Moderation, clean shots key for hunting

Spartan columnist Gavin Bradley urges hunters to take only good shots to avoid only injuring deer this hunting season, like this deer rescued in New Jersey after being shot through the face with an arrow.

Hunting (whether you agree with it or not) is a very popular pastime worldwide. According to my resource short fact, an estimated 15 million people participated in hunting worldwide in 2017! It is no surprise that we humans have dominated our ecosystems with our advances. 

To be fair, no animal can match the impact we have made on our planet with such little time being here. 

One skill that we pretty much have mastered is hunting (with an estimated 2 million years of practicing). For the most part, we humans have figured out how to hunt successfully in an array of habitats. However, is what we are good at beneficial to the overall environment’s health? How can hunting wildlife be beneficial to both us and our environment? 

The key word for this question that must be brought up is moderation. Yes, moderation, is “The quality of being moderate; restraint; avoidance of extremes or excesses; temperance” according to 

To give you a good example, let’s look at medicine. If you are sick, hopefully, you will get a type of medication to combat your sickness. Now, nine times out of 10, the doctor will give you medication to take daily. On the labeling, it will usually say “take in moderation.” 

When we are looking at our hunting activity as humans, we need to do the same thing. 

When it all boils down, environmental conservation is beneficial when hunting is done responsibly. By effectively hunting in moderation, we impact the specific animal habitat in that area, making the habitat overall very healthy. When we responsibly hunt, animal populations are trimmed down. This, in effect, leaves more natural resources for the population to pop back up again.

Successful hunting should be a win-win situation for us humans and our ecosystems. The ecosystem benefits from humans appropriately hunting various populations of animals and limiting overpopulation. In addition, we humans benefit from hunting by gaining food and clothing from this activity.

According to the VtDigger, 141,000 hunting licenses were sold in Vermont in 2020. According to Bow Addicted, Vermont has sold $4,016,039 worth of hunting licenses, tags, permits and stamps. The state has also made $1,019,112 from non-resident licenses, tags, permits, and stamps.

Bow Addicted also states, “Unfortunately for Vermont state, hunting sales have regularly been falling due to changing demeanors toward hunting and the increase in the state’s urbanization. This trend began in 1987 and hasn’t wavered since; now, the state has 10.3% of residents holding a paid hunting license but hunting only brings in 4 million from license sales.”

The revenue often collected from the selling of hunting licenses, tags, permits, and stamps often helps fund conservation efforts and help protect crucial wildlife habitats further.

Hunting also helps reduce conflicts between wildlife and humans. When humans responsibly hunt, it reduces the chance for wildlife to damage crops, and property and even get struck by cars.

 I am not an avid hunter. However, I believe that hunters are very valuable in managing our wildlife effectively. Hunting and fishing activities fund many conservation efforts, and without them, our ecosystem health would be catastrophic.

Everyone is always entitled to their own opinion, and I also believe that the opinions of others should always be respected. I respect responsible hunters for their help and their role in managing wildlife populations. I believe that using animals appropriately, for clothing and food, enhances our overall relationship with animals. However, I believe that if you are to kill an animal, you should do so as quickly and humanly as possible. I hold a firm stance against trophy hunting and believe that if an animal is to die, it should die to help someone in need. . . not for a spot on the wall. 

As I said though, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I admire how hunting has connected millions with nature. When done responsibly, the sport has dramatically helped various ecosystems all over the globe. So, if you are a hunter and you are reading this, I first want to say thank you. Secondly, I want to remind you to please be careful and only shoot if you have a shot that is clear and quick for the animal. Thirdly, I want to wish you luck, and I hope you feel grateful to share this world with the amazing wildlife wherever you are.

– Gavin Bradley

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