Hunting season should be year-round, and here's why.
If you've been hunting for long enough, chances are pretty good that you've found yourself in an argument or two about the viability of a year-round hunting season. For some hunters, year-round hunting is almost a possibility, whether through the hunting of a wide range of both big and small game animals or thanks to nationwide and international hunting trips.
However, for most of us, the best of hunting is contained to the few weeks or months in the fall when we get to go after deer. What if those few weeks could last all year? What if hunting never stopped? It goes without saying that most hunters would love a year-round hunting season, but there are actually a number of very good arguments for why a 365-day hunt would be a viable option.
View the slideshow to hear our most notable arguments.
1. It would provide more funds for wildlife preservation and environmental clean up efforts
As is, hunting licenses are one of the big funding contributors to state wildlife preservation efforts. A longer hunting season - or a hunting season split into four seasons - would allow natural resource departments to fairly charge more for hunting licenses, and would therefore be a great way to increase revenue streams to the organizations that oversee wildlife protection and environmental clean up efforts in our states.
Many anti-hunting activists like to think that hunters are a huge threat to wildlife and to the environment as a whole, but the money from the licenses we purchase year after year are a big part of the reason wildlife environments are even still intact. A greater level of funding for those environments would lead to an era of unprecedented prosperity for animal populations all over the country.
2. It would necessitate a greater level of hunting regulation
Many people worry that, with a yearlong hunting season, deer herds and other animal populations would be devastated to the point of endangerment. There is certainly something behind this claim. Numerous species around the globe and across the fabric of history have been hunted to extinction or near-extinction by hunters and poachers alike, and states with liberal doe hunting policies have seen their extra deer hunting allowances backfire with a recent shortage of deer sightings.
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In fact, in the wake of 2013, which saw disappointing deer seasons for many parts of the country, a year-round hunting season proposal might seem downright irresponsible. However, a yearlong hunting season would also give states an opportunity to create more appropriate and consistent hunting regulation methods that, when employed for 12 months at a time rather than one or two, could actually stand to help create more balanced deer populations rather than destroy the animals and their chances of survival.
3. It would require a greater dedication to safe hunting practices
This one probably goes along with the "more regulation" point above, but it bears repeating due to the level of hunting-related accidents and injuries that still result in so many tragedies every year. A yearlong hunting season, as well as the extra regulation it would bring, would force hunters to be more vigilant with following safety measures.
When you have 10 or 11 months off from hunting, it's easy to let safe practices slip to the back of your mind. If we were all hunting all of the time, safety rules would have a better chance to take firm root and could also be more easily enforced.
4. It would further reduce the threat of deer-related car accidents
Perhaps the most uncontested argument in favor of hunting - that it helps to manage wildlife populations and therefore reduce vehicular accidents involving deer or other big game animals - would count for double with a year-round hunting season. More consistent culling of deer herds would help to subvert the spread of deer populations, in turn reducing the number of deer out on highways and roads just waiting to cause a catastrophic car accident.
5. It would attract new audiences to hunting
It's reasonable to assume that there are plenty of people out there who would be interested in trying hunting out, but who tend to skip it due to the short and inconvenient nature of the annual hunting season. It's simply not worth it for many people to buy all the hunting gear, learn the ropes of the sport, take safety classes, etc. if they are only going to get a month of activity out of it every year.
A 12-month deer season would help to expand the interest base for hunting and would bring a wealth of fresh faces to our sport.
6. It would boost tourism and economic value in popular hunting spots
A greater number of hunters and a longer hunting season would also have positive economic effects, not least of which would have an extremely positive impact on prime deer hunting spots throughout the country. In fact, a longer deer season would encourage hunters to travel to different parts of the country in search of new hunting experiences, which could drive economic growth all over.
7. It would lead to a huge economic boon for outdoor outfitters
Hunting towns and regions wouldn't be the only entity getting an economic kick out of a year-round deer-hunting season. Growth would also come to the outdoor outfitting industry. Hunters already spend billions of dollars each year on guns, clothing, and other gear. A longer hunting season would mean that interest in gear would be sustainable all year-round, which would mean significantly more money for the hunting gear industry. More money would mean more competition, which would in turn give way to better and more innovative products.
8. It would make scheduling hunts much easier
Now for the purely selfish arguments. First of all, a year-round hunting season would greatly reduce the pressure on us hunters to be out in the woods during every day of the season, regardless of the weather and regardless of other personal and professional obligations.
With 12 whole months to fill a hunting tag, hunters would have greater flexibility and freedom to schedule their hunts without igniting arguments with their bosses, their spouses, or both.
9. It would slice the grocery bill in half
One of the best things about a particularly fruitful deer-hunting season is that it feels like we are paying a fraction what we normally would on groceries. With a freezer full of venison or other animal meat, we can feed our families during hunting season - and for months afterward - without breaking the bank. Imagine extending that grocery bill reprieve to a yearlong deal, and then imagine how much money you could save as a result.
10. It would mean that your shooting skills would never be rusty
Last but not least, a year-round hunting season would mean that none of us would ever have to be out of practice. There's nothing more frustrating than coming back to our rifles or compound bows after a summer out by the lake and finding that we've gone way backwards on the marksmanship scale. If you never stopped hunting, you would never stop shooting, and your shooting skills would only improve.