I seem to often discuss my thoughts on hunting when holding classes and so I thought today it might be a good topic for the post. I’ll preface it to say the thoughts in this post are my own and I don’t expect everyone to agree. I like hunting, but I hate cleaning the animal and I feel responsible hunting requires the animal be used for more than just a trophy to hang on the wall so for that reason I don’t hunt. I’m glad to go hunting with someone if I know we are hunting and are going to keep or share the meat after the hunt, but if all we were after is the trophy I’ll pass. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got no problem with a person shooting an animal to protect human life, or hunting a predatory animal to protect their livestock, but why anyone would shoot a lion, tiger, or bear which isn’t hurting anyone or anything is beyond me. I believe hunting is important to manage animal populations and our lack of deer hunters today are why so many are killed by traffic. One rural county in NC kept a count and they were closing in on 450 in a single year. I saw one stat which indicated there are over 20,000 deer collisions each year in NC. If 20,000 animals are being killed each year in collisions and the deer population is increasing then we are not managing the population very well. The NCWRC indicates in 1900 there were 10,000 deer in NC and today we are over 1.1 million. During the 2010-2011 hunting season 175,157 deer were taken in NC. Add in 20,000 collisions and we are closing in on 200,000 per year.
I remember when I was a kid it was a miracle if you even saw a deer and in 1976 only 22,614 were taken. Today we eliminate almost ten times that amount, but the numbers keep climbing. I have seen as many as four roaming around my back yard and of course hunting them with a firearm is not allowed. So hunting definitely has a place in society and it matters. Without it the number of accidents would increase dramatically and the deer population would soar even further than it has. Of course there are many other animals which can and should be hunted.
Upon reflection there are three animals I would like to hunt. The first is groundhogs. These things are rodents and can devastate an area as well as crops. I’d also like to hunt wild hogs. These have been declared a nuisance and ruin crops in the eastern part of the state. I’d like to have the meat from one of these. The last is a coyote. We have them in NC and they kill livestock, especially chickens. I was not even aware of coyote in NC when I was young and in 1983 they were not in my county. Now they are in every county of NC. All three of the species I mentioned have open season in NC because the populations need to be managed. Anybody got a hog hunt planned soon? 😉