Hunting is always a hot topic of the mainstream media during the fall and winter months.
It seems every week or so there is a story decrying hunting or giving some totally unrealistic look at the hunting lifestyle.
This week, let us look at what hunting is and is not.
Hunting is the sole reason there are viable game populations in America. In 1900 there were fewer than 500,000 whitetail, 100,000 turkey, a few hundred bison and scattered populations of other game due to market shooting. That was not hunting like we have today. Due to the conservation measures put in place by hunters, we now have 27 million whitetail, several million turkey and 500,000 plus bison.
Hunting is not easy. If you really hunt and truly spend time in pursuit of game you put in a lot of hard work. Whether it is sloshing through muddy swamps search out ducks or walking through the cactus forests of South Texas and getting sliced and diced by the vegetation along the way, hunting is a challenge.
Hunting is a great way to learn about nature. Sitting still in a blind can teach a person much about the great outdoors. From a stealthy position, the hunter has the advantage of seeing nature without it seeing him and that means wildlife does its thing as if undisturbed.
Hunting is not responsible for school shootings. It seems every time there is a tragic school shooting, some talking head on a cable news station brings up hunting and the NRA. I cannot speak for all of the cases but the ones I have followed since Columbine have had zero hunting connection. Evil knows no human boundaries and the motivation for something that horrible could come from a broken person in any background, no matter if they hunt or not.
Hunting is becoming so expensive that people are starting to back off. This economy is hurting hunters in a big way. Many I have spoken with did not feed corn for deer this year or did so only a few weeks into season. Others had a problem finding people to fill their leases. If you have looked at outfitter hunts for deer in particular you can see it has gone far beyond the reach of the average person in many cases.