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Hunter or poacher?

Hunter or poacher?

Animal rights activists, often media and some celebrities go out of their way to darken the sport of hunting and hunters.

However, these people tend to paint hunters with the same brush as poachers, and the two are not the same.

Poaching is illegal, often targeting endangered species or at the very least not paying fees which go towards conservation. Either way no good is achieved from their activities.

(Poaching has been defined as the illegal hunting or capturing of wild animals, usually associated with land use rights.)

Poaching can have devastating consequenses for wildlife. In some instances, it’s the primary reason why some animals face extinction. This is the case with the African elephant where more than 100,000 were poached between 2014 and 2017 for ivory.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/8/140818-elephants-africa-poaching-cites-census/

Poaching not only affects animals, it affects people too. In Africa, nearly 600 rangers charged with protecting wildlife were gunned down by poachers between 2009 and 2016. In Congo’s Virunga National Park, at least 170 rangers have been killed in the past 20 years. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2018/06/wildlife-watch-virunga-rangers-deaths-poaching-militia-gorillas/

I think we can all agree that poaching has a negative impact on wildlife, the environment and the greater community. As such we all should condemn poaching and poachers.

Hunting is legal and often with a strong focus on wildlife management, conservation and even the harvesting of sustainable meat and materials.

(Hunting: the activity or sport of chasing or searching for wild animals with the intention of killing or catching them.)

World over hunting programs have help stabilise and recover threatened and endangered species numbers. Examples of this can be found in;

South Africa where since the introduction of private game parks the value of the wildlife once considered a pest has risen and locals now protect them. Wildlife numbers have risen from 575,000 in the 1960s to over 24million today!

USA where over $700,000,000 is raised by hunting fees each year and then used for conservation. Many species numbers have increased but just one example is Elk coming from 41,000 in 1907 to over 1 million today. https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/11acd6a38a864ba994367c8855f0bbcd

Pakistan where markhor goat were once a pest even though the were classed as critically endangered. With the introduction of trophy hunting they are now protected with hunters paying large fees to hunt them. They are now stable in numbers. https://sites.utexas.edu/wildlife/2014/11/25/hunting-saves-a-the-markhor/

In Australia hunting is used as a method to control introduced and pest species which have a devastating effect on our unique flora and fauna. One example is the feral cat which is alone a major contributor to the extension of 19 species of Australian fauna including birds lizards and small marsupials. https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/bb591b82-1699-4660-8e75-6f5612b21d5f/files/factsheet-tackling-feral-cats-and-their-impacts-faqs.pdf

As you can see there is a huge difference between poachers and hunters. Hunters should ensure they ensure the non hunting community knows the difference.

Hunting has many positives for the Hunter, the environment, and the greater community. For the hunter increased fitness and wellbeing along with fresh, organic, free range meat. The enviroment gains from well managed game programs which finances the recovery of endangered animals and habitats or damaging pest animals are removed from the ecosystem allowing native flora and fauna to return. The community benefits from growth in industry creating jobs, healther hunters which reduces the cost of health care and a healthier more natural enviroment.

This is why I’m proud to be a Hunter.

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