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Jamon Matson

Instructor: Lynne Nolan

ENGL&102: Rough Draft

June 19, 2017

Hunting, an Unwarranted Sport?

Ever taken a walk down a hiking trail and seen a deer jump through the woods in the

distance, or heard birds chirping in the trees? Ever wondered how them and their land is so calm

and peaceful when the whole rest of the world is changing? Conservation efforts funded by

hunters is one of the main reasons they are there and their land has not changed. Many people

believe that hunting negatively impacts animals and their environment. It is actually the opposite,

hunting positively impacts both animals and us in more ways than we might think, whether it’s

through population control, research and habitat development funded by hunters or just being a

huge boost to the economy through the money and jobs created.

People have hunted for almost as long as mankind has been around. Hunting is an

essential part of who we are as humans. Some people hunt for food; others hunt for sport. People

try to claim that hunting is bad and there is no good that comes out of hunting. One of the biggest

arguments that people bring up when they try to argue against hunting is that it causes extinction.

An article from Sciencing talks about how hunting has caused around 23 percent of extinctions

(Turtenwald). That is the biggest cause of extinction. With all the new regulations and efforts put

forth from hunters, this isn’t very relevant to our recent era. There is a very small chance that we

are causing extinctions through hunting now, but most of the species that have gone extinct,
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where caused from over-hunting when there wasn’t much for hunting regulations. New

technology is helping conservation make big strides (Dell’Amore). Technology is advancing so

fast these days; we can better monitor a species and make sure that they don’t go extinct. With

all the new advances in technology and hunting we can keep up with populations of species and

when they become too low they limit or even ban hunting on that animal.

Hunting is one of those activities people take for granted. A lot of people hunt and don’t

even realize that they’re benefiting people and the animals by doing so. One of the most widely

known benefits of hunting is it’s uses for population control Also, when a species population gets

to large hunting can be used to keep the population at a good size so that the animals don't

overpopulate their habitat. Jennifer Bove in ThoughtCo. talks about how hunting can help

endangered animals, how people are opening their lands for hunting, which in turn, land owners

are more accepting of the animals on their property. Jennifer talks about how before, some of the

animals were considered a nuisance but now that the locals can make money from the hunting,

the land owners are allowing them to roam and live on their land (Bove). Through the locals

opening their land for the hunters, they made for more area for the animals to live and find food

which made so that the animals could support a larger population. This is just one way that

hunting helps animals that are otherwise running out of land to live on or going extinct from

other reasons.

Hunting can be used to manage the population and reproduction of a species. The

problem with letting animals just keep reproducing and there being more and more is that they

soon outgrow their food sources. This isn’t good and can cause a food shortage for the animals,

and in turn, will kill the animals because of lack of food or not enough space for them all.
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Imagine if there was no hunting and the populations of animals where not controlled. It would

end up with the land dying and animals dying because they have nothing to live on. An article

from ExtensionDaily talked about why we need to monitor deer populations. Meredith Johnson

talked about how when we don’t hunt deer and watch the population, they will get

overpopulated. This will make for fewer plants for the deer to eat because there are too many for

the area to be able to provide for. When that happens, both the animals and the land suffer

(Johnson). That is why controlling the population of animals is one way that hunting positively

impacts animals. Through using hunting as a population control for an animal species, we can

make sure that they stay at a healthy number that is still able to thrive and grow. When a species

gets to overpopulated, a state will sell more tags, a license or permission from the state to harvest

a specific animal species, which will lower the population back to a good amount. The opposite

is done when there is not enough of a species or a species is getting dangerously low. When this

happens, they will lower the number of hunting tags sold for that animal or shut it down all


Another way hunting is used for population control is when an invasive species, a species

not native to the land it is in, is destroying crops or ruining an ecosystem that was once stable.

When this is required, a state will use hunting to try and get rid of that animal. One example is

hunting wild hogs, or also known as wild boars, in Texas. An article on Slate about wild boars

talked about how they are not native to the United States and are ruining the farmers land land.

(Landers). The wild boars dig up the earth to try and get food, which ruins the farmer’s lands and

does not let plants grow that other animals need to survive. If the wild boars are not dealt with,

they will just spread and destroy even more land. The wild boars don’t bring any benefit to the

farmers and need to be dealt with somehow. Hunting is used because it’s effective and doesn’t
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negatively effect the native animals. Hunting has been the largest and cheapest way for farmers

to get them off their fields and to try keep the population at bay. They reproduce so fast that

states have opened the limit on wild boars and now you can pretty much harvest as many as you

can get because they are so invasive (Landers). The wild boars are like normal pigs and have a

lot of babies at once that grow fast. This isn’t good because they are invasive and very harmful

for the farmer’s crops. It’s also very hard to get rid of an animal that reproduces very fast.

Hunting is very useful in this situation and critical to keeping the native animals and their

environment healthy.

By limiting the population of predators, we can also keep the deer population and other

animal populations from getting driven out of an area or killed off in a specific area. When we

don’t limit the population of the predators, the population of the other animals can become too

low, and then there has to be a limit on hunting for those animals. The predator/prey balance is

one that is very crucial and states usually have very specific limits on each for hunting to make

sure that it all does not go out of balance. One example of why people need to be able to hunt

predators is with coyotes and livestock. People hunt coyotes because they kill their livestock

which makes the farmers lose profit. Hunting is required for controlling the population of

predators to keep them out of our livestock. When predators get into our livestock, they can kill a

bunch of them which will make for less food and profit we can get out of them. An article on

How Stuff Works, says “65 percent of all cattle and calf losses in 2000 were attributed to

coyotes” (Edmonds). With that high a number of cattle being lost to predators, which is

something we can easy keep track of and prevent. Controlling the population of predators, is the

easiest and most effect way to make sure the cattle can stay healthy and don’t get killed off.

Keeping the population of the coyotes from growing out of hand, can help save the farmers cattle
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and make for a more profitable year and helps the farmer and also other prey animals because it

lets more of them be around and increases the population of the prey animals.

The funds from hunting is one of the main ways that science can be used to better

improve animal’s habitats and research into ways to help different species. Hunters spend

billions of dollars every year on everything they need from guns, hunting tags, equipment, and

more. A magazine called Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation gives a lot

of good data on how much money spent by hunters is put into animal conservation. It says

“hunters contribute over $1.6 billion annually to conservation” (Allen 6). That’s a lot of money,

and that’s just in one year. That shows that hunting is one of the largest funding’s for research

for conservation. This money then gets spent by the states to regrow habitats, or fund research

into a disease a species may be having. There are so many ways that the money spent is put back

into the system to improve the animal’s habitats.

Hunting creates a large amount of money for states. A lot of states are putting the money

back into the state and helping out the animals and their habitat. Wildlife refuges is one way that

the money from hunters is being spent. Wildlife refuges create a specific area for animals to

thrive in and create their homes. With all the new big cities that keep growing, it is making a lot

less land for the animals to live in. With a wildlife refuge, they have a designated area that

cannot be taken over by houses and is kept there for animals. There are many wildlife refuges all

across the United States. Wildlife refuges provide an area for both animals to live and people to

hunt at. With the creation of wildlife refuges, it also makes for more jobs

Not only does the money that hunters spend help the animals and the land they live in,

but the money can also helps us out. People in the United States spend a quite a bit of money
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every year on everything having to do with hunting. Most hunting equipment cost a lot of money

and there’s quite a few things that are needed for a hunting trip also. So, when people go hunting,

they spend a lot of money, which can help out the economy. On OutsideOnline, there is an article

about how much Americans alone spend on hunting and fishing. They claim Americans spent

around $145 billion dollars on both hunting and fishing (Spring). That makes hunting one of the

largest industries in the United States and helps everyone not just hunters. Hunting puts money

into the economy which makes more people want to get into the industry and can also create


Another way that hunting helps humans is by creating jobs. There’s a lot of things

hunters buy for hunting. Guns, camping gear, food, gas, and a lot more. With all the purchases

that come with hunting, it creates a lot of jobs. According to stats on an article from NSSF.

“Hunting supports more than 680,000 jobs each year in the United States” (Allen 4). 680,000

jobs are about the amount as the population of a small city. New jobs are always good for the

economy because it means that more people are working and getting money.

A lot of the jobs that are funded from hunting are with the Department of Wildlife. The

money from hunting is spent by the states to keep our forests and public lands open and running

smoothly. The United States Department of Fish and Wildlife (USDFW) is the United States

main department specifically created to oversee all public lands and keep the wildlife and their

lands healthy. An interview with James Matson, a lifelong hunter and hunter safety teacher who

spends a lot of time working with Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFS) talked

about his experience of what the WDFS does. He talked about how each state has their own sub

group that runs that states lands. These departments are funded through hunting (Matson). An
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article on TheAlternativeDaily stated “Ninety percent of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Commission’s revenue comes from hunting licenses” (Carey). By hunters funding the states

wildlife and parks groups, it creates a loop where hunters help the states and the states help the

hunters. Most states are the same way, with almost all their funding coming from hunting and

fishing license sales (Allen 5). People believe that the sales of these license go to the state to help

fund all different state projects like roads and bridges but that’s not true. The money spent on

these licenses goes right back into improving the very thing the hunters are spending their money

on, the land and the animals through the parks and animal conservation programs.

Outside of the United States, people use hunting to increase their economy and help

endangered animals. One way they do that is through trophy hunting, hunting high prized

animals. It is probably the most controversial part of hunting and something people are arguing

over all the time. People say there’s no way that killing endangered animals can help save them.

An article on Anthropocene talks about “the fees derived from legalized trophy hunting can fund

important conservation efforts on the ground” (Goldman). The way it’s done is by selling special

tags to people for a specific animal, whether it’s a lion, an elephant, pretty much any exotic

animal. The tags usually cost a lot of money and the money that is spent on the tag goes into

funding to help save the animals with research and development of habits for the animals to

thrive in. Usually the animals that are picked for the trophy hunters are ones that are getting to

old to reproduce, or some other reason for them to be unfit for benefiting the species (Goldman).

By picking animals that cannot reproduce or are slowly dying anyway, it doesn’t affect the

species much and creates a large revenue for the area. Some of the revenue can go back into

helping the rest of the species. This leaves the healthy animals to thrive and grow the species

even more.
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Trophy hunting is used to boost the economy in foreign countries through the sale of tags

and the jobs that the hunt creates. When they sell the hunting tags, a lot of different people get

shares of the paycheck. Trophy hunting can be very helpful for the locals of the area that the hunt

is at. Trophy hunting can help the people living there a lot just through the jobs and money it

provides them. According to Jason Goldman from Anthropocene, the locals can be hired to help

which creates jobs (Goldman). When the locals can help, it gives them a job and they can get

paid for their work. He also said that one trophy hunt can make them more money than twelve

tourists can (Goldman). Just one trophy hunt can help a small village and brings in a lot of

revenue and boost the economy in that area more than tourism.

Trophy hunting can also provide people with food. Most of the people that trophy hunt,

hunt for the trophy of the animal, hence the name. A journal article from PLOS ONE, talks about

the benefits of trophy hunting for the small villages in the area. One of the largest benefits is that

it provides meat for the rural communities (White and Belant 2). With the larger animals like an

elephant, the hunter most likely won’t take all the meat with them because there’s just so much

of it. The small villages can benefit from this because it gives them a lot of meat for food and can

supply a lot of the village. According to White and Belant, the “estimated 129,771 kg’s of fresh

game meat for 2013-2014” (White and Belant 1). That is about 143 US tons of meat, which is a

lot of meat to supply the small villages for a while during their food shortages. Without the

trophy hunting, the animals might be hunted illegally for food and then they’re not as useful

because no money is made from them.

Hunting can also be great because it provides people with food. There is a very large

number of people who hunt in the United States, myself included. According to OutsideOnline
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and NSSF there was an estimated 13.7 million people who hunted in 2011 (Allen 5) (Spring).

With that many people hunting and a lot of them harvesting animals, hunting helps a lot of

people out with providing food for them. The best part of harvesting an animal is knowing

exactly where the food is coming from instead of going to a store and having no clue what they

did to the meat there before you purchased it.

There is no doubt about it that hunting brings a greater appreciation for animals and their

environment, which in turn, makes them more likely to help keep their population and the land

healthy. I am an avid hunter and have always liked animals. I hunt to help feed my family and

because I find it enjoyable. Whenever I go on a hunting trip I am going through the woods and

marvel at how amazing it is. I see the animals and hear the birds chirping in the trees and I know

that I never want to see that go away. While interviewing James, he talked about how people are

always coming back with their kids to the hunter safety classes because they want to get their

kids out there show that what it’s like (Matson). You must go through a hunter safety class

before you can hunt and use a rifle. With the people experiencing the hunt and wanting to help

and make sure that the tradition lives on. This is good because without hunters bringing in and

raising up their kids to hunt, the tradition would die out and we would have a lot of problems

with animals and what to do about them.

I know from personal experience, that going hunting increases a person’s want to protect

the area and help improve it in the best way possible. John Pauley wrote a great article titled

“The Value of Hunting”. In the article, he talks about how hunting brings one closer the animals

(Pauley). When out hunting, and connecting to the animals, there is a greater connection because

one witnesses a lot more than if they just went to a zoo, for instance. Also, when seeing how
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truly amazing they are, it gives a person a greater appreciation and drive to keep the animals

thriving and their environment they live in growing well.

In the end, there will always be people who are against hunting. That doesn’t mean that

it’s totally unethical and there is no reason it should ever be done. Hunting can positively impact

the animals and their habitat by controlling the population of animals, funding research to further

improve their environment, and by just bring you closer to nature, which in turn, makes you

more aware and likely to help improve their habitats. Also, hunting helps people too by boosting

the economy and providing food. A lot of times hunting is criticized by people who say that

there’s nothing good that can come out of it, but that’s just not true. There will always be people

the people that don’t agree with hunting and think that it should never be allowed, but hunting is

a crucial part of keeping us and the animals thriving. So, the next time out taking a hike, look

around at the beauty of it all and thank a hunter for their efforts in helping keep that area nice.
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Work cited

Allen, Tom, Et Al “Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation” NSSF, (2011):

Web. 19 June, 2017.

Bove, Jennifer. “Can Hunting Help Save Endangered Species?” ThoughtCo. (2017, March 28):

Web. 19 June, 2017.

Carey, Ian. “Is It Okay to Kill Bears and Mountain Lions to Save Deer?” TheAlternativeDaily,

(No Date): Web. 19 June, 2017.

Dell’Amore, Christine. “Species Extinction Happening 1,000 Times Faster Because of

Humans?” TheNationalGeographic, (2014, May 30): Web. 19 June, 2017.

Edmonds, Molly. “How Predator Hunting Works” HowStuffWorks, (2008, December 12): Web.

19 June, 2017.

Goldman, Jason G. “What’s the Price to Pay for Banning Trophy Hunting in Africa?”

Anthropocene (2015, October 23): Web. 19 June, 2017.

Johnson, Maredith. “Oh Deer: The Benefits of Hunting.” ExtensionDaily. (2015, November 16):

Web. 19 June, 2017.

Landers, Jackson. “Want to Help the Environment? Go Shoot a Pig.” Slate, (2012, August 9)

Web. 19 June, 2017.

Matson, James. Personal Interview. 13 June, 2017

Pauley, John A. “The Value of Hunting.” Journal of Value Inquiry 37 (2003): 233-244.

ProQuest, basic search. Web. 19 June, 2017.

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Spring, Joe. “Americans Spent a Lot of Money on Hunting, Fishing, and Wildlife Watching in

2011” OutsideOnline, (2012, August 21) Web. 19 June, 2017.

Turtenwald, Kimberly. “How Does Hunting Effect the Environment?” Sciencing, (No Date):

Web. 19 June, 2017.

White, Paula A., and Belant, Jerrold L. “Provisioning of Game Meat to Rural Communities as a

Benefit of Sport Hunting in Zambia.” PLOS ONE, (2015, February 18): EBSCOhost. 19

June, 2017.