Are you against hunting? Not a fan? Bullied by social media warriors that hunting is evil? Well, you may have an opinion on hunting, but I’d like to think that you are at least open to the idea that hunting could be a good thing, and there are actually a lot of positive benefits of hunting.
These are the most common benefits of hunting:
- Conservation reversed the dwindling wildlife population
- Hunting is good for hunters
- Hunting injects billions of dollars into the US economy
- Hunting is hard
- Hunting is good for your family
- Hunting is good for your diet
- Hunting is good for your soul
Keep reading, as we debunk the noise and dive deep into the facts on why hunting is good…
1. Hunting is Good for Wildlife
While hunters have an intimate knowledge of the positive impact their sport has on game populations and the ecosystems that support game, it might seem to the casual observer ironic or even counter-intuitive that hunting can benefit the hunted.
The North American model for wildlife conservation could not give us a more clear answer on this.
Since its inception 130 years ago, dwindling wildlife populations have experienced a staggering reversal and this flourishing has not been by accident. You can read the 7 principles of this technique at The Boone and Crockett Club.
In general, the model and its use of the resource, aka hunting, places the resource and the land that supports it in high regard, and when we hold something in high regard, it gets protected, funded, and held in trust for future generations.
In a nutshell, this may be the biggest reason Hunting is a great pastime, because it is good for the land and the amazing creatures we hunt.
2. Hunting is Good for the Hunter
“Man always kills the thing he loves. And so we the pioneers have killed our wilderness. … Be that as it may, I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in. Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map.”– Aldo Leopold
A section describing why hunting is good for the hunter is almost impossible to not merely fill with quotes from ancestors like Theodore Roosevelt and the “strenuous life”, or Sitting Bull’s thoughts on hunting mice when the buffalo were gone, yet he(or she) who has hunted understands how moving these words are, and connects with them still today because they still live this lifestyle and feel the change it creates in them.
Hunting gives us adversity, wisdom, ethics, and responsibility. With these we change and connect to the land deeply, and when success is had, it comes with a bitter but indescribable joy of reward.
3. Hunting is Good for the Economy
Money makes the world go round and the hunting industry is a multi-billion dollar industry.
Hunting is constantly threatened by calls to end the practice of hunting in the United States.
Luckily for the hunter, the benefits of hunting through license fees and taxes, infusions to local economies, and funding of wildlife management agencies, will no doubt sustain it for years to come because of the gigantic effect it has on the plus side of the world’s balance sheet.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Fish and Wildlife.org, hunters in the United States outnumber the population of every state except for 7, and hunters inject an estimated $185 million dollars per day or nearly $7 billion dollars annually into the economy. That’s a lot of hunting rifles and camo!
4. Hunting is Hard
“…if you would rather be chilled, wet, and excited, than warm, dry, and bored, this just might appeal to you.”– Peter Hathaway Capstick- on hunting dangerous game, from Death in the Dark Continent
Hunting is great because it is hard.
Most big game hunts have published success rates below 20%, and sometimes lower. Additionally, hunters of everything from birds to buffalo know what it’s like to come home foot-sore and empty handed. But it is called hunting and not killing afterall. Just as humans love mountain climbing, golf, or martial arts for the skill and persistence they take, hunting requires these attributes in spades.
5. Hunting is Good for Family
As modern society becomes increasingly addicted to screens and social media, there is simply no better way to break these debilitating habits than to get as far away from the source as possible.
I promise you the wonder on a child’s face at seeing a wary deer step out in the lowlight, or the bond created by crackle of fire at the end of a hard hunt will put the stresses of life and the glazed over social media stare in the rearview mirror, and that is priceless.
Women are the fastest growing participants in hunting, accounting for 15% of hunters, and there is no better way than to get the whole family involved than to have mom’s and daughters come along.
As with anything, struggles, successes, and memories are best when shared, so the family that hunts together, stays together.
6. Hunting is Good for Your Diet
The effect our processed modern diets are having on our health is well documented, as obesity, heart disease, and other diseases of affluence wreak havoc on our bodies and society. Hunting can again have an enormous impact on this problem in two ways.
First, wild meat is both lower in cholesterol and fat and higher in positive areas like protein content. This means when you put wild meat on the table you are greatly increasing the health of the food you are eating and thus the health of your body.
Secondly, hunting gets a person active, which is another advantage in creating healthy activities. The beauty of all of this is hunting can be scaled to the person’s capability, as old and young alike can stay active with a brisk walk to a duck blind, or the fitness fanatic can find their muse with a workout and challenge like no other chasing mountain animals like elk and sheep in steep and rugged terrain.
7. Hunting is Good for the Soul
The positive effect hunting has on our souls is both hard to measure and immensely palpable. It is a connection to the land, the animal, the person you share the hunt with, and millions of years of ancestors and instincts. These feelings are woven tightly with the other benefits on this list, the sport itself, and our own psyches.
This experience in our souls is what makes humans hunters, and what makes hunters human.