Elk NetworkHunting Is Conservation – Countering the Argument: Hunting Disrupts the Ecosystem

Conservation | May 20, 2019

The anti-hunter arguments that using hunting hurts wildlife populations and that nature will take care of itself are both inaccurate and untrue.

The North American Wildlife Conservation Model is a set of principles that guide wildlife management practices of predators and prey alike.

To put it simply, the model dictates that fish and wildlife belong to all Americans and need to be managed in such a way that their populations will be sustained forever.

Thanks to adherence of these guidelines, with regulated hunting used as a key management tool, North America by far boasts the most thriving and robust wildlife populations in the world.

Additionally, hunting pays for wildlife conservation thanks to the purchase of licenses and fees, donations to groups like the RMEF and an excise tax on guns, ammunition and archery equipment. Without that significant funding, wildlife habitat and wildlife populations suffer.

As for “nature taking care of itself” it is important to understand that the American landscape of today is vastly different.

In 1776, the human population in the United States numbered roughly 2.5 million – and was just along the Atlantic ocean. Today it’s approximately 326 million and stretches from coast -to-coast.

Whether you’re talking about elk herds that are over objective in one particular region or a heavy saturation of predators in another, wildlife management is crucial to balanced and healthy populations.

Additionally, decades of fire suppression combined with a lack of active management, disease, bark beetle infestation and other issues lead to degrading habitat due to unhealthy forests that are overly thick, full of downed or decaying stands, species that crowd out aspens, sagebrush and meadow-dominated landscapes, and an understory struggling to produce life-sustaining forage for bird and animal life.

Translation: active forest management is not only vital for the sake of maintaining quality wildlife habitat, it is essential!

What’s the bottom line? When you take a step back and look at the big picture, it’s more than evident that Hunting Is Conservation.