By Daniel Carr
Gannon University Student Contributor
Hunting is as ancient as humanity itself and is still a resource for obtaining food and for recreation in our region today. According to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, Pennsylvania had over 800,000 active hunters in 2011 – more than any state besides Texas and Wisconsin. According to the PA Game Commission, Erie enjoys not only a thriving deer and turkey hunting population but also is a popular destination for goose hunting in the area near Lake Erie. Hunting is a very healthy and common part of Pennsylvania and Erie culture.
Unfortunately, many people mistakenly associate contemporary hunting with harming the environment because of its history in wiping out species and damaging the natural ecosystem. Most people are aware of how to hunt safely, but not how to practice green hunting. Hunting done correctly is critically important to the maintenance of our wildlife.
How is Hunting Good for the Environment?
How can I make sure that I'm hunting "green"?
1. Obey the Law. The laws exist for a reason. Many are for safety, but many are also for conservation.
2. Consider Arrows or Lead-free Ammunition.
3. Leave No Trace. While Leave No Trace is primarily a camping and hiking program, it still applies to hunting. Especially when hunting somewhere that isn't on your property, try to leave it as you found it. You want to leave the area the same for someone coming in after you. This means:
4. Use What You Kill. Unless the animal is visibly sick, there is value in the animal.
Photo Courtesy of Joe Kosack and the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission