The question about hunting and whether its humane to animal life is a common one, but whether hunting is good or not for the environment is a lesser discussed topic. Hunting has a long history, going back centuries. The hunt was a source of meat but also warm clothing in times past when only a wood fire was used for heating and with strong winds, it was sometimes impossible to keep the fire going.
It’s fair to say that hunting as a sport has good and bad aspects when it comes to the environmental impact. Let’s look closer at that now.
Controlling Local Animal Population
Depending on the state, there are strict controls on what animals can be hunted. The restrictions categorize ducks, deer, turkeys, and coyote hunting in Wisconsin. Sometimes, only one sex is qualified for hunting or the number of animals one hunter can kill in a single hunting session is controlled as a way to avoid the animal numbers falling faster than expected or unpredictably.
The plan behind such restrictions is to prevent some species being culled closed to extinction and ensure plant resources are shared equally. The issue of overpopulation in the animal kingdom is also a factor.
Getting the Balance Right for the Environment
It has been argued for some time that hunting takes an environment that’s in balance and takes it out of balance when killing off certain animals during the hunt. This could be the case when a natural predator is reduced in number, leading to a growing number of prey for fewer predators. Despite what you might think, nature works best when it’s in balance; it’s when things get seriously out of balance that trouble starts. There is an argument by environmentalists that the hunter vs prey that occurs naturally in the wild sets its own stage, which is then messed up when human hunters enter the picture.
Hunters Cause Animal Extinctions
What is easily dismissed is that according to the University of Michigan, animal species have been made extinct 23 percent of the time because of hunting. In the seas, some species of whales have become endangered because of whaling. Back on land, on the African continent, there are animals that are close to extinction because they’ve been hunted for their tusks, which hold great value. Poaching in such locations is a continuing problem because the value of the ivory tusks is too great a temptation and deemed worth the risk. Because much of the hunting goes on in sparsely populated areas, it’s not possible to have people on hand to spot the poachers.
Intelligent use of funds collected for permits and hunting licenses by the Department of Natural Resources are funneled back to protect the environment. Some hunters who also care about the environment contribute towards environmental funds to help care for the parks, forests, and other areas that they hunt, which is akin to buying carbon credits to offset the carbon released when taking a flight.
The facts are clear. Hunting can be environmentally friendly, but only if hunting is done intelligently