Since the birth of our nation, and probably even before that, there have been people who think humans shouldn’t hunt wild animals. I have no problem with people having opinions that differ from my own. However, I do have an issue with those opinions when they are misguided.
One example of misguided opinions is making headlines across the state right now. The planned grizzly hunting season in Wyoming and Idaho should be well underway, but because of opposition to the hunt, it has been suspended by a federal judge.
The fact is, there are more bears in the area than the habitat can support. The bears that can’t compete with bigger, stronger bears are getting hit by vehicles, killed by other bears, or getting into trouble by eating livestock or mauling humans. It’s proof that we need to hunt a few of them to bring their numbers back to a level the land can support.
Along with that, the model we use in the United States to conserve wildlife and wild places is dependent on hunting and fishing licenses, and to a smaller degree by the sales of guns, fishing gear, ammunition and other hunting and fishing items. We rely on hunting to keep wildlife populations healthy, and we certainly need the funding generated by hunting and fishing licenses to pay for the management needed to protect the animals and the habitat.
Those who oppose hunting are hailing their “victory” that has suspended the grizzly hunts, and they’re pushing to stop other hunting seasons, as well. But if they succeed, who will pay to protect our wildlife? Will we have to get birdwatching licenses?
Be careful what you wish for, if you are opposed to hunting. Whether you like it or not, hunters do more for conservation than anyone else.