Do you think hunting is going obsolete?
The times change, it's as simple as that. Older hunters are forced to call it quits, and younger hunters need to fill their boots.
But there's a lot working against the recruitment of new hunters, and therefore the overall status of hunting as we know it could be headed for a slow death.
Land development devours hunting lands with an increasing appetite for anywhere green. Politicians succumb to anti-hunting rhetoric, and regulations aren't always in the hunter's best interest. Cell phones, YouTube, and video games keep people away from the outdoors. All is lost for the hunting community right? No so fast.
Hunting has too much going for it to ever disappear. Here are the reasons why hunting will always be here.
1. Urban Sprawl
Most would say urban sprawl is killing our hunting grounds. It might be true, but when these areas are leveled, the animals have to go somewhere.
They become overcrowded in small green areas. They eat ornamental yard plants and get hit by cars. Ultimately, if their population numbers are not kept in check, they can become more susceptible to disease.
These spots (and those around them) need hunting to manage the wild game populations and keep them close to carrying capacity. Hunting season can help with whitetail deer populations, rabbits, and other wild animals that will breed out of control otherwise. Non-game species will also benefit from the overgrazing deer populations being thinning out.
2. Birth control isn't proving worthwhile
Animal rights activists just love the idea of birth control for regulating game populations, but it can be extremely expensive for tax payers and very dangerous to the deer.
The stress these operations place on captured deer is incredibly high. It could negatively effect the gene pool in ways we have not even realized yet. This use of science is proving itself as far less effective than a well-versed bowhunter in an suburban area.
3. Hunters are less expensive than sharpshooters
Just like birth control, there is a lot of extra work and resources that goes into sharpshooting game animals. Hired sharpshooters are never cheap. Many in urban areas might not even be comfortable with the thought of gunfire in their neighborhood.
This is where ethical bowhunting can really make a difference. Hunters will buy the permits to hunt, helping the cause even further. How much better can it possibly get?
4. American tradition
Hunting game is part of what has made America the great nation it is today. From the early explorers to the modern hunter, chasing game is in our blood.
Even our Northern friends in Canada like the Shockeys will vouch that hunting is a family activity that should be handed down to the following generations. That's one of the biggest reasons hunting won't end.
5. Public hunting
Public land and park areas have found hunting to be a valuable tool for managing wildlife populations. As long as things are kept safe and reasonable, it's going to prove itself as a reason hunting needs to stay around.
6. Wise use of natural resources
We may enjoy sport hunting, but the meat is always a prize. Why waste those precious natural resources to disease, winter kill, or car crashes? Our families deserve the honor that is bestowed upon us when we harvest prey animals to fill our freezers.
7. The return to traditional living
Our pioneer and Native American traditions beg to be revitalized. Being in nature and harvesting wild game is better than going to grocery stores and purchasing slaughtered meat.
In this age, many are stepping away from the big city full of material things and going back to traditional ways. As human beings, hunting is one way to get closer to nature and understand our place here on this planet in a deeper way.
The hunt will be there for us, likely for generations to come. But if we aren't careful, there could be things that shift.
Once we put the phones down and experience it, there shouldn't be any wondering why it's worth saving.
Do you like articles about the outdoors? Click here to view more articles by Eric Nestor. You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram. You can view more Nestor Photography photos at Nestor Photography.