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The Benefits of Hunting

 Posted on: October 15th, 2021

The Benefits of Hunting

To someone unfamiliar with the process, the term “hunting” might invoke images of stalking, shooting, and other agressive, predatory behavior. Hunting is so much more than that. From planning a hunting trip to the off-season, there are multiple advantages and benefits intrinsically linked to hunting in the United States.

The primary benefits of hunting can be classified into three categories: Physical, spiritual and financial. In addition to promoting a healthier outdoor lifestyle, hunting benefits the economy, provides funding for conservation and wildlife management, and directly connects us with life on our planet while helping us strengthen our interpersonal (and often intergenerational) relationships.

Key components of the 3 major benefits to hunting

Promotes a healthier lifestyle physically and spiritually

Hunting connects you to the physical world

Hunting without preparation is like going for a dangerous, meandering walk. To prepare for a hunt means learning about the outdoor habitat of your prey, recognizing animal trails and tracks, learning how to track animals and how to prepare for the long watch.

Depending on what and where you hunt, you’ll visit wild places away from civilization that will encourage you to be self-reliant and independent.

Hunting encourages mindfulness

Mindfulness is one of the many tools that contributes to positive mental wellbeing. It’s the practice of being aware in the present moment, a skill that is almost synonymous with hunting. Not only are you connecting with nature, you’re deeply in tune with what is happening in the environment around you, every breath of wind or rustle of leaves. Some hunters find that being in nature gives them time to slow down and clear their mind in a peaceful setting.

Hunting provides you with an opportunity to eat leaner

Promotes organic lifestyle because the meat from hunting does not go through the chemical-related processes of grocery-store domestic meats. Wild game is lean, free-range protein similar to organic food stores. It also adds a DIY satisfaction similar to that of growing your own vegetable garden.

Keeping populations in check

Hunting contributes to a balanced ecosystem

Deer have a large range of plant species that they can eat. Whitetails alone have been known to enjoy over 400 different plant species, which can pose a problem when they traipse into backyard and to nibble on gardens and other not-for-deer vegetation. As animal populations rise, there is a larger need for food, which is turn can create an adverse environment where starvation and disease are rampant. Hunting provides an ethical way to reduce an animal population to a manageable level according to what resources are available in an area.

By monitoring predator and prey species and constantly updating hunting regulations, hunters assist in population control to reduce disease, free up food resources, and reduce species that are jeopardizing a local, regional or national ecosystem.

Reduces the need for publically-funded population control programs

Animals like deer and beavers require population control because they cost millions every year in damage to properties, crops, homes, vehicles, and individuals. Without hunting programs, the task of population control would fall to other local or state organizations and most likely be funded by taxpayers.

By allowing controlled hunting of certain species, these costs are kept to a minimum and hunters render a valuable service to their community by keeping those populations at a stable level and reducing the damage they cause.

Strengthens interpersonal relationships

Hunting creates lasting memories and traditions

All hunters who started young remember the first time they were allowed to go hunting with their dad, grandfather, or other older relative. It’s a rite of passage for any hunting family, and if you are lucky enough to have friends that hunt as well, you know how enjoyable it can be. It’s a bonding experience like no other.

Teaching the younger generation how to properly prepare, stay safe, and clean up after a hunt is a deep-rooted ritual that has been around since the dawn of time, although the tools and technology may have changed.

Read more about the wonders of taking children hunting in Hunting with Children: Bonding Outdoors.

Hunting allows you to give back to the community

Local hunting clubs and organizations often get involved in community fundraising events and field days. Because the by-product of hunting is meat, many engage in hunger drives and donate venison from legally-harvested deer to needy families and food pantries.

Stimulates the local and state economy

Hunting dollars benefit mom-and-pop businesses

Because of the remote location of many prime hunting grounds, many local establishments rely of hunting dollars for their survival. Motels, gas stations, diners and small general stores all benefit from the seasonal influx of hunters and some might take in most of their earning during the hunting season.

On a larger scale, any equipment, vehicles, clothing and supplies that hunters purchase all go contribute to the state economy.

Hunting funds wildlife agencies and conservation efforts

Many advocates for animal rights may not be aware that hunting funds many of their favorite wildlife agencies. License sales and excise taxes on hunting equipment all goes towards wildlife management and conservation so that land and animal populations can be observed and maintained for future generations.

The combination of interacting with and learning about nature, getting fresh air and exercise, and the camaraderie of family and friends in the outdoors, all contribute to maintaining both mental and physical well-being.