Hunters Do Not Hate Animals
Out of all hunting myths, there is one that is the most offending that says – hunters hate animals. You wouldn’t, after all, ruin everything you love, right?
The reality is that most hunters love and value wildlife deeply and want to see it safe.
Preservation over conservation is driven by non-hunters, particularly animal rights activists. They believe in locking up the wilderness and protecting it from human intervention. They’d rather have a micro view about conservation instead of a macro. It means that they are more concerned with saving the individual animal over the species as a whole. It’s a bit like Newton’s principle – every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and good intentions do more harm than good often. We saw it with elephant populations and moves to ban the hunting of predatory animals like foxes, pigs, or feral cats.
On the other hand, hunters understand a symbiotic partnership between humans and nature. Suppose we want to ensure we have animals available to hunt. In that case, we need to do everything in our power to ensure the survival of all species, even if it means devising laws and conservation rules to conserve them.
Non-hunters often criticize trophy hunters for paying big dollars to hunt animals, but it is often that same money that ensures wildlife survives.
Take the markhor, for example, which only survives today because the locals agreed to a scheme that sells overseas hunters with a limited number of trophy tags.
North America and South Africa
North America and South Africa are credited with providing the most popular initiatives in the world for wildlife conservation. Both models were based around hunting for leisure, and both put a monetary value on wildlife. It provides an opportunity for people to protect animals.
Hunters contribute more than 60 percent of the funds used for wildlife conservation in North America. Two hunting organizations (Ducks Unlimited and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation) have restored and conserved almost 21 million acres of land for wildlife. And just like them, there are thousands more.
The introduction of private ownership of wildlife in South Africa has seen populations rise by 4073 percent, and thousands of endangered species have returned to the wild.
Hunters love animals just as much as anyone else. They just have a different idea of how they should be protected.