In modern society, the topic of hunting has been a point of dispute between hunters and environmentalists for years. While some people try to explain why hunting is good for the environment, few are convinced.
In particular, wildlife activists tend to believe that hunting is a barbaric and unnecessary sport. They also hold it responsible for the extinction of many species and imbalance in the ecosystem.
There are countless discourses available sharing similar sentiments. One can also find many articles renouncing the practice of hunting. But is hunting as unsympathetic and redundant as they claim? There are actually benefits of animal hunting that you might’ve never thought of.
As we know, there are always two sides to a story. Today we strive to look past the general bias and misconceptions to discuss, should hunting be allowed? And if so, then what are the positive effects of it?
Why is Hunting Good for the Environment?
Modern hunting unfortunately gets a bad rep. Let’s admit, hunting does indeed have a dark past. There was a time when unregulated market hunting all over the world reached a critical level.
At that time, the practice of poaching ran rampant. Soon it started to pose a serious threat to many wildlife species in different habitats. But, mankind has learned their lesson from the past. Countries have set down clear and concise laws throughout the years. Gradually, we have reached this day to promote controlled hunting.
Nowadays, the proper enforcement of these regulations takes care of many of the adverse effects of hunting. Environment and wildlife activists have very little to blame on the hunters.
As a result, the reasons why hunting is good for the environment can supersede the ever-present anti-hunting arguments. Time has come to consider the other side of the coin.
With the introduction of controlled hunting, the situation is now much more favorable. Human greed and disregard for wildlife conservation are no longer the driving force behind hunting.
The truth is, in many ways we can recognize hunting as beneficial for the environment, quality of human life, and society. Rather than focusing on the negative aspects of hunting, we can also discuss how it can be good as well. In this article, we will delve into how hunting helps the environment.
- Hunting Supports Conservation Efforts:
A common misconception among us is that hunters are cruel, unfeeling humans who carry on the senseless slaughter of animals. Well, I’m here to tell you that it is not true, currently or in history.
You might be wondering, what is a hunter’s role in wildlife conservation? In fact, when poaching was proving to be a danger to wildlife preservation, the hunters were the ones to step forward. They supported the effort to establish regulated hunting. The reason is very simple. Hunters need animals to keep hunting. As such, they lobbied hard for the implementation of the changes we find to ensure wildlife conservation.
But what about the present? Environmental conservation is a very expensive sector. Most people don’t know the source of funding for research, organization and events in this area. Actually, a bulk of it comes from hunting costs. That is to say, hunters support wildlife conservation by spending money on ammunition, hunting license, gears, and taxes.
Interesting hunting fact, they provide these funds voluntarily. It is due to the self-imposed legislation, the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937. Thus, one can understand one of the reasons why hunting is good for the environment.
- Hunting Acts As Population Control:
As paradoxical as it sounds, hunting can actually benefit local ecosystems and habitats. Here, we come to a very important reason why hunting is good for the environment.
Balance within an ecosystem is what they need to remain sustainable. Hunting laws are different for different countries. They ensure that the right species is being hunted at the right time to avoid overpopulation. They also make sure that the endangered species are being protected to promote repopulation.
Thus, hunters engage in hunting for population control. That is to say, they maintain the number of prey and other herbivores that can cause environmental degradation in large numbers.
Lack of hunting can cause wild animals to overpopulate their species. One such example is the most commonly hunted animal, deer.
An excessive number of deer in a particular area becomes a nuisance. It is in fact, detrimental to the environment and the deer themselves. It results in food scarcity for the deer and causes them to starve.
They might even wander from their natural habitat to a new area in search of food. We can see this from the instances of deer wandering onto the roads.
This is why deer hunting is necessary at times. Simply put, hunters act at the top of the food chain to manage and preserve the habitats of animals, so that the ecosystem is sustainable.
- Hunting Acts As Predator Control:
Hunters help to keep nature in balance by monitoring and keeping the number of predator species in check. Though we are at the top of the food chain, it doesn’t mean that we are safe from animal attacks. Moreover, predators can pose a danger to us, as well as the population of prey in that ecosystem.
In such cases, hunting is considered as a wildlife management tool. Some hunters take on the responsibility to hunt animals that are a danger if left unchecked, like coyotes, bears and wolves. Thus, preserving our place on the food chain is one of the reasons why hunting is important.
- Hunting Is A Source Of Nutrition:
Contrary to what activists against hunting think, most hunters do actually eat what they hunt. Humans have always hunted and thus we evolved as omnivores. The practice of hunting is also our role in our ecosystem while sitting at the top of the food chain.
It may not be strictly necessary for us to survive on hunting due to the spread of agriculture. But it is nonetheless the livelihood and food source for some. Also, it is a common practice for individual hunters to donate the excess meat. Many homeless shelters and other food assistance programs benefit from such services.
- Hunting Reduces Environmental Harm Of Agriculture:
To prove why hunting is bad, most arguments revolve around the harm it does to the environment. Yet, there’s one thing to take into consideration. Hunting for food lightens the load of environmental harm done by industrial agriculture.
Raising livestock and the cultivation of industrial agriculture produces a massive amount of pollution. It is one of the reasons for the ever-concerning climate change.
Nowadays, forests and habitats are being cleared to make space for farmlands, which are needed to grow livestock. Not to mention the droughts caused by the gallons of water needed to irrigate the crops.
But, wild animals consume far fewer resources by eating food from forests and lands that remain untouched. They also drink water from natural sources of water like rivers and lakes. No pollution is involved. This way, we can consider that hunting for food is in fact better for the environment.
- Hunting Can Protect Plant Species:
Hunting helps to protect certain plant species. We once again look towards the overpopulation of deer as an example.
Studies have shown that a high number of deer in an area leads to less production of leaves and flowers in small or non-protected plants. They also show reduced growth for many trees in areas with a high density of deer. In such cases, hunting becomes necessary to sort out the environmental imbalance.
- Hunting Is Good For The Economy:
Hunting is good for the environment, and also the economy. This point hardly needs any backing up.
As mentioned before, hunters tend to donate to environmental conservation efforts. They actually donate far more to this cause than non-hunters. And their contribution doesn’t stop there. They also provide a lot to the economy in general by selling their hunts and after-products. And they are not always unnecessary or harmful kills. Even trophy hunters are only allowed to hunt certain species. Usually, they are older animals past their breeding age.
The Fish and Wildlife Service in the US estimates that there are about 20 million hunters and fishermen. It is perhaps a relatively small percentage of the population. But it managed to contribute more than 10 billion dollars to the economy in gun and fishing license fees. Such a contribution sure helps us notice the benefits of hunting, doesn’t it?
- Hunting Prevents Spread Of Diseases:
Scarcity of food can lead to weaker immune systems for the animals and they can develop a disease. During the winter season, the spread of disease among the animals is faster and can even spread to humans.
There is a hunting season right before the winter. It helps decrease the number of certain animals prone to diseases. In some cases, it also prevents the onset of food scarcity by reducing the number of animals.
- Hunters Provide Information To Research:
Positive effects of hunting include enriching the scope of our knowledge, as well. We need information on the environment to protect the environment. Hunters often tend to help by providing data on the areas they hunt in or frequent.
It also helps that hunters rarely go in blind. So, the information provided by them is usually detailed and accurate.
Additionally, hunters often fill out surveys and provide game samples to researchers. This gives researchers access to valuable inside information on wildlife and their habitat. It also helps them detect the spread of diseases. That way, they can then quarantine the area to prevent them from spreading further.
How To Hunt Like A Pro?
If you are looking to hunt like a pro, it is important to get the right gears and equipment. It will not only keep you safe but also boost your hunting experience. For example, the right firearm with a good scope can make your time in the wild a lot more comfortable.
For beginners, a guided tour can be exactly what you need to get the best out of your first-time hunting. Most importantly, it is good to remember not to get bogged down in details and let your instincts take over.
Many people ask if hunting is good or bad, and the answer often depends on who you ask. It may be natural to assume hunting is bad, but the reality is actually quite the opposite. Hunting helps conservation and maintain animal populations.
Additionally, industrial agriculture does too much harm to the environment. So much so that hunting for food is perhaps a better option. In conclusion, all these reasons are exactly why hunting is good for the environment if regulated.