While hunting usually conjures up pictures of deer and elk in people's minds, those are not the most commonly preyed upon animals. In the 1996-97 hunting season, dove numbers soared above all others as 35 million were successfully hunted. Coming in second and third are squirrels and ducks at 27 million and 17 million, respectively. So where are deer on this list? Look way down there -- only 6 million were hunted during that season [source: Animal Liberation Front].
Arguments Against Sport Hunting
The opposition has put together quite a hefty case. Below, you can read about their most adamant points against hunting:
- In sport hunting, animals are killed for recreational purposes and not out of necessity. Because the goal is often a trophy, animals are killed, stripped of their trophy parts and left in the field to decompose.
- Population control is not the main motivation in the end. Hunters are after the most impressive trophy, which often means hunting the largest racked males. This strategy removes the healthiest animal from the herd and disturbs the sex ratio.
- Even if hunters were focused purely on population control, anti-hunting organizations argue that it isn't necessary. Nature would take the weak and unhealthy members of the herd -- providing the strong members with success.
- Some hunters claim that sport hunting can protect humans and other animals from large predators like bears and mountain lions. But studies have shown that these species do not seem to overpopulate when left alone. If there isn't competition among them, they won't need to leave the woods and interact with humans.
- Guns and bows can be inconsistent or under practiced. Bad shots are extremely dangerous to humans and animals [source: Animal Liberation Front].
Whether you're for or against sport hunting, it seems that a consensus won't be reached anytime soon.