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Roe deer buck running through a meadow wet from morning dew in summer

4 Reasons Why Hunting is Not Just Ethical – but GOOD

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As a hunter living in Washington State, one of the questions I get the most is how I can find the sport ethical. People seem to talk about hunting as if it’s some cruel method of torture used to sate an unending thirst for blood.

This is of course not the case at all.

In fact, hunting is incredibly ethical and good for both wildlife and the environment. Hunting is the first sport and has been used since the dawn of man to sustain ourselves and our families. It’s the course of nature, and it is beautiful.

In this blog post, I’ll go over why exactly hunting is ethical – so that if you ever get in an argument with a PETA wannabe, you’re prepared.

Top Down shot of hunter aiming prey in field
Top Down shot of hunter aiming prey in field

#1 – Sustainability

A lot of the people that are anti-hunting are ironically often vegan or vegetarians protesting against the American meat industry. I mean, I agree: the mass production of meat in this country is inhumane, and this is why hunting is good.

Hunting is the most sustainable way to obtain meat. When we hunt for food we essentially put an ethical alternative to obtain meat aside from the unethical practice of factory farming.

It also encourages responsible and sustainable consumption of resources, since hunting is extremely closely regulated by state government agencies. We’re subject to quotas, bag limits, seasons, and a vast array of other regulations, ensuring the most ethical way to obtain meat.

Overhead view of raw fresh deer neck
Love me some fresh deer neck

#2 – Population Management

Hunting is also one of the most vital ways that we manage our wildlife populations. Overpopulation of any animal leads to habitat destruction and a decline in biodiversity. Through the sport, we ensure that we always maintain a healthy population of our entire wildlife.

By monitoring and controlling the number of animals that can survive in a particular area, we balance the predator-prey relationship and allow nature to thrive as best as it can. Sounds pretty ethical to me!

Bull Elk Portrait
Bull Elk

#3 – Conservation

Hunters have historically always been the biggest promoters of conservation, because, selfishly, we are incredibly invested in the health of our wildlife populations. We rely on animals for sport and livelihood, and as a result, we are more incentivized than anyone else to support the conservation efforts of our wildlife to ensure it is still thriving for decades to come.

Through hunting programs, we have taken part in vast habitat restoration, scientific research, and anti-poaching measures over many decades- which is why the animal population in America is as healthy as it can be today.

Additionally, the main revenue stream for most state conservation efforts comes from hunters. Almost all 50 states have developed conservation programs that depend on hunting fees, taxes, and donations. It is this revenue that funds habitat preservation, anti-poaching measures, and other conservation efforts.

Male of western Capercaillie in colorful fall forest
Western Capercaillie Male

#4 – Local economies

Depositphotos 1247480 L

Speaking of money, hunting also supports local economies. A lot.

Hunting creates jobs, tourism, and the sale of hunting equipment and related services. Remember hunting takes place in rural America, in areas where money isn’t flowing like the big cities. Local communities often rely on their hunting-related income to sustain themselves and their areas.

Why the Hate?

So if hunting benefits wildlife, conservation, local economies, and sustainability – why do people hate hunting so much?

Well, obviously it can be a bit grotesque. Killing something. But we kill animals that have lived good lives out in nature. We never kill anything that is going extinct (in fact, we promote healthier populations), and the number 1 rule of hunting is of course to always respect your prey.

No one has more respect for nature and its inhabitants than hunters, and every single one I have met has always made sure that they never fire a shot that would cause unnecessary harm to the animal.

Now trophy hunting is another topic entirely. I do not believe in trophy hunting of any sort, and I believe that it is not what makes anyone an elite hunter. That I will stand by.

A grizzly bear closeup of head and face, looking at camera
A grizzly bear closeup of head and face, looking at camera

I believe that the only reason so many people are opposed to hunting is that they cannot get over the fact that a life is taken. Yet those same people are happy to go to stock up on all sorts of meat from Costco, from animals that were quite literally tortured.

Regardless, there is no reason you should feel any guilt for being a hunter. It is one of the greatest ways we can contribute to our nature and wildlife, and any way to collect meat that is not from factory farming is good for not just the animals, but your own health and environment.

Happy hunting!

Looking for other general tips and tricks? Check out our library of hunting guides here!

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