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Wr122: Benefits of Hunting

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Rishal Sharma

David Wright

WR122

July 21, 2015

        Benefits of Hunting

             Hunting, meaning tracking or trapping of wild animals is one of the oldest activities known to mankind. Back in the days, hunting was a necessity of life for our ancestors to be able to obtain food for nourishment. People still hunt animals for food, but it’s more of a recreational activity now, and laws govern which specific animals can be hunted. People who disagree about hunting say that it is detrimental to the beautiful nature, which results in numerous accidents every year and is simply cruel to animals. According to U.S Fish and Wildlife Services, only about 12.5 million people in America participated in hunting activities in the year of 2006. This is a very small number (less than 5 percent) when compared to more than 300 million population of the country. There are many non-hunters in this country that believe that hunting is not a fair thing to animals, but they don’t realize that there are many benefits that come with hunting.

Hunting is something that is considered by many people to be immoral, cruel, and an unethical practice. However, there are many of us who truly support hunting because it can control animal populations, brings tourism to small towns, provides family-oriented recreation, and greatly promote appreciation of the wilderness. The Human Society of the United States reported that less than 2 percent of animals that Americans interact with are killed by hunters. The remaining 98 percent are farm animals, which are killed every year for the purposes of milk, eggs, and meat. We can see that there’s a big difference in the number of animals killed by hunters versus how the number of animals slaughtered every year. It is something to wonder about why hunters face more hostility from the general population than factory farms where more than 10 billion animals are killed every year. It’s a popular belief that hunters harm the animal and plant life, but hunters are far from detrimental to the environment. Hunters actually help us maintain the wildlife by doing what they love to do.

Hunting is something that can be a very debatable topic because there’s so many different views of it. Most people tend to look at the bad effects of it, but we cannot just disregard the good effects of it. First thing to be discussed here is managing overpopulation of animals. The overpopulation of animals becomes a problem for other wildlife in the area. Large deer population can overgraze and not leave enough plants for other animals to consume and survive. For instance, overpopulation of Whitetail Deer have shown to cause an increase number of deer related car accidents and more people getting Lyme disease (Levy).  Hunting is something that can help the forest diversity to be preserved. The benefit of hunting deers would help us lower the rates of car accidents and lower the incidence of Lyme disease, which is caused by ticks from deers. According to Association of Fish and Wildlife Agency Services, if hunting were lost as a management tool for controlling deer population, the estimated percentage of deer- related car accident could increase by 218 percent, which would also increase the potential for more human fatalities and injuries.

        Overpopulation doesn’t only cause Lyme disease and deer-car related accidents, but it is also known to affect the environment and wildlife. The impacts of overpopulation of deer have shown to cause declines in diversity and abundance of creatures in the forest; from insects to birds. One of the most dramatic illustrations of the problem of deer overpopulation comes from Quebec’s Anticosti Islands, which is a landscape that had no deer until 1896, when 220 deers were brought there in efforts to populate the area. The island’s population of deer increased from 220 to more than 150,000 deer in the late 1920s. Surveys conducted in 1960s estimated that the deer population ranged from 60,000 to 120,000 on the island’s 3,067 square miles (Levy).

Steeve Cote from the University Laval in Quebec did further research and documented the disappearance of berry-producing shrubs and black bears on the islands. The black bears used to be abundant there and the berry shrubs allowed them to survive in their winter hibernation. However, the deer overpopulation of deer wiped out all shrubs and bear population became rare and they all vanished altogether. It can be clearly seen that overpopulation of deer causes other problems in the environment such as no food source for other wildlife in the forest. Deer hunting can be beneficial in this case because the population can be kept under control and other wildlife can survive as well.

Wildlife agencies in the nation could also not be able to survive without hunter’s financial contributions. They are able to survive largely because of money that comes from hunting licenses and taxes from firearms and ammunition. Wildlife restoration projects have also been funded by taxes that hunters pay when buying firearms and ammunition. For more than 70 years, hunters have provided more than 70 percent of financial funds that supports the conservation and wildlife management initiatives. Hunting not only benefits the hunting industry, but it also provides badly-needed revenue to many rural area of the state. Motels, stores, gas stations all deeply appreciate the dollars that come from hunters.

A research done by Southwick Associates, an organization that specializes in quantifying the business aspect of fish and wildlife provided some insight into 2006 economic contributions by hunters in North Carolina.  Hunters aged 16 and older provided more than $1.6 Billion to the state’s economy and $511,546,347 was just spent on hunting related activities alone. The economic sectors were also stimulated by financial contributions ($856.474.221) from hunters from things like firearms and tax dollars that were excised from firearms and ammunition sales (North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission). We can clearly see how hunters and their love for hunting can help the state’s economy. If we disagreed with hunting and banned it, the economy would go down and it would make it far worse over time.

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