Since the dawn of time any creature that has walked, swam, waddled, or jumped on this planet has hunted for survival. From a lioness stalking an unknowing gazelle to early Native Americans hunting Bison on the wild plains of the mid-west, hunting has been a natural part of the Earth’s history. As humans advance and grow through time the question we face now is, is hunting still necessary for our survival? With 78% of Americans supporting hunting and over 12.5 million individuals considering them hunters, it’s crazy to think how much hunting must have an effect on the environment. Many people including groups like PETA, say no, hunting is unnecessary and cruel, but many avid hunting groups and even conservation groups say that hunting is necessary not only to our survival but to the survival of our planet. I believe that is hunting necessary tool for all people to experience or learn more about so even those who do not support it can learn how it helps our environments and to gain a new appreciation and respect for wildlife.
One thing that most anti-hunting advocates overlook is how much hunting donates back to conservation groups and habitat restoration groups. In 1937 the Federal Aid in Hunting Act was passed that puts an 11% tax on all hunting gear, licenses, and ammunition. This act has raised billions that all went back to wildlife restoration. In 2015 that tax raised a record of $1.15 billion. This act doesn’t just put a tax on hunting gear but also on fishing gear and licenses. A lot of the money that funds fisheries comes from purchasing fishing licenses, poles, baits, and gear, as well as motorboat fuel. Besides just restoring habitat and preserving wildlife, the act also funds scientific studies on species population, education systems, shooting range development, and firearm safety courses. Brent Lawrence, a writer for The Great Outdoors.com hunting blog and avid hunter, says that among the many things this tax pays for, this tax is also a “source of income for wildlife biologists and wildlife law enforcement.” (Lawrence) Without these taxes and donations much of the funding that goes towards conservation would be gone along with wild lands and wildlife.
Although I support hunting and everything good it stands for, I personally have gone hunting no more than three times. I do however fish quite a bit here and there. I also used to partake in competition trap shooting. With each of these activities, I always spent them with either my father or my grandfather. Some of my fondest memories are being woken up at 5:00 by my dad so we can make it to the local fishing derby, just to spend hours on a boat trolling the lake or sitting on the bank of a pond just waiting for something to bite. I can also remember going camping with my grandfather for a weekend and spending every day just peacefully waiting on a fish. Or even when I was freezing my hindquarters off in the middle of February with my father while hunting coyotes. No matter the place, the temperature of the day, the boredom and impatience I pushed through, the amount of time I spent with my father and grandfather and learning from them has given me a whole new outlook on life and the sport of hunting. It isn’t merely a whole day of shooting anything that moves, but a chance to get out of the hustle and bustle of everyday life and to enjoy the world that lies beyond our phone and computer screens. Although I find hunting to be a way to escape the world and gain a connection to nature, many people don’t understand this and try to fight against this natural activity humans have partaken in since the dawn of man
Since the dawn of man, humans have hunted to support their families and their tribes. The world was almost like a giant Trader Joes. Organic food grew and roamed wild without any GMOs or pesticides poisoning the food supply. Many people today still prefer all organic, locally grown, pesticide free fruits and vegetables but our meat supply is another argument. Many people struggle to find meat that comes from cows or pigs that were raised in open pastures without any of them being fed hormones. J. Townsend, the editor and chief of the hunting and food blog site Harvesting Nature.com, says that “hunting and fishing is a healthier and more economical way of providing the necessary proteins that you need for your diet versus going to the store and buying a package of ground what-ya-ma-call-it.” Hunting is an option for many people to partake in a gain their meat from the most natural selection nature has to offer. The forests become like a giant farmers market for meat.
Many advocates for anti-hunting, like PETA, say that hunting is cruel and causes the exact opposite of what hunting stands for, conservation. PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, argues that hunting in no way helps the environment but is one the leading cause of mass endanger meant and extinction of animal species do to over hunting and poaching. Although poaching is a very big problem in the hunting community, hunters, like anti-hunting conservationists, are constantly looking to fight back against these unethical pieces of scum that have no value or appreciation for creatures set upon this earth. Hunters are most notably the biggest watchdogs for poachers. Although in the past, yes there happened to be a mass extinction of specific animals do to over hunting and almost lead to the extinction of the American Bison, hunting has since been regulated and controlled so that these catastrophes may never happen again.
With the world constantly advancing and humans cutting their last ties to our primitive instinct to survive off the land, hunting is one of the last known connections to the world. Hunting has feed families for hundreds of year. It’s lead to mass extinctions, but has also lead to the restoration of California’s wetlands. Without hunting today, we may just loose what’s left of our humanity and our world.