Hunting is a Gift

February 15, 2018 | by Abbigail Moody

Hunting is a sport where the gift of tradition begins, the gift of family is idolized, and the gift of life is never forgotten.

Hunting has been around for at least two million years. For the longest time, hunting has given us our food, clothing, and weapons. It was our way of survival, and still is to this day. As time went on and our knowledge of the world grew, so has the hunting industry. Our food and clothing resources have had a drastic improvement since the beginning of time, but that doesn’t mean we can drop hunting entirely.

Hunting has and always will be a major part of our economy. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, hunters spent, on average, $2,237 throughout one year. With there being approximately 11.5 million hunters in the United States, about $25.6 billion dollars were put into the economy. Hunters also pay certain excise taxes due to the Wildlife-Restoration Fund. These taxes are then divided and sent to “state national resource agencies for conservation and education, which includes habitat restoration, shooting ranges, wildlife research, and more.” About 80% of all hunters identify as deer hunters, so that group represents the largest contributors to wildlife conservation. Combined, almost 40 million people hunted and/or fished during the reporting period, and total spending related to those activities was just over $80 billion. Simply put, hunting and fishing are the backbone of conservation funding in the United States.

Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation

Hunting is also good for people. With the amount of stressful chores a person has to get done throughout one day, hunting has always provided a beautiful escape. The outdoors is a place where one can leave the pressures of everyday life and just focus on themselves and nature. Hunting is about peace of mind, finding one’s self, creating bonds with fellow hunters, and strengthening friendships. It is also where history is made, love is found, and memories are created and shared.

Those who don’t believe in hunting do not realize how much we love the animals that we pursue, and also how dedicated we are to our craft. To the uneducated or misinformed, it is animal cruelty. Would they call hunting animal cruelty if hunters didn’t contribute so much to the economy, or if wildlife conservation ceased to exist as it does today? If the amount of hunters in our nation doesn’t rise, we may discover our answer. Non-hunters and hunters alike need to come together to avoid these dire consequences. I feel the best way to gather more outdoor passionate people is to educate them.

Hunting isn’t about going and killing for fun. It’s about providing for our families, learning about the outdoors, creating bonds, and enjoying ourselves, and contributing to conservation. It’s about creating traditions that will never die, and passing down a family legacy. It’s about valuing the gift of life, and how we can make the world better for people, and wildlife.

About the Author: Abbigail Moody is an avid hunter and aspiring outdoor writer from Indiana, PA. She is also a member of the National Deer Alliance. She has filled her buck tag every year since the age of nine. Abbey attends Indiana Senior High School and is in 11th grade. You can follow her on Instagram at abbey.malley01.