Every hunter remembers their first hunt, the cool air early in the morning. The sound of forest animals waking up and the birds chirping at first light, along with the excitement that you felt waiting for your first deer to make an appearance. While we don’t have to hunt for food any longer, hunting remains a tradition that goes back to the dawn of time. The question is now in this modern world how to protect hunting traditions for future generations.
What does it mean to hunt?
The hunting community is a large one and contributes huge numbers to the economy. To be a hunter is more than just getting up at the crack of dawn to sit in a tree blind. Hunters are more responsible than that and are concerned with the environment and the animal populations. They understand the need for balance and harmony in nature.
Hunting has a long history, while it was originally used to find food, and there is no feeling like knowing that you can provide food for your family. Hunting for population control goes all the way back to 1646 and the settlers in New England. Today hunting get its fair share of bad press from animal rights groups and environmentalists.
The future of hunting
Where does the future of hunting lie and how do we protect those traditions? Slowly people have migrated to cities from the countryside and spend less time in the wilderness. The onus is on the hunter to pass down the tradition, to teach their children how to hunt and the principals of conservation. We need to pass on the beloved sport and understand how to successfully manage populations, be it deer or some other type of game.
We need to overcome the practical barrier of living in a city while traveling to the open spaces to effects of overpopulation. We need to pass on the lessons that our parents and grandparents taught us about responsible hunting and what it means to find your own food. We need to understand that for thousands of generations that hunting was a way of life and to appreciate what it gave us. Hunting is what developed our reasoning and problem solving skills when man first evolved. Hunting is not just a sport, but a means of survival.
Hunting is also a valuable life skill that our children can use, not only can they feed themselves they have a better understanding of the environment and what it takes to be a good hunter.