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There are many advantages to hunting, besides the powerful economic benefits hunting is great outdoor recreation, and vital to successful wildlife management. A large and healthy wildlife population is a widely valued stock of communal interest in the welfare of farmers, landowners and foresters, across whose lands wild animals move for food and shelter. Deer have a voracious appetite and can change habitat more than any other animal. For many farmers, it entails an economic cost to have animals such as deer on their land, which damage their pastures, trees and hedge banks, forcing them to divert scarce resources for covering such damage.
Hunting has high ecological value. With a high concentration of deer presence, the health of any forest area also is bound to suffer. The animals browse all vegetation within their reach and often create a browse line by consuming the entire vegetation layer near the forest floor. Even though it sounds harmless on the face of it, the fact is that it can seriously affect the long-term health of a forested system. Deer can consume/damage young trees to a point, where the composition of the forest undergoes a change over a period of time by destruction of entire plant communities.
For a healthy environment, there has to be an interaction among organisms at all levels, whether plants, animals, insects or microbes. The eco-equilibrium can be upset, if even one link is missing at any stage that can lead to the elimination of certain species. A healthy forest system is home to numerous species of different types. For example, there may be a couple of hundred types of bees, scores of different butterfly, all of which require specific wildflowers during their lifecycles. Deer foraging can eliminate these flowers and make the bees and butterflies disappear along with countless bird species that spend entire lifetimes among ground vegetation within a few feet of the ground.
Many environmentalists oppose Hunting, since they consider killing of animals for sport repulsive and a persisting remnant of barbaric human history. However, it remains true that most people opposed to hunting are well intentioned. Their point of view is paradoxical because with proper game management, hunting serves as an important tool for wildlife habitat protection. It is a well-recognized fact that without habitat, there can be no game. One of the most effective ways, to achieve ecological sustainability is through wild game management, which allows controlled/regulated hunting. The hunterís part in conservation complements the state's environmental priorities that include conserving environmentally sensitive lands, providing citizens with continued outdoor recreation opportunities, as also being mindful of the best interests of the animals themselves. The sustainability of wild life population itself requires harvesting of specific species, to manage their numbers, and/or size/age in certain cases.
For example, without harvesting deer, their population increases dramatically and many starve to death during winter due to lack of food, to sustain the overpopulated herds. Hunting is a more humane way to controlling their population and also for pushing them into areas that provide a healthier environment, conducive to their survival and sustenance. Overpopulation of these wild animals makes them stray onto farms, where they damage crops and onto highways leading to collisions with fast moving traffic, causing serious damage to life and property, in addition to causing environmental degradation. Today, sport hunting has evolved into one of the healthy ways of keeping animal population in check.
Man initially hunted to provide food for the table. With passage of time, it branched out into hunting for sport, to include a display of manís superior strength and skill over the strongest of wild animals. Hunting is regulated by rules and regulations set by the government. It is necessary for every hunter to abide by these rules. This is a great way for hunters to learn and become responsible gun/firearm owners. Therefore, hunting serves also as a tool to educate citizens about the responsible use of firearms and develop respect for weapons and animals. It builds and strengthens camaraderie among fellow hunters and helps them learn about the ethics of hunting and also their responsibility towards maintaining natural habitats from each other.
Hunting is positive for young men and children to get involved in the outdoors to develop their natural senses and special skills through this excellent sport. With their wits pitted against animals they are taught survival skills by Nature. 'Greenhorns' need to learn stealth, develop ability for intense concentration, hone their auditory and olfactory senses, build up stamina and learn techniques for surviving against odds in the wild. It makes better and mature men out of them and the character shows through their overall personality, as others perceive them as more rounded people.
Getting others involved in the hunting community is important especially if we want to preserve our hunting heritage for future generations. This common involvement builds team spirit and camaraderie among hunters. Learning mutually from one another, hunters develop strong personal bonding. A dedicated and well informed hunter is fit for being an ethical spokesman for the hunting community. Being well versed in the ethics of hunting, he can convincingly put forward the lesser-understood aspect of the ethical responsibility of a hunter to others.
The general decline in the number of hunters has become a cause for concern for hunting associations and government bodies, including the Department of Natural Resources, which are knowledgeable and aware of the positive outcomes of hunting. For example, the State of Virginia is experiencing severe decline in the sale of hunting permits. The result has been a shortage of money for its natural resources programs. This gave rise to the idea to boost interest in hunting outdoors especially for the young through educational instruction and supervised training programs
Hunters are the only true conservationists as has been seen in Africa where species of animals that were heading towards extinction are now in a very good position population wise because of sensible game management techniques.
A lot of misconceptions these days about hunting,guns and using game animals for food is clouded by the anti's and their stretching of the truyh and by people like teachers at schools who put the idea into young kids heads that guns are evil and that animals like humans have feelings and are sentient beings.
Shows like the old Walt Disney ones that portray animals as human with feelings are the sort of things that the likes of PETA(hack,spit,cough) and any AL mob use to corrupt kid's minds with and those in the larger cities who have no idea about what really happens in the real world are the one's who chatter about cruelty etc but will happily chew a beef burger or eat a fish but will scream murder at any of we hunters who stalk,shoot an dthen use the meat.
It is hardwired into man to hunt and fish to provide food for others in the tribe(family) an dit still goes on today 10,000 years or however long man has been on Earth an dwhy man is the most successful species on the planet.
Those of us who hunt,fish and get into the wilderness understand what life is about because we see life and death played out whether it be by our own rifle or rod or by watching a fox chase down and catch and kill a rabbit or a Lion taking down a Eland it's Mother Nature at her best and worst but that's how the Universe works and no amount of denialing will ever change that.
I spent the first 3 years that I hunted in North Carolina. My dad would pick me up from school with the shotguns and my gear in the truck with him when he got there. It was a way of life back then, now it's grounds for arrest.
While we lived down there, we were not finacially hurting, but the same could not be said about some of my fellow students and their families. I had several friends that their parents relied on the meat from going afield. I learned early on that the best gift you can give another person is the ability to gain the knowledge they need to help themselves out of a bad stretch. Whenever dad or I would get a deer, we would process it ourselves to maximize the meat from our kill, then he would ask me if I had a friend who's mom or dad was going through hard times. We would pick one or two families, pick up some canned goods to go with the meat, and them stop in and drop it off to them. If they did not hunt, but they wanted to learn, we would set up a few days in the next week and take them out with us. By doing so, we were able to help them help themselves.
What so many people do not realize about hunters is that we are the biggest nature lovers of them all. If the game we hunt were to go exstict, we would lose a way of life, and a means of supporting ourselves and helping those less fortunate than we are. The money we spend on our liscence, our equipment, our ammo, and other expenses helps to finance things like hunter safety classes, youth hunts, shooting programs, and many other things that help the enviornment. it also keeps the predator prey ratio in check, prevents death by starvation, and helps to limit the spread of diseases such as lyme disease and CWD. This is the side of things that is not seen by nost non-hunters, and it is not shown in certain animated movies that I will not name here.
Another thing that does not help the cause is that the best spokesmen for our group are not the ones that make the paper in a positive way. The media portrays us as drunken blood thirsty slobs who, at our best, are out there blasting away at anything that moves. This is as far from the truth in most cases as it can be. 99% of us are responsible decent folks, who are out in the woods only to enjoy a tradition that has been in our families for many years. It never fails, the guy who stops at home and changes his bloody clothes after hanging his deer, and then runs to the store for a 6 pack and some KIngsford charcoal, goes unnoticed. Meanwhile, the guy who's a 6 pack up,and covered in bloody camo, with the deer tied to his roof with bailing twine, and loudly brags about his buck as he picks up a case of beer is the one that EVERYBODY remembers, hence another part of our negative image in the view of the general public.
i guess that if I was going to give advice to help our cause it would be, The good that we do will rarely ever be remembered, the mistakes we make will live on long after we are gone. When we are out, whether it is in the woods or in town, we are the embasadors of our chosen sport, and we need to act accordingly. This not only goes for hunting, this should also be applied to firearms use in general. Remember, you can only ever make one first impression. Do so in such a way as to cast us in the best possible light.
Hairbear, tacticalonline. Excellent posts.
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