I know I did a week on meat and venison already, but today I wanted to cover the benefits of hunting. Some people may be against, or it may offend some people because they’re vegetarian. That’s their choice, I am an omnivore and I eat meat and I enjoy hunting. At least with hunting I know where my meat is coming from, do you (even if I’m not eating venison, I know the farmer that I get my grass-fed beef and poultry from)? Some may think it’s inhumane, or some bull shit like that, well here I will be sharing the of the positive aspects. Saturday I journeyed into the woods in Park county to my tree stand in the early hours of the morning before light, something that I have now done for the 39th year in row. Since I was 11 I have never missed the opening day of gun season. Growing up, hunting and fishing were a part of life. It’s what my father did and what my other male family members did. This is same for countless of others. Hunting is an ancient and traditional pastime. Like I’ve said before humans developed hunting and omega-3’s provided by the meat helped our brain mature. Over 20,000,000 Americans participate in this tradition. Hunting does so much more than just put food on the table though. Here are some of the brighter aspects:
- Hunter actually support conservation. Hunting fees goes toward conservation efforts and hunter’s efforts reduce the size of certain populations to provide a balance with the food supply. Hunters and fishermen fund 75% of the annual income for all 50 state conservation agencies ($200 million per year to the wildlife conservation). In addition hunting contributes over $30 billion to the economy per year.
- Hunting provides jobs. Places like Colorado and Wyoming (especially) benefit because hunting creates jobs for guides, outfitter, wildlife management experts, and conservation officers. It helps to support over 1,000,000 jobs.
- Health benefits for hunters. It provides hunters with exercise. They reap the benefits of being outdoors (we’ve talked about how just 5 minutes in the outdoors can increase mood) and exercise as they look for their game. I did training before I went to Colorado, doing hourly hiking, then the last couple weeks I was hiking with a weighted pack on, all in preparation to hiking up that mountain.
- Ducks, deer, geese, turkeys, and wild rabbits often provide meals for not only hunters, but their families as well. Some families with several hunters, this is all they eat (when I shot my moose it lasted ours awhile).
- Family togetherness. Like I’ve said before, this is something I’ve done with my father and uncles (plus my buddies, who are like family. It provides a bond with other hunters). It’s something I’ve passed down to my son, Cliff, and now it’s something that even Brittany is trying (emphasize trying, she’s still just a rookie and has yet to fire at anything). Most exciting, potentially, is passing it down to my grandsons Gavin (check past posts for a pic of Gavin his ‘gun’) and Trenton. Gavin’s already got his own ‘gun’ and bow, he wears his camo, and likes watching hunting shoes with me. Even Trenton, who’s 1, enters my office and says ‘deer’. Even my wife who doesn’t hunt supports her hunters, like a little cheerleader.
- Quality alone time and nature awareness. Hunting deer, most are usually in a tree stand. This gives them the opportunity to observe animal behavior, because they have an inordinate amount of time they spend sitting and watching. Alone time, you spend hours up there by yourself. Sometimes even days. When I went to Colorado this summer to elk hunt, that was 10 days I spent in pretty much isolation. That’s a lot of time to think. I develop some of my greatest ideas while hunting. If I’m not thinking then it’s just a good to time to be present in nature.
- Wild game is generally high in protein, yet low in fat. The meat is very lean and natural (there are no antibiotics or extra crap here).
Not to mention the feeling you get once you’ve met your goal or you shoot that trophy buck. The pride of providing for yourself and for your family. Hunting is a skill and something that I take very seriously. As you can see there are many benefits to hunting, I’m not promoting everyone go out and hunt (there are all kinds of things that need to be taught like hunter and gun safety, strategy, technique because it’s unethical to shoot if you don’t have a proper shot, you want the animal to suffer the least amount possible, etc), but I want people to see the positive sides to it.