Most anti-hunters, with the exception of financial opportunists such as the Humane Society of the United States, are for the most part sincere about their convictions to save animals. We as hunters understand this as we share this value. And while it is without rational dispute hunters are the ones who do more to benefit wildlife than any other group, husbanding species with both coin and deed, the antis simply do not (or often, will not) understand. You see, hunting and saving wildlife are two activities that are difficult to reconcile as complimentary. It is a hard concept to get your mental arms around; that by killing animals, we are actually saving them. But the logic is there if only one considers the facts.
What would happen to America’s whitetail deer if the anti-hunters had their way and a ban on hunting were implemented today? Some 30,000,000 deer would breed with abandon. Without the hunter’s annual harvest, the population would spike to say 50 or 60,000,000 in a couple of years, and then, inevitably, Mother Nature would intervene with a limiting factor of disease or starvation or perhaps a combination of both. Millions and millions of deer would die a slow, agonizing death because the anti-hunters and their “victory” in banning deer hunting. The same scenario would play out in roughly the same manner with scores of game species worldwide. Put another way, saving individual animals from the hunter condemned the entire species.
A massive die-off is not what the anti-hunters want. They mostly just want to preserve and protect wildlife, just as hunters do. The difference being antis are blinded by the emotion attached to the death of any animal and in their compassion-driven quest to save the few animals from the hunters, they would unwittingly sign the death warrant for the majority of the species. Thank the Lord the unintended consequences of emotional wildlife management have, for the most part here in the USA, been trumped by a logical, rational, and scientific approach to management with the highly successful North American Conservation Model.
But the antis do not buy it. Their zealous drive to ban sensible wildlife management will never be derailed by facts or science because they refuse to consider facts or science. The flame of compassion burns hot in the antis, fanned by the fear-monger zealots and financial bottom lines of the PETA’s and Disney’s of the world.
But as hunters, we do not have the luxury of living in that kumbaya-everything-will-be-all-right- only-if-you-contribute-19.95-per-month world. Hunters live in a world of reality with 7.5 billion people and growing, and understand all too well that for wildlife to survive, it must pay its own way. Facts and science say sustainable use hunting is the most effective tool in maintaining wildlife on this earth. And while the hunter is paying the bill for wildlife, the antis, with wallets jammed deep and unmoving in their pockets, hurl obscenities at us as we hand over the money to pay for conservation.
No one ever said life was fair.
-Steve Scott is a reformed attorney, TV host and producer, ice cream aficionado, and editor of The Outfitter Wire.