White-tailed deer Essay
Hunting, one of the oldest activities known to man, is being debated by two extremely strong-willed sides. The subject of deer hunting is one topic on which many people have strong emotional opinions either for or against. Some redneck people feel that “my pa hunted and taught me that if I can kill it, I can eat it”. While the tree huggers feel that “it is awful because you’re killing Bambi”. Although both are entitled to their own opinion, neither of these reasons comes across as noteworthy enough for a solid case.
Do not get me wrong, I am very passionate about the thrills of hunting and will get to that later, but the examples that are most significant to look over are the facts of deer hunting. These imperative facts include the basic ecological population biology and the economic revenues of deer hunting. With all emotional views aside for now, try to look at deer hunting for what it is. It is just a way of leveling out the deer population in place of natural predators. Wolves and mountain lions, the only two true natural predators of adult deer, were basically eradicated from the South-East United States as soon as man settled.
This being the case, the only wild animals that pose any sort of threat to deer are coyotes and bobcats, and they are only threatening for a 3-4 month period in young fawns lives. That leaves it up to the humans to keep the populations in balance. If humans did not balance out the deer population, it would be absolutely devastating to the group as a whole. Each ecosystem has a limit to how many organisms of a specific species it can hold. This maximum amount is called the carrying capacity. If the carrying capacity of an ecosystem is surpassed, it is utterly detrimental to the population.
This is called overpopulation. Usually, though, the prey species has a predator species to keep the amount in check. This means that the quantity of organisms increases very rapidly until reaching the carrying capacity, and then it levels out. On the other hand, if there are no predators for a species, there is nothing to stop exponential growth. It will soon skyrocket above the carrying capacity thus leading to an inevitable collapse. When a population goes over its carrying capacity, horrifying things happen to the population such as disease and starvation.
I personally would rather not be walking in the woods and come across multiple, disease-stricken, hairless deer carcasses that had suffered for months before dying a slow and immensely excruciating death because of its lack of predators. The first time anyone really experimented with deer populations without predators was when Theodore Roosevelt created the Grand Canyon National Game Preserve on the Kaibab Plateau. Here, he ordered all predators of deer to be killed and then banned hunting in the area.
He had 4,000 deer placed here and then permitted them to live without restraint while some scientists supervised this process. The total population sprung up to 100,000 and from then on, almost all of them deceased from overpopulation. This is where scientists first began to comprehend the dangers of a lack of predators. One of the main scientists in charge of these observations said, “The removal of the deer’s natural predators, which had been done in the interest of preserving the deer population, had allowed the deer to over reproduce, and quickly overwhelm the plateau’s resources.
”(Kaibab). After learning this, I believe the question that the people who are mad about “killing Bambi” need to pose to themselves is, “Would I rather have a small amount of deer killed by people and still get to appreciate the deer that I do see, or would I rather have all the deer killed by disease and there be no more deer around for my children or grandchildren to see? ”. As well as hunting being a biological necessity for the deer, it is also a tremendously hefty source for economic revenue. In 2006, the state of Georgia said that it made 1.
8 billion dollars from deer hunting while supplying people with around 15,000 jobs. A typical hunting rifle is around $500. 00 with the scope being an extra $200. 00. That doesn’t even include the ammo people will have to purchase in order to shoot. Deer lockers are also a huge profit in Georgia, as are the appropriate hunting clothes. Also, an average deer processer probably processes around 10,000 deer at $65 per deer. One of the two main profits from hunting, though, is the mandatory hunting licenses. Although they are only $9.
00 for a Georgia in-state resident, they are $135. 00 for out of state people. With the number of travelers who come to Georgia every year for hunting season, these numbers truly add up fast. Because there is so much money made from hunting, it is able to finance a lot of other programs of the Department of Wildlife Resources. A good comparison would be how college football makes so much economic revenue that it pays for most of the other college sports. The other massive economic stimulation as a result of deer hunting are land leases.
When farmers are incapable of growing crops anymore for any reason, like old age or droughts, many farmers end up making deals with hunters so they can hunt on the farmer’s unusable soil. This way, the farmers, who would otherwise have land just sitting there with no source of income, would make a much needed profit. If not, the kind, old farmer that always dreamt of letting his kids inherit the plot of land that he spent his whole life on, instead would be forced to sell this stunning terrain to a greedy cooperation and watch them erect a brand new Wal-Mart or Kroger on the land he spent countless hours tending.
I’m not sure about you, but I think that I would rather want to allow people to pay the needy farmer to hunt on the land, rather than to watch him reluctantly sell it. Although facts for deer hunting are inevitable, some people still have doubts that deer hunting is good. Some say that it is a very hazardous activity. If that was true, why do you need to pass a rigorous hunting safety course to even obtain your hunting licenses? This was one of many things designed so people could hunt safely, not to even mention the laws they have passed for hunting safety.
Some of these laws require you to wear a vibrant orange vest at all times and also deem it highly illegal to have any alcohol in your body while operating weaponry. Also, others may brainlessly argue that people might kill too many deer if hunting is allowed, even though the hunting season is only roughly 80 days out of 365. That’s around twenty-two percent of the days of the whole year. During those eighty days, people are only legally allowed to kill twelve deer total. To the opposing side, this may seem like a colossal amount.
In reality though, it is not much at all when you contrast this total to the million-plus deer in this state alone. Also, people might assume that if people don’t hunt them, deer will have happy, fruitful lives in the wild. Unfortunately, if they have no natural predators, it will end badly for them. If people do not hunt deer, they will overpopulate and die. It is just the way biology works.
Besides, there is nothing more tranquil then to just take the weight off your feet in the deer stand and to be absorbed by the gripping splendor of nature, all in the flawlessly cool breeze of the early morning. Then when you see the deer approach, you pull the trigger, sending earsplitting sound waves of satisfaction into the silence of the woods, and then beam with the knowledge that, by terminating this one deer, you helped all the other deer in the area live a longer and healthier life. You also know that by killing this animal, you not only saved others from gruesome deaths, but also know that by bringing it home for eating purposes, you are continuing one of the world’s longest lasting human activities.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 18 May 2017
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