I recently joined a local hunting club in their monthly hunting trip – although hunting is not really my kind of thing. I just thought of it as a perfect time to go to the outdoors. Armed with the latest hunting gears and air rifles, much like the ones you can see at review sites like RifleJudge.com, we trekked the outdoors and camped for a couple of nights.
We had a small debate on a question about hunting. To be honest, this question has baffled me ever since: Is hunting is good or bad for the environment?
Obviously, hunters would say it doesn’t harm the environment but when you ask environmentalists, they’d probably say otherwise. When I read about this, I always end up with an overarching “yes” and “no” answers. Truly, it’s a debatable issue that I would attempt to thresh out in this post. We’ll set aside questions on the ethics and morality of hunting and try to focus on its impact on the environment.
Man has been hunting since time immemorial. For thousands of years, we have depended on hunting for sustenance. In fact, hunting was a necessary life skill that man needed to learn. But as our civilization had shifted from hunting to domesticating animals and cultivating lands, the need to hunt has become more for entertainment rather than as a necessity.
Many environmentalists say that there is no need to humans nowadays to still go out to the outdoors to kill animals. They point out that hunting usually targets vulnerable and endangered species. They point out that taking out even one member in the food cycle can damage the balance in the eco-system.
On the other hand, hunting enthusiasts consider the number of games as very minimal and should have no impact on the environment. Over the recent years, the number of hunters has considerably declined, meaning the hunting population is aging fast. The number of hunting expeditions has also decreased which means there are fewer games.
While hunting in the past may have admittedly gone uncontrolled, hunting today is well regulated. As matter of fact, hunters do pay certain fees to authorities, which are intended for environmental protection and conservation. There are also specified areas where hunting is permitted. Without necessary permits, hunters can be held liable for doing unlawful hunting. Further, there are also only specified species that can be hunted. These species are carefully studied and approved. Usually, hunting events are approved in territories where there is an imbalance in the number of a given species.
For conservative environmentalists, any attempt to interrupt the biodiversity of a given territory can have uncalculated effects in the long run. These effects may not be apparent at first but can still cause an imbalance over time.
As for me, I don’t see anything wrong about regulated hunting. I’ve seen how responsible hunting can contribute to the further upkeep of the outdoors. What may be bad is open hunting as there is no clear-cut definition on what can be hunted. It would be great if authorities do their job and ensure that hunters are well controlled. On the other side, hunters must also be responsible and follow rules.