I come from the midwest where hunting is an institution. Not just deer, but quail, duck, turkey - there's a hunting season for everything.
As humans have edged their way into the territories of these animals, we've removed many of their natural predators (bears, bobcats, etc.). The result: huge overpopulation of these animals, crowded into the small remaining natural habitats.
Thus, hunting season doesn't just serve the hunters - it serves to keep the population of these animals in check. Deer, in particular, are hugely overpopulated and have difficulty finding adequate greenage (especially in the winter) and are forced into populated areas to find food, creating problems with the locals, not to mention the huge problem with traffic accidents. (A run-in with a deer can total a car.) Deer wouldn't venture into these areas if they had a choice. Inbreeding also becomes a problem.
Thus, the state designs hunting seasons around the times of year when it is most beneficial to the overall population of the animals. Hunting season is strictly limited (bow season, rifle season), and there is a cap on the number of animals that can be killed. There are also restrictions on size of the animal, etc.
Not to say that I'm happy about this situation in any way whatsoever. I think it's terrible, the destruction of forestry and gross disregard for the natural habitats of so many animals. I wish it wasn't this way. But as it stands...
I love animals. But people around here have a genuine respect for hunting. It's a bonding time for fathers and sons, and every single hunter I know (and I know a LOT) have a profound respect for nature. Hunting for them is as much about being in the forest as it is about "the kill." And I don't know a single hunter who doesn't use the meat - around here, having a freezer full of venison is a thing of pride, something shared with the whole neighborhood.
Last edited by Gatsby : 04-25-2004 at 11:47 PM.