Hunting is one of the longest-standing traditions worldwide, and though our methods of food production have evolved, for some it's still an essential part of feeding their families. Society sometimes portrays hunting poorly, which causes those who don't understand it to protest it. If you encounter negativity or choose to engage in a conversation about hunting with an anti-hunter, here are some points to know.
Conservation is how we cultivate wildlife and habitat by using resources wisely. Hunters work directly to maintain healthy wildlife populations and to combat invasive species like feral hogs. Today, the state and the federal governments implement conservation efforts. Hunters fund a huge portion of these efforts through license fees, taxes and more.
By naturally being consumers of resources, we must be stewards of wildlife and habitat. Just like farmers tend to their herds, we have to manage and care for wildlife.
Hunters train with their weaponry and use advance technology to ensure that what they pursue the animals with is suited for a clean, quick kill. It's not a gluttonous slaughter and it's actually rather difficult. Hunters may go years without harvesting an animal.
When they do, though, most appreciate being a critical part in the circle of life. This creates a deep respect and appreciation for wildlife.
There is a lot of preference for free-range, grass-fed, hormone-free meats, and wild game is a direct source of this type of clean, organic meat.
As hunters, it is up to us to not only make sure the image we put forth is respectable, but to also work to combat those who try and interfere with our rights to participate in our tradition.