3 Misconceptions About Hunting and why they Just Aren’t True
1.Hunters Are Evil
Although PETA and other anti-hunting organizations claim that modern technology gives hunters an unfair advantage and causes pain to animals and they portray hunters as cruel individuals who enjoy killing animals for no other reasons than to seek fun and trophies. In reality, not every hunter is as evil and malicious as the one who killed Bambi’s mom and wildlife is not as helpless as its made out to be. Hunters generally love nature and have a deep respect for animals and the food they can provide The vast majority of hunted species are prey animals: deer, waterfowl, sheep, etc. These species have evolved to avoid predators, including humans, with superior senses, abilities, and camouflage. According to Hunter Ed the success rate for firearm hunters is 20–22% and 8–10% for bow hunters where large ground predators are typically between 5–30% but range as high as 80%. The modern technology does not allow for greater success then predatory animals and is much more humane the jaws and claws that other predators rely on. Hunting is not an abuse or disrespect of nature, but a way for humans to connect with and enjoy nature.
2.Hunting Hurts Animal Populations
Wrong. As a whole the impact of hunting on ecosystems is positive and has been historically beneficial. Hunting is an extremely managed and regulated sport and is used to help keep wildlife populations in check and healthy. Populations in nature are often highly chaotic, following cycles of great growth and decline as species reach and exceed carrying capacity and then face huge losses that affect the entire ecosystem like waves created from a rock thrown into still water. By monitoring birth and death rates of species and changing hunting regulations as a response, populations are kept much more stable and extinctions are avoided. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service has a system in place to track these populations and allocate hunting licenses, tags, and stamps accordingly. Humans are the only predator that behave this way, and the only predator which actions consider the health of a population or ecosystem. We can’t tell wolves to stop killing deer just because the population is low, but if no deer tags are sold then deer hunting stops. Anti-hunting organizations and individuals who oppose hunting do not recognize this when they bash hunting and the removal of wildlife from nature. Hunters want to preserve their sport and as a result are very conscious of nature and populations and regulate season length, daily time limit, bag limits, and legal methods for taking animals. In fact, human hunting and wildlife management has actually increased wildlife populations since 1900.
Hunters created the U.S. fish and wildlife service and other game management organizations in response to the low populations seen in the early 1900s in order to preserve these key animals.
3.Hunters Kill Too Many Animals
Many of the species that are hunted the most are invasive species, those that are not native to an area and that are likely to cause harm by being there. One of the biggest examples is the Feral Pig. Wild pigs are not native to North America and were introduced by Europeans centuries ago. In the wild these pigs breed quickly and cause a great deal of damage to natural habitats, compete with native species for food, destroy agriculture, and even kill other wildlife.
In 1982 there were wild pigs in 17 states, but by 2012 they had expanded to 36 says Outdoor Life. These pigs are problems for humans as well as multiple natural species and are only kept in check by human hunting.
The most hunted species of all is the whitetail deer, yet its population (over 30 million) is believed to be greater now than before Columbus discovered America (20 million). This is due to their invasion of land typically populated by other deer species, such as the mule deer, and pushing them out. These deer are changing habitats based on the size of their populations and what they eat. They are picky eaters and are considered a huge contribution to the spread of invasive plant species. Hunters have responded by taking more whitetail deer and less of the other deer species to hopefully stop the extreme spread, but without human hunting the negative effects would be even greater.
Hunting is not just a sport but also a method of conservation that creates positive impact for the environment while also helping to minimize other negative forces.