Hunting for sport is something many people do, and I must admit, despite knowing some of these folks, I do not care for the act. Hunting is a wonderful experience, one that brings you closer to nature and shows you the delicate balance of life that industrialization has veiled from the majority of folks in the developed world. For me and many hunters, there is a great deal of respect for nature and the animals we hunt, which we intend to utilize every part of after we make the kill. The notion of not letting any part of the animal go to waste is essential to many hunters, even to many hunters who are not taking the time to point out that they are indeed conservationists of sort.
Hunters who follow the laws and provisions set forth by local game wardens actually help the environment, primarily via population control. In addition, fees collected from hunting licenses and tags help finance state conservation efforts, with the money helping maintain state parks, campgrounds, and natural habitat for undomesticated animals.
For many, hunting is a bonding experience - familial hunting, hunting with friends, and even meeting other fellow hunters. Yet, it is important to note that many folks hunt because it is a means of supplementing their income, and putting food on the table for their families. These individuals are not interested in hunting for sport, but rather, view hunting as a means of supporting their livelihood. These are the individuals that hone their craft, practicing often in order to minimize the potential discomfort experienced by the hunted animals. *Yes discomfort - if you are a good hunter, you strive make the kill as efficient as possible, minimizing any suffering the animal has to endure.
I hunt to increase the amount of meat in my home, allowing me to purchase items like fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as the growing number of bills we all face as we get older. As for the animal, I utilize all of the meat, leave the entrails for scavengers, and sell the animal hides, heads and hooves, tail and feet to local taxidermists who tan and prepare them for resale. I waste no part of the animal, and directly after the kill, I apologize to the animal, and thank it for providing me with sustenance. It may seem odd to to those who do not hunt, me killing an animal then apologizing, but call it a personal thing I believe in doing.
The point is, most hunters are responsible folk who are looking for extra meat to put in their freezers and feed their families. Hunters who fail to hunt responsibly are not the norm, and I have no problem with the law prosecuting them to the full extent of the law. Hunters who act responsibly are continuing a tradition as old as humanity, and helping conservation efforts. They are also aiding in discrediting negative stereotypes of gun owners, and can potentially educate the public on the benefits of fresh meat, unadulterated by chemicals and hormone injections.