How Hunting Helps the Environment
Hunters rarely feel the need to justify their passion. But it never hurts to issue a reminder about all the good they do. The great outdoors remains great in large part because enthusiasts are so dedicated to preserving it. You probably don’t realize how hunting helps the environment and balances man with nature.
Even if you don’t see them every day, predators are out there, and more are coming. Coyotes and feral hogs are spreading at an alarmingly fast pace, adapting to survive no matter what obstacles they face. They damage crops, trample the habitats of other endangered species, carry disease, and devastate the deer population by eating their young. If you enjoy hunting mule deer, going after predators is a public service and a personal challenge. It’s an effective way to keep your skills sharp in the off-season. And you can develop new skills by hunting at night. Even if you use red lights to maximize your advantage out there, you’ll need to rely on your other senses much more than your vision.
Hunting regulations are scientifically developed to sustain species better than if they were on their own. In fact, elk were on their way to extinction before hunting strategies gave them a chance to come back from the brink. Without our intervention and protection, wild game could overwhelm their own available habitats, and they may meet much worse fates than quick, humane deaths. Natural threats to animals that hunting alleviates include overcrowding, starvation, disease, extreme weather, territorial battles, and attacks by other predators.
Hunting has a variety of trickle-down benefits. Just one example: it provides nutritious meals for families. Every part of a wild pig is delicious, and the meat can be stored in the freezer for up to six months. In addition, hunting:
- Chips away at the need for processing food and emitting greenhouse gases;
- Eliminates the presence of hormones, feed additives, and dyes; and
- Reduces the amount of cellophane and Styrofoam from grocery stores.
One of the most satisfying ways that hunting helps the environment is with direct funds. Application fees, hunting permits, and more enable the government to acquire public lands for wildlife. Dwindling wildlife populations have a better chance of recovery with adequate government money to improve and maintain their habitats. Hunters help fund research, public education, and law enforcement—all the things necessary to preserve and protect the future of wildlife.