Every now and then, you hear something in the news about anti-hunting organizations. You hear about protests. You read about groups challenging hunting laws and sometimes trying to have hunting banned.
I think these people are clueless. And they are some of the biggest hypocrites around.
Anti-hunters think nature should take care of itself. They think hunting is cruel and that hunters only kill for the sake of killing. Many believe that we do nothing but maim animals to put trophies on the wall.
First off, hunting is not cruel. A well-placed shot with a bow and arrow or a gun, will put an animal down quickly, cleanly and humanely. Most people practice for these shots with their weapon of choice. Occasionally, a follow-up shot is needed to kill the animal. Yes, kill is the word I used. It's what we do. None of us can deny it.
What anti-hunters don't understand is that what we do is far more humane than nature? The wild can be very cruel. Nature is harsh. Animals kill each other for breeding rights. They think nothing of killing a rival to secure a breeding ritual if that is what it takes. They kill other animals for food. Bears, wolves, coyotes prey on deer and other animals to live and often the end is a bloody, terrifying scene.
Some animals like opossums dine on bird eggs and scavenge for a variety of other items for food. Raccoons and skunks are notorious for carrying and passing on rabies.
And what about the elements? The brutal weather we had this winter was not easy on Wisconsin's wildlife?
Let mother nature handle things? They have got to be kidding. Reality isn't a movie by Walt Disney. It's pure, raw and brutal in the animal kingdom.
So what would happen if hunting was banned? Would deer become like pets? Would animals become friends like in the movie 'Bambi'? Um, no.
Here is what would happen.
Animals would populate beyond carrying capacity within just a few years. There would be too many deer moving into private properties, including those in cities. Lawns would become feeding areas. Turkeys would become like rats. Rabbits, squirrels and raccoons would infest more places than they do now and rabies would become a growing problem. Coyotes and wolves are going to follow the food sources, namely the deer, and will have more human encounters. And competition for food among herbivores becomes much more intense, followed by a long, prolonged starvation. Just look at the problem with wild pigs in the south as an example.
Hunters put up a lot of money, time and effort to ensure wildlife habitat and populations are there for future generations. Agencies like the DNR regulate animal harvests and sustain habitat. The billions of dollars spent on hunting each year is critical to the state's economy.
Can anyone tell me what it is anti-hunters do besides hold protests and harass hunters that helps wildlife?
And what about trappers? Trappers are another piece of the puzzle that is often targeted by by the anti-hunters. Anti-fur demonstrations often make the evening news and the way they go about it certainly grabs the attention of some people. But what these protesters don't understand is that without trapping, coyotes, fox, raccoons and other fur-bearing animals would populate beyond control. Trappers make money on furs at the auctions, while providing neccesary materials for gloves, hats and coats. Can you say renewable resource?
So the next time an anti-hunter points out that what hunters do is terrible, ask them exactly why they believe what they believe. Ask them exactly what they do to help conservation. And then ask them if they are strictly vegetarian or even vegan. And if they can't answer any of those questions, they are truly hypocrites. Drink milk, eat cheese, they are using animals for their own purpose. Wear a leather jacket? That came from an animal. Wool gloves? Where did that come from?
Helping wildlife by donating money, time or effort for habitat? I doubt it.
Read more from Shawn Clark.