Being environmentally-conscious and adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle is definitely a growing trend that is rapidly spreading across various layers of our society. A lot of the modern hunters are people who embrace an eco-friendly way of living just as much as they are interested in hunting. Therefore, it’s important to understand whether hunting can be eco-friendly and what steps need to be taken.
The question of environmentally-conscious hunting is complex. On the one hand, it is about improving current regulations and making certain changes that will have a positive impact on nature and the future of our planet. On the other hand, hunting itself can be seen as a sustainable activity, as a return to a more natural way of living, compared to purchasing meat at the grocery store.
Although there are many vehement opponents to hunting, there are ways in which hunting can continue as an activity, as long as it is controlled and well regulated, while actually contributing to the overall wellbeing of the environment.
1. Follow the Rules and Respect Hunting Laws
The first and crucial step toward eco-friendly hunting is being aware of all the hunting regulations that apply to each area and following the appropriate rules. Establishing hunting seasons with firm delimitations, according to the specificity of each country and area, has been one of the most important steps for protecting wildlife.
Hunters need to be fully aware of interdictions and laws that are specifically implemented in the area where they intend to hunt. It’s best to do proper research before planning a hunting trip, in order to make sure that hunting regulations are not violated.
2. Keep Your Hunting Equipment in Check
Choosing the appropriate firearm, crossbow and tripod stand is another important aspect of eco-friendly hunting. Ethical hunting means selecting the appropriate type of weapon for each type of game, in order to be effective without causing unnecessary agony. Also, keep in mind that the industry of hunting gear and equipment is consuming a lot of natural resources.
Having a few, but top-quality pieces of equipment is better for the environment than constantly adding cheap accessories to your hunting pack, that are not durable and have higher costs over time. Wearing the right attire is another significant thing to keep in mind. More and more eco-friendly options are available for modern hunters.
3. Stay Close to Home
Avoiding long-distance hunting trips in favor of local areas is a great way to minimize the impact of hunting on the environment. Any kind of travel simply means burning more fuel and, therefore, contributing to the depletion of natural resources and global warming. Although it can be more difficult, try to research and find hunting opportunities as close to home as possible.
Being more involved in your own community and taking responsibility for your choices also include understanding the local environment and its particular needs. Instead of going for a particular type of game, regardless of the distance and impact on the natural habitat, green conscious hunters select their target based on local needs.
For example, if there is a wild pig problem in the area, hunting will act as an effective control method, as opposed to ignoring this problem and choosing a random hunting target.
4. Avoid Any Waste
Waste products that are being inappropriately discarded all over the woods are still one of the biggest issues when it comes to protecting our forests and wildlife. Responsible hunting includes leaving zero waste during and after any hunting session. Hunters already carry heavy packs and wear heavy gear.
However, they need to also have specific bags for gathering any garbage and disposing of them according to regulations.
Local regulations should also reinforce the obligation of not leaving any waste behind, for hunters specifically. Waste has a huge negative impact on the environment and we are seeing that even the most remote, wild areas in the mountains are becoming suffocated with discarded garbage.
Cleaning up after themselves and maintaining a waste-free hunting area are important characteristics of modern hunters.
Hunting and Sustainable Development
Hunting and green living can definitely coexist if simple but firm steps are taken. The bigger question is, however, whether hunting can contribute to a more sustainable way of living in the future. Considering that the current meat industry is one of the biggest polluting factors in modern society, going back to hunting seems to be a good option.
Compared to the entire process of industrially obtaining and distributing meat, hunting has a less negative impact on the environment. However, the possibility of actually replacing meat in the supermarkets with game, as a contribution to sustainable food, seems infeasible.
On the other hand, without healthy wildlife, there would be no more hunting. Therefore, efforts should be directed toward sustaining our natural environment and the development of wildlife.