Hunting is one of those pastimes that is a keystone of outdoor American activity, and the vast majority of Americans participate in some form of hunting at least once each year.
Hunting has been an integral part of many cultures for thousands of years, with the earliest evidence dating back to 8000 BC.
The evolution of hunting as a sport began during the renaissance when the first organized hunts were held in Europe.
Although most people have a basic understanding of how hunting works, there are still misconceptions about it among the general public.
Many people think that hunting is just a way to kill animals for food or simply for sport, but this is not true.
Today’s hunter is much more than a killer and a provider of meat; he or she also serves as an environmentalist by maintaining healthy wildlife populations.
This article will discuss how the profession of hunting is affected by conservation and animal protection laws, and even how they can affect those laws as well.
Why Is Hunting Regulated?
Hunting in the United States is the responsibility of individual states, counties, and provinces, as they will determine what is regulated and allowed.
Generally speaking, the purpose of these laws being passed has a few purposes to it.
The main goal of these laws would be to protect both humans and animals from unnecessary harm. To accomplish this, certain rules must be followed to ensure the safety of all involved.
These rules include things such as the weapon used (the type of gun, bow, arrow, etc.), the number of people allowed, and where the hunt takes place.
Other regulations may go into effect such as the age of children who can shoot guns and the amount of time spent hunting before returning home.
In addition to these laws protecting human and animal life, the environment itself is protected by the government through the use of land preservation laws.
By preserving the existing habitat in which various species live, future generations will be able to continue to enjoy them.
These conservation laws can also help prevent the spread of diseases within the population of animals.
The Benefits Of Hunting Laws
Whilst these laws and regulations might seem a little frustrating for a lot of hunters, there are plenty of benefits when discussing what good conservation law can achieve, many of which we touched on in the previous sections.
Game And Animal Conservation
Conservation laws can benefit the health of animals and their habitats. This is an obvious point, but important nonetheless.
With the rise of poaching and overhunting, this has become an issue for not only elephants but many other animals.
Whilst there is an ongoing debate on how much overhunting is contributing to the decline and extinction of many animals around the world and across the country, we can see the effects of ignoring these laws, or even the absence of them in the last several hundred years.
Many of the planet’s most impressive and unique species that lived in the last several hundred thousand years have completely vanished as a result of overhunting by human cultures across the world.
The dodo, the elephant bird, the Tasmanian tiger, the passenger pigeon, the Japanese wolf, are just a few species that make up a long list of animals that were primarily driven from life and existence by overhunting.
Many species today continue to be put under threat by overhunting.
The American bison, one of the largest animals left in North America, once had populations of tens of millions roaming across the great plains, but only a few hundred thousand remain.
Tigers and lions, the largest big cats alive today, are a fraction of their historical numbers.
The Northern White Rhinoceros, one of the largest land animals in the world, is set to go the way of the dodo and its deceased sister species, with only two known animals still alive in the world.
When you consider that the world’s largest mammal, the elephant, an animal that is so big that it shouldn’t have any natural predators, is at risk from overhunting, it becomes clear that a large portion of our planet’s habitat is already under threat.
However, having laws in place that allow for the preservation of this habitat can help keep the wild animals safe, both for their species’ sake, as well as for our children’s future.
Opportunities For Funding & Safety
One of the main reasons why some people don’t want conservation laws is because they think that funding will be taken away from hunting programs, however, this isn’t true.
More funding could be given to wildlife protection than ever before.
It stands to reason that, with the huge increase in the popularity of hunting, there would be an increased demand for hunting equipment.
This leads to increased sales and profits for companies like Remington, who produce the majority of the hunting rifles used throughout the United States.
With more money coming into the company from new gun sales, it would mean that more funds would be available for wildlife conservation.
Another benefit of more funding being directed towards protecting wildlife is the safety factor.
When a hunter goes out into the woods to hunt, he must prepare himself for all possible outcomes.
From getting lost to weather conditions to dangerous animals, there are always risks involved when going out into the wilderness.
Having more funding available for wildlife and environmental conservation means that more resources can be spent ensuring that hunters are prepared for whatever may come their way.
It also allows for better emergency response teams to be formed if something happens during a hunt.
How Does This Affect Hunters?
So, with all this information taken into account, and the importance of conservation laws, we now come to the section where we discuss how exactly this affects hunters.
Well, the main way that hunters are affected by these laws is with the establishment of hunting seasons.
Hunting season is when certain animals can be hunted, and it typically lasts anywhere from three months to several years.
Can Hunters Be Conservationists?
Despite what some people might think, many hunters are some of the most dedicated conservationists out there. After all, how is anyone supposed to hunt animals if they are all gone?
There are even organizations such as Ducks Unlimited and National Wildlife Federation that work alongside hunters to ensure that hunting is regulated and controlled, to not deplete populations too much.
Plus, who better to ask about wildlife and their behavior from the people that follow and catch them for a living?
As you can see, hunters and their relationship with conservation law are both straightforward, but can also be quite complicated.
However, despite the complexity, conservation laws must be kept up and running to keep the environment healthy and safe for future generations.