To some people that word alone brings on bad thoughts and feelings. To others it is a learned skill that dates back to our earliest of ancestors. So why is there such a great difference in how people feel about Hunting?

When I was a youngster and Scout, I would hunt with my Father, who was an avid hunter. He taught me, and told me over and over again, that it was not the killing of an animal we where out in the forest to accomplish, but it was our connection with the outdoors that was the important thing. Confusing thoughts for a youngster at that time of my life.

As I got older and into my 20s, I became a full fledged “Tree-Hugger”. Hunting was bad and so was everything else that would harm anything natural. These claims where all based on my “Feelings”. and not on any facts.

As I became more outdoor experienced, and studied the natural world, I understood what my Father had told me about connecting with the outdoors at all levels. I also understood that I could no longer base my opinions and judgements about the natural world solely on my feelings.

The natural world is just that. There are the predators that hunt for food. There are critters that die that need to die. The strong must survive and breed. There was also the understanding that as we humans continued to overpopulate the planet, we where removing needed habitat for plants and animals. This meant that starvation in many species was a definite factor now.

I have seen starving Deer in the late Winter months. And it is something no one wants to see. Management is what governs quality and correct hunting behaviour. It is what we have designated our DNR to do at their highest levels. Manage our Natural Resources. It is an extremely difficult job. The choices many times come down to……..more land and lively-hoods for the humans, or less habitats for the critters. Guess who usually wins?

Proper organized and managed hunting is a necessary skills these days. The vast majority of hunters understand this, and treat our Natural Resources with great respect. In many case……more respect then alot of the Trail Users and temporary visitors to our Parks. Most hunters have an investment in treating the Natural Resources with a respect that allows them to continue hunting skills that date back ages.

Hunting cannot be judged by our feelings. Poor little critters type of attitudes, just do not apply these days. Allowing critters to starve, because we have removed there food sources and habitats, also do not apply.

There is room for most of us still left in our Parks and Waterways. Again…..quality management is the key. That is why it is so important our DNR does their jobs, and not be so focused on Linear Bike Pathways, Conquering Recreation 101, and building ADVENTURE Centers in the city of Detroit. All those things are much more horrifying then proper hunting behaviour and controlling the starvation levels of many of the critters we have removed habitat from.

Lastly……..there are bad hunters, just like there are bad Mountain Bikers. Those who do not care about the Natural Resources of our State, and only care about their little worlds. Judging all hunters from the bad behaviour of a few who do not follow the rules is just not good management or understanding of our State’s Hunting Heritage. This all comes from a “Tree-Hugger”. But a Tree-Hugger that has been educated about the real facts of the Natural world. That changes everything. The facts about hunting far exceed the feelings people may have about the killing of a critter in the woods. Using that hunt for food and properly managing the starvation of other critters is the main reasoning these days.                      Rob


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