This Is What You Need To Know About Hunting
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Politics and Activism

This Is What You Need To Know About Hunting

We are hunters, we are sportsmen, we are conservationists!

This Is What You Need To Know About Hunting
Raghorner Media Group

It's the time of year when you'll see people dressed in camouflage, riding around with orange hats on their heads or dashboards, and, inevitably, you'll see pictures of dead deer all over social media.

There are many stigmas about hunting. It's widely believed that hunting is a "redneck" activity that only the wildest country people participate in.

Well, I hate to burst the bubbles of those who sport P.E.T.A gear, but we don't all put on flannels with NRA hats and blue jeans, and run around through the woods with dogs and shotguns. Just like any portion of society, there are different groups within the hunting community, and we definitely aren't all the same!

I want to share some fast facts with the public, facts that I everyone needs to know before they start yelling about people killing Disney's favorite deer, Bambi. So, here are a few things you probably didn't know about hunters and hunting:

1. We abide by laws and regulations.

Deer season comes upon us only once a year. It begins in October and leaves us during the first week of January. It doesn't matter which animal (and I'm not kidding because there are even season dates for squirrel seasons), we have specific season rules we must abide by. These seasons come with what is called a "daily bag limit." You get 2 deer per day, no matter what. Each species has a set amount per day. In some cases, a set amount according to the tags you purchase!

2. Safety courses and licenses are a must.

All you have to do is run down to the local sporting goods store and buy a gun and some camouflage and you're ready, right? WRONG! The safety course required to buy your license takes up about 8 hours on a Saturday, if you do it in person. Otherwise, you can take the course online and take the test right after. No certificate for passing, no license for hunting!

3. Hunters help fund conservation.

Crazy thought, right? I promise I'm not pulling your leg. Reports from 2016 showed that hunters contributed $12 billion dollars to wildlife conservation. When we purchase things like guns, ammunition, licenses, and other hunting-related products, the taxes paid go to state wildlife associations to be put back into conservation. Duck hunters pay for two stamps every year, and that money is used to protect wetlands.

4.We have revived species.

This infographic is one of my favorites and I'll just leave it right here for this particular point!

5. Hunters help feed the homeless/hungry.

This is one of my favorite parts. Each year, I donate at least 1 or 2 deer to an organization called Hunters for the Hungry. Nearly 2.8 million pounds of venison are given to shelters each year. I'm proud to be a Virginian because, in 2013, we led the donating states with 405,000 lbs given to shelters!

Next time you are ready to jump on someone's case about the lack of conservation involved in hunting, or the idea that we shoot things and then walk away from them, take a moment to think about everything we've done for wildlife and will continue to do!

If you're interested in learning more about any of the above information, please see these links:

NSSF Hunters Feeding Hungry Facts

Hunters for the Hungry 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

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