Contrary to popular belief, hunting has nothing to do with violence or aggression. Almost every hunter will tell you they love animals. Yet, hunters kill animals. How do you explain this contradiction? It’s a little like farming: People protect and care for their livestock and their vegetables, only to end up using them for food. Hunters support conservation of wild land and laws that protect wildlife populations, but they use some of the wildlife for hunting—not just killing, and not just eating, but to experience hunting.
The experience of hunting is much more than the kill. It is about getting closer to nature, learning in depth about the animals and plants and how they interact; its about developing skills to live off the land and be self-reliant, its about being a direct part of the food chain, feeling the excitement of the chase the same way your ancestors felt. It’s about wanting to get away from the daily grind, about exercising and relaxing in the outdoors. It’s about enjoying game meat that you hunted yourself, and knowing that it’s healthy food free of hormones and preservatives. It’s about comraderie and fellowship with family and friends. It’s about respect for the natural world and man’s place in it.
Hunting has the following positive impacts:
Funding for Wildlife:
National Parks and privately-owned game farms require millions of Rands to manage and protect their wildlife assets. The hunting industry invests R20 000 million a year in game farms alone. Finance generated from regulated hunting allows for the preservation and expansion of natural habitats that not only support huntable game species, but the endangered, threatened, and recovering species as well.
Jobs and the Economy:
The hunting industry in South Africa has an annual turnover of R7700 million. Hunting contributes R1600 million alone towards labour in South Africa.
Healthy wildlife populations are important, not only to the animals themselves but to the preservation of natural habitats for future generations. Hunting is a means to manage population numbers. Overpopulation of wildlife leads to decreased survival rates as they destroy their own habitat, spread diseases and often suffer from malnutrition and/or starvation.