Hunting and Conservation
I was checking my FB page today when I came across a Picture posted by my friend Rusty of a beautiful Eland taken in Zimbabwe by a gentlemen named Jerry. There were several comments knocking the taking of this Beautiful animal so I quickly added my Post;
Me: Congrats to the hunter not only have you taken a fine trophy but the locals will have food to eat and the money you spent adds value to the animals and helps in Conservation efforts to preserve Wildlife. Thank you for your help.
A few minutes later a lady replied back;
Lady: Luv rusty but can't condone the killing of such a beautiful creature ...
Shortly after that Jerry replied;
Jerry: I make no excuses and no apologies. I am a carnivore. A mouse, rat, cockroach, mosquito and elephant are equal to each other in the big picture. If you eat...even if its just veggies, you contribute to destroying animal life, so don't assume you are free from killing! Veggie farms come at the cost of habitat for millions of animals that must be removed. Don't judge me, and I won't judge you.
It wasn't but a few minutes until another lady Miss Power posted;
Miss Power: "In a civilized and cultivated country wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen. the excellent people who protest against all hunting, and consider sportsmen as enemies of wild life, are ignorant of the fact that in reality the genuine sportsman is by all odds the most important factor in keeping the larger and more valuable wild creatures from total extermination." President Theodore Rooseveld
and then Miss Main posted;
Miss Main: Great trophy. I just love the Eland horns - that twist and then straight. Legal hunting is so vital to wild life conservation. Abolish hunting and you have complete devastation.
After reading these statements it dawned on me as how this applies in every country in the world more people need to see the Big Picture. We should be working together not against each other, the money spent in hunting adds value to the wildlife while at the same time reestablishes habitat on those farms that can't grow veggies or turn them in to productive hunting farms as they have in Africa. Where again it gives employment to many people that would otherwise be struggling just to eat and feed their families.
It gives one something to think about. Whats your thoughts?
I grew up on a farm and thought a long time ago, a lot of Africa is good for one thing....raising wildlife! And then eating the delicious wildlife. There are certain areas it can grow crops but the technology to do it properly and maximize the crop yield isn't there yet...heck a lot the USA is improperly farmed.
Hunting & Conservation go hand in hand. I worked for many years in the formal conservation sector in South Africa, and also still as a PH and avid rifle and bow hunter.
The reason why there is now so much game in South Africa in particular, is becuase wildlife now has value. The old addage of "if it pays it stays" is very true (sustainable utilisation). This is the single most important factor which contributes significantly to the conservation of our wildlife. South Africa today has more wildlife than it did 100 years ago, simply because of this. The number of landowners who have converted from conventional farming to Game Ranching is astronomical, not only their own land but forming partnerships with neighbors to create even larger areas for wildlife.
One of the major reasons in South Africa is that there is so much marginal land in terms of viable agriculture, BUT is absolutely perfect for wildlife. Makes sense, as they know how to live and survive in these marginal areas (agriculturally speaking).
Hunting revenue is one of the largest contributors to money being driven back into conservation efforts, and adding more land to wildife activities which benefits conservation and biodiversity efforts as a whole.
I strongly believe that all hunters are conservationists at heart.
President Theodore Rooseveld was thinking far beyond his times and was a wise man!