PRO: Hunting helps regulate populations

Rachel Dinsmore, Multimedia Editor

“The Patriot” takes an inside look at hunting and reflects on the positive and negative effects it has. Here is the pro side to hunting. To read the con side, click here.

What do you see on the side of the road as you drive around Harford County?  Not to be morbid, but it’s most likely road kill, specifically deer.

There is a serious overpopulation of deer in Maryland in general.  Not only is this overpopulation cruel to the animals, but it also negatively impacts humans.

According to Fortune Magazine and State Farm Insurance, deer cause over 30,000 accidents every year.  Additionally, they cause millions of dollars in property damage.  And what cuts back on the overpopulation of deer? Hunting.

There are people who believe that hunting is animal cruelty and morally wrong.  However, I feel that letting the deer starve to death or get maimed by a car is much worse.  As developments take over the natural habitat of white-tailed deer, the deer are forced into the human world where they wreak havoc and live unhappy lives.

Hunting in Maryland is actually quite restricted and heavily regulated.  To be able to hunt on your own land, you must get special permission and be able to prove that the animal is damaging your property.

A hunter must also report every deer that they kill to make sure that the deer are not over-hunted.  A hunter has a limit to the number of deer it can kill in a day.  Despite popular belief, hunting is not reckless killing.

For many people, hunting is a way to enjoy nature.  Deer hunting requires the hunter to sit in a tree stand for hours on end, often in the freezing cold, as they wait for a deer to pass in shooting range.  Hunting is often a waiting game.  Such exposure to the elements means that the hunter has to have an appreciation of nature.

Respectful hunters do not simply shoot at everything that passes by.  A good hunter will never shoot an animal if they do not think they will kill the animal.  The goal of hunting is not to torture or injure an animal, but to kill it swiftly

A good hunter is patient and only shoots when they aim to kill.  Hunters also do not kill young deer or baby deer.  Hunting is not senseless killing and should not be wasteful.  Just as the Native Americans used and respected the animals they hunted, so should modern day hunters.

Although hunting is not a means of survival anymore, what is the difference between eating beef you buy at the grocery store, which was killed in a slaughterhouse, and eating venison that was quickly shot by a hunter? I see none.  Hunting, when done legally and respectfully, is beneficial to the community.

Rachel Dinsmore is a Multimedia Editor for “The Patriot” and jcpatriot.com.