Have you ever wondered: how do game conservation laws affect hunters, and why do they exist?
Game conservation laws place limits on hunters regarding what methods they can use for hunting, as well as what time of the year they hunt in and how many animals they can hunt.
Game conservation laws are set in place to preserve wildlife and avoid the extinction of some species due to hunting.
Experts have spent a long time coming up with ways to protect wildlife from being over hunted and in our research we have collected all this information into this article.
Why Do Game Conservation Laws Exist?
The biggest reason these laws exist at all is to prevent overhunting. We have seen various species go extinct because of the lack of restraint on the part of hunters, or regulations in place to protect our wildlife.
Extinction is the term used to describe the end of a species due to unnatural means – and hunting is one of the major causes of extinction in the past few years. From the white rhinoceros to the passenger pigeon – a number of animal species have been wiped out due to human activity. As a result, hunting laws were established to keep this from happening in the future.
How to Game Conservation Laws Affect Hunters
As mentioned earlier, these laws place limits on hunting activity, and thus, naturally affect hunters as well.
Establishing Hunting Seasons
Game conservation laws prevent hunters from hunting throughout the year. While hunting is allowed for a large part of the year, the seasons during which animals are mating and breeding are off-limits, and no hunting can take place during this time. This is so that wild animals can reproduce and increase the population. If these animals are killed during their mating season, they cannot produce offspring and will thus die out.
As such hunters cannot hunt any time they want, but only in the specified months.
Game laws set limits on how many animals hunters are allowed to take home. By keeping a cap on the number of hunts allowed, wildlife can be preserved by keeping too many of the same species from being hunted. Bag limits actually mean that hunters can only hunt as many animals as can suitably fit into the bags, so this law does leave some room for hunters to hunt a bit more than if there were limits on the number of animals they were allowed to kill.
There are also limits on the kinds of weapons allowed to use for hunting. This is to keep the animals from being killed in unnecessarily cruel ways, as well as to protect the rest of the environment from damage.
For example, the use of explosives can harm animals besides the one being hunted, as well as the plants in the area. On the other hand, hunting rifles are used to target the animal itself, without necessarily harming any of the surrounding wildlife.
Limits on the kinds of weapons allowed help with protecting the animals, the environment, as well as any people within the reserve at the time.
Check In Stations
Game conservation laws also established check-in stations and name tags that are enforced. The purpose of this is to make sure that only those who have the authority after going through the relevant procedure and regulations are allowed to hunt.
If hunting were open to everyone, animals would die out very fast since every hunter would be hunting. Even with bag limits, seasonal limits and weapon regulations, if a lot of hunters chose to hunt down a species, it would easily go extinct.
Therefore, to protect wildlife, only authorized hunters are allowed to hunt, and the check stations ensure that unauthorized people are not allowed within the reserves and hunting ranges. Those caught hunting illegally are penalized.
Benefits of Game Conservation Laws
The biggest advantage of game conservation laws is the conservation of wildlife. As mentioned earlier, hunting has been one of the biggest contributors towards the extinction of various species in the past. Game conservation laws make sure that this does not repeat and keeps the wildlife safe.
Hunting cannot be completely eradicated in order for humans to get food, and many hunters already oppose these laws because of the limits it places on them. Therefore, hunting laws keep the hunters from going overboard while still giving them the room to do their hunting.
Another advantage of these laws is that hunters need to be licensed if they want to be allowed into the hunting ranges. To do this, they have to pay, and this inflow of money is valuable since it is used to fund wildlife protection programs.
The hunting laws also keep pollution under control. Since hunters often set up camp within the hunting sets and throw their waste items such as plastic, this results in an increase in the total carbon footprint and causes degradation of the environment. Therefore, by placing a limit on hunters by requiring licenses, pollution can be controlled. This also has the benefit of keeping the animals’ natural habitat safe, which helps them flourish as well.
Animal populations are already in the red zone because of how frequent and unregulated hunting used to be in the past. It takes a long time for animal populations to return to the way they used to be, so if these animals are not protected by the law now, we may very well see them go extinct within our lifetimes.
On the other hand, humans also need food, and a large part of our diet does consist of animal meat. That said, a fairly large number of hunters choose to hunt for pleasure, rather than for food, and for this reason, it becomes increasingly important to keep conservation laws in place and strictly so. Otherwise, we may end up seeing a very bleak future.
Hunting does not just pose dangers to animals, but also to humans. While extinction of a species is the major threat, the side effect of extinction is the disruption of all the food chains and webs that species may have been a part of, which can disrupt entire ecosystems. If this happens, we may find ourselves facing a major food crisis very soon.
Protecting our planet and the creatures that live on it with us is our responsibility, and thus we need to ensure that these laws are enforced and followed.
About THE AUTHOR
James Parker has a Masters degree in Sustainability with a focus on land management, permaculture and regenerative agriculture. He also has experience managing sustainability projects, and is passionate about conservation and sustainability.Read More About James Parker