Editorial: Hunting Is Helpful

Editorial: How to explain why hunting is helpful

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Oct 19, 2017

There’s not one of us who hasn’t been in multiple conversations about why we like to hunt, and when it’s with an avid anti-hunter, talking doesn’t help much, because they aren’t listening. But for those who do listen, it’s an easy explanation.

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is unique to the U.S. It’s the best, most sustainable, most democratic method of wildlife management the world has ever seen, and no other country does it quite like we do. In North America, wildlife belongs to the people — not the government, the ruling class or the wealthy, as in many other places.

It was sportsmen and women who insisted on strong wildlife management laws, and on imposing an 11 percent tax on sporting equipment and ammunition to help pay for wildlife management, money which is redistributed to the states.

Those efforts led to the passing of laws that formed the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and became the primary mission of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The Model is based on seven principles:

#1 – Wildlife Is Held In The Public Trust: In North America, natural resources and wildlife on public lands are managed by government agencies to ensure that current and future generations always have wildlife and wild places to enjoy.

#2 – Prohibition On Commerce Of Dead Wildlife: Commer­cial hunting and the sale of wildlife is prohibited to ensure the sustainability of wildlife populations.

#3 – Democratic Rule Of Law: Hunting and fishing laws are created through the public process where everyone has the oppor­tunity and responsibility to develop systems of wildlife conservation and use.

#4 – Hunting Opportunity For All: Every citizen has an opportunity, under the law, to hunt and fish in the United States and Canada.

#5 – Non-Frivolous Use: In North America, individuals may legally kill certain wild animals under strict guidelines for food and fur, self-defense and property protection. Laws restrict against the casual killing of wildlife merely for antlers, horns or feathers.

#6 – International Resources: Wildlife and fish migrate freely across boundaries between states, provinces and countries. Working together, the United States and Canada jointly coordinate wildlife and habitat management strategies.

#7 – Scientific Management: Sound science is essential to managing and sustaining North America’s wildlife and habitats.

Hunting for “antlers, horns or feathers” is against the law, so that totally blows the concept of “trophy hunting” used by anti-hunting groups out of the water. That’s illegal!

Certainly, in the interest of fair chase, most of us want to hunt a mature animal that provides some good meat and, in many cases, such a challenging hunt that we go home empty-handed. But that is part of the enjoyment of our sport. And yes, hunting is a “sport,” as well as a food provider and means of staying healthy.

Anyone who doesn’t want to hunt doesn’t have to, but to actively fight against our right to hunt, like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), is simply ignoring reality and catering to the uneducated.

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