Balancing hunters’ and animals’ rights

Hunting helps manage the animal population, which is good for both animals and people.

For many years, there has been ongoing controversy regarding animal rights and hunting rights. To clarify this subject, we need to recognize that deer hunting benefits the environment, sustains animal populations and limits the amount of diseases that can spread.

As one who has been around hunting my whole life, I find the sport of hunting necessary and enjoyable, given the right training and understanding of the sport itself. I particularly like deer hunting and find it necessary to continue this tradition. Many animal-rights activists see hunting as cruel or unfair to the animal.

There are a few good reasons why deer hunting is and has been a successful sport for so many years. Deer hunting requires prior knowledge of the animal before someone can hunt. This term is called “scouting.” In scouting, the hunter must gain a substantial amount of knowledge about how deer eat, move about and live in the environment.

Without prior knowledge of the animal, a hunter cannot be successful, nor can they continue to hunt without jeopardizing their hunting privileges.

With that said, it is crucial to understand that people cannot go hunting whenever they please. There are set regulations, times, zones, ammunition, deer gender and amounts that can be taken during hunting periods. A person must be a legal citizen of the United States for 90 days before they can deer hunt. People have to use proper guns and ammunition. You can only hunt during the spawning season in the fall.

There are restrictions on how many deer you can take, depending on what zone in which you decide to hunt. There are many rules that apply aside from what is listed. If someone breaks one of these rules and a game warden finds out, punishments are heavy.

Most importantly, hunting controls the animal population. Deer hunters bag an average of 200,000 deer a year. As of 2005, 1.2 million deer live in Minnesota, of which 100,000 die of predators and 15,000 die of roadkills. The amount deer hunters take is significantly smaller than any of the other causes of death for deer.

Deer populations would be out of hand without hunting. This can cause damage to gardens in rural areas. High animal populations cause higher risks of Lyme disease. Without hunting, animal populations would be out of hand. Agriculture would be miserable and roadkills would make everyone fed-up. It is important to understand why hunting is a safe and advantageous way of reducing harmful diseases and maintaining good deer populations.

Mohammad El-Sawaf is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]