In 2010, the New York Times published an extensive report detailing the decline of hunting in America and its impact on conservation efforts. Throughout the previous two decades, most of the states saw significant declines in active hunting. The worst loss occurred in Massachusetts, where the number of licensed hunters fell by more than 50% between 1990 and 2010.
Those numbers are starting to rebound thanks, in part, to a strong desire for locally sourced food. More importantly, Americans are also beginning to find a new appreciation for nature in a world where technology seems to be running our lives. If you are already an avid hunter, good for you. Here are five reasons to introduce your children to hunting as well:
1. IT BREEDS APPRECIATION FOR NATURE
The average American hunter is not the drunken bum who mistreats the land, kills indiscriminately and hunts without proper hunting lease insurance. He or she is someone who truly appreciates nature. Passing hunting along to your children will instill in them that same appreciation for nature and all of its wonders. A child exposed to hunting is likely to be more interested in the great outdoors than sitting in front of the TV with video games.
2. IT TEACHES RESPONSIBILITY
Anyone with a little cash can walk down to the local supermarket and buy a piece of beef or a full turkey. Nevertheless, how many Americans could take responsibility for themselves in the event the grocery store shelves ran empty? Hunting teaches personal responsibility not only through the hunt itself, but also through other things such as respecting private property, making sure hunt club insurance is in place, obeying hunting laws, and so on.
3. IT STRENGTHENS RELATIONSHIPS
More than one hunter has told great stories of spending quality time in the field with parents and siblings. Hunting builds strong family bonds based on a shared experience and a common interest. It also builds strong relationships among other hunters who may not necessarily be blood relatives. The hunting community is a close knit one where everyone looks out for everyone else. These are the kinds of relationships all of us need from time to time.
4. IT HELPS WITH POPULATION CONTROL
As much as animal-rights activists do not want to admit it, hunting is one of the most effective means of controlling animal populations. Take a wild boar for example. With a tendency to prolific reproduction and no natural predators, the wild boar is running roughshod all across the U.S. and Canada. It is so bad in many states that boar hunting enjoys a year-round open season with no bag limits. Only active hunting is preventing the country from being overrun by these animals.
5. IT CONTINUES THE PRACTICE
As with anything else, hunting will fade away into obscurity if adult hunters do not pass the practice on to their children. And if that happens, society will be completely reliant on government and corporate interests to both provide food and control animal populations. The inevitable result will be a big mess requiring a lot of extra effort to clean up. Better to pass on hunting and keep it a viable practice for generations to come.
As a hunter, you know how valuable it is for wildlife conservation. Be sure to pass it on to your children. And while you’re at it, instruct them on the importance of good hunting practices, including obtaining hunting insurance. A smart hunter has insurance coverage in place before he/she signs a hunting lease or heads out to the field.