause water pollution, soil erosion and nor do they cause displacement of native plants. Farm animals also require land tilling; wildlife does not, so carbon is not released into the atmosphere.

Even though hunting gets a poor reputation through many media outlets, the ecological, economical, conservation and organic benefits of the hunting culture make it an American tradition that needs to be maintained.

5 thoughts on “Importance of America’s Hunting Culture

  1. Sandra Maldeis says:

    RE: Bear Hunting. I am not against hunting and feel that if the hunter knows what he’s doing and has a clear shot to kill, this is more humane than lining up animals at a slaughterhouse. Also I would agree that the meat is healthier to eat. I have eaten Venison many times, but don’t care for Moose so my problem isn’t with hunting in general.
    However, I am against trophy hunting and I’ve had bear meat. It’s dry and tough and the taste isn’t pleasant either. I’m not alone in my thoughts. I know some fellows that killed a couple of bears for food, but not one person in the families of these men could eat it and they literally couldn’t give it away. I’ve been asked if I’ve eaten it and when I say yes, the answer is always along the lines of it being quite awful.
    So even if said otherwise, it’s not likely that bears are usually being hunted for food, as said hunter would be better off getting a moose or an animal that has edible meat.
    Seems this is just a way to hide trophy hunting under the guise of something else.
    With their numbers getting lower each year why are we hunting them in the first place? One day they’ll be gone forever and then it will be too late to wonder… should we have hunted them into extinction? We may not be here when that happens, but it will, if this is allowed to continue.
    They are already poached for their gallbladders at an alarming rate. Hard to imagine ending the life of such a magnificent creature to sell the gallbladders for some useless magic potion.
    Most likely the bears you arrange hunts for and kill, turn out to be some hideous rug or wall hanging that boosts some cowards ego (fairly sure this thought has crossed your mind). I say coward, as any fool who knows how to shoot can kill an animal… yes there is tracking involved, but not hard to miss a bear print, droppings or markings on trees.
    It’s not much of an actual sport is it … if you actually gave some thought to it? Men hiding with rifles, bear going about it’s business… what are the chances it will come out the winner?
    I think that having guided hunting is a great idea as it prevents so many accidents… but including Bears in these hunts isn’t really necessary. They are very intelligent animals and if for no other reason not to hunt them, this should be considered.
    If you offered nature trips with a good hike, some gold panning and other things I’m sure you could think of, you may attract the attention of people like me… who enjoy nature, but are not experienced enough to get into the deep areas of the woods and don’t want to hunt.
    As far as equalizing animal population; this is not a valid reason as bears have no predators, except humans and without our weapons they would remain without predators. Whenever people have messed with wild animals is when big problems occur. If left alone, nature would do this on it’s own and there is proof of this in areas where animals are not hunted because the habitat is not suited for people.
    I don’t think hunters are demons … depends on why and what they are hunting. I know they are made out to be monsters in the media… I just see someone who wants to fill their freezer.
    I do realize that this one message isn’t going to cause you to stop what you’re doing, but I hope it isn’t the only one you’ve received. If you feel justified in hunting bears, I would really like to hear your side and am not looking to argue back and forth, as I try to keep an open mind. If I need some enlightenment, I’ll look forward to hearing it…
    BUT PLEASE CAN YOU LEAVE BEARS ALONE. THEY REALLY DON’T BELONG TO US… no wild animal does, but there is a food chain and we have teeth of an omnivore so it would seem natural to eat meat. However it seems needless to include a bear in this chain for reasons I’ve already said.
    I live in British Columbia, Canada and when we used to take trips up north, we’d see lots of Grizzlies … don’t see even half as many now.
    I look forward to hearing from you…
    Sandra

  2. Olivia Pearson says:

    I appreciate how you mentioned that hunting is a means of equalizing wildlife populations, making sure that there is an adequate amount of animals in a given ecosystem. My husband is looking for a neat father-son outing for our oldest’s birthday in a few weeks. I’m sure our son would really love a guided hunt so he can learn about the environment and wildlife in a fun way.

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