Hunting is a traditional, natural activity that dates back at least 15,000 years in North America. It is a fundamental part of who we are as a species. Hunting helped develop our intelligence, helped us to organize into communities working for the common good and helped us understand the fragile and temporary nature of life itself.
Hunting celebrates the fact that there are still wild places on earth where a person can learn and use some of the skills that our ancestors used to pursue wild game to survive. Using those skills and feeling the emotions and excitement that accompany their use reconnects us with the land, a connection that has been lost to most urban people. Hunting wild animals in wild places allows people to truly feel involved with the rhythms and cycles of the land and environment. It is an acknowledgment of who we are as human beings, part of the fabric of life on this planet.
Conscientious hunters work hard to make sure an animal is taken as humanely as possible. They have studied that animal’s behavior, have come to know how it lives,and where it will be at certain times of the day. They may spend days working to create an opportunity to place one fatal shot. Such work and study forges an understanding and respect for an animal that goes beyond simple knowledge.
Hunting is a significant population management tool for the wildlife resource and if there were no hunting; inhumane animal fatalities through starvation, disease and motor vehicle collisions (which usually result in human injuries as well) would increase dramatically.
If people did not hunt, there would be significant increases in the cost of wild life damage to crops and property, and a loss of revenue for wildlife conservation programs and projects. Overpopulation and human/wildlife interaction pose a hazard to public safety.
Regulated hunting delivers a significant portion of the money needed to manage wildlife populations and their habitat, conduct wildlife research, and enforce wildlife laws.
A successful hunt is not dependent upon harvesting an animal. It is dependent on the opportunity to be in wildlife habitat and see wildlife, whether game or non-game.Relationships with family, friends and colleagues are key factors in measuring the value of the hunt
Hunting is a personal choice. Hunters respect their right to hunt, as well as the right of others who choose not to hunt.
Here are the undesirable characteristics of overpopulated deer herds:
- Choice deer foods are eliminated.
- The fawn crop is smaller.
- Mortality is higher, especially among fawns and the older deer.
- Average weight in various age classes decreases.
- Bucks have smaller antlers.
- Harvestable bucks make up a smaller percentage of the herd.
- In farming areas, crop damage is more serious.
- Parasites and diseases of deer are more prevalent.
- Forest reproduction is heavily browsed.
- Young planted pines, especially those grown under fertile conditions in nurseries, are heavily browsed.