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To the average person, who either didn’t grow up hunting or grew up in the city, hunting may seem barbaric or pointless. In this article, I plan to change the minds of those people or, at the very least, give them a different point of view.
Goals of Hunting
Common beliefs that non-hunters have is that we kill animals for the fun of it and hurt them for their horns or just to mount them on our walls. I strongly disagree with killing animals just to kill or just to “trophy hunt.” My goals with hunting are to:
- Provide food for my family
- Provide food for families in need
- Help to manage the population of the animals that I hunt
My husband and I love to shoot archery. Even more than that, we love to be in the woods hunting. We often fill our freezer for the year in deer season and have remaining tags to help other families have food. Knowing where your food comes from, that the animal had a good life, and you were able to give that animal a quick death is a good feeling to have.
Managing the Population
Deer and other animals can do a lot of damage to crops and each other when not managed. The Disney version of Bambi isn’t how deer or other wildlife are in real life. These animals aren’t cuddly, even though they are pretty cute when they’re little. Once they’re mature, it’s not uncommon to find a dead buck in rut, which is breeding season, because he lost a fight with another buck and was gouged. I know this can be unpleasant to think about, but it’s reality.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are many car accidents that happen in areas where deer are prominent. These accidents not only cause damage to vehicles but also cause the animal that was hit to suffer. Hunting will not eliminate deer-related car accidents, but I believe it could help. I also believe that it’s more ethical for that deer to die because of a well-placed arrow by me or a well-practiced hunter than to suffer for hours on end for many different reasons. Plus, that meat isn’t going to waste and can go to a family in need.
It’s extremely important to follow local regulations and state laws. People who don’t follow these regulations and laws, hinder the hunting experience of lawful hunters.
An Activity for Family and Friends
Now that we’ve gotten passed some of the more controversial topics, I’d like to talk about the more joyful parts of hunting. For many families, hunting is the priority for most of the fall and winter. There are generations of hunters out in the woods learning life skills, which is something that is dying out in our country. I believe this is a great loss. Generational knowledge that’s passed down is priceless. Taking care of your family and also creating cherished memories are some of the benefits of hunting and passing down these values. There is also a sense of community among hunters and that community can be extremely supportive and lead to lifelong friendships.
Practice and Preparation
There is a good amount of practice and preparation that goes into being a proficient hunter, especially when archery hunting. The bonus of archery hunting is that archery is a skill that can be utilized year-round through competitions or just regular practice in the backyard.
Money and Time Costs
Hunting as a hobby can become expensive, especially once you get into the larger and more exotic games. There’s a good amount of preparation by hanging trail cameras and checking them regularly to see patterns and watch for your target animal. There is also a good bit of scouting involved before the season and during, to try to switch up tactics.
For me, one of the benefits of being in the woods is having peace and quiet and seeing the beauty that there is in nature. Being outside and getting fresh air is so nice compared to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You can also see lots of cool animal activity, other than your target animal. I’ve seen foxes, squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, and coyotes, just to name a few.
Give Hunting a Try
There are plenty of reasons to have hunting as a hobby, but I encourage you to give it a try to discover your reason. I hope this article helps you to understand the responsibilities and joys that are brought to many people’s lives through hunting or potentially adding a new hobby in your own life.