The Value of Hunting for Conservation

Humans cause wildlife problems. No argument from hunters like Ryan Mullins on that point. However, the singular instance of sport hunting an animal is not the primary cause of wildlife population issues. Instead, development is the primary cause of habitat loss, population disruption, disease, and even extinction. As people and communities with land development continue to spread into former wild areas, they effectively push the wildlife out. That in turn forces animals to migrate, sometimes into more confined areas of remaining territory where they can live. That can also create population problems, over-predation by alpha species, starvation of others, and eventually more contact with humans. This isn’t an isolated case, per Ryan Mullins; many rancherias and neighborhoods are seeing coyotes and mountain lions coming into their suburbs looking for food as animals adapt.

The Conservation Benefits of Hunting

Ryan Mullins notes that hunting fundamentally seems like it’s adding to the problem of conservation challenges for the non-educated. This is because it involves a weapon and the cessation of a target’s life. However, in practice, legal hunting actively works towards the promotion of the wild as well as its long-term protection. After all, Ryan Mullins points out, there wouldn’t be hunting without the wild in the first place.

The very presence of hunters creates a significant deterrent and problem for poachers. By their very nature, poachers are committing illegal acts by killing animals that are protected. The penalties include jail time and thousands of dollars in fines if caught. However, if not seen in the wild, poachers are hard to catch. Hunters, however, work in the same locations and generally can identify a poacher very quickly. That extra set of eyes has helped law enforcement repeatedly in catching poachers.

Hunters also focus on wildlife population limitation, according to Ryan Mullins. Too many alpha level species end up wiping out lower-level species in a region, causing widespread starvation, overgrowth of other species and overall collapse of the balance. By applying limited hunting to control populations, a balance remains that allows regions to grow at a healthy rate, not overwhelming food supplies and not turning into problems for nearby human areas.

Finally, hunting supports environmental protection. The very areas that allow hunting need to remain in their natural state to be usable for the sport in the future. Flagrant development, pollution and damage negatively impacts hunting as well, argues Ryan Mullins. So, hunters regularly support protecting wildlife areas and zones from efforts to encroach with construction, mining, resource harvesting, and similar that would destroy the areas otherwise.

Responsible Hunting is a Partnership With Conservation

The long-term support of conservation works in the favor of the sports hunter, like Ryan Mullins, not against the recreational activity. Hunters provide boots on the ground that find issues, point them out to authorities, and help provide a civil effort in the protection of wildlife areas and their biology. Hunting gets a lot of condemnation from certain corners that focus on the specific issue of one animal. However, anyone who studies biological balance knows that when things are pushed out of hand in great numbers, bad things happen to the entire balance. A singular hunting event is not capable of doing that kind of damage. Everyone else as a human development, on the other hand, is quite capable of such damage and more if not controlled.