American hunting culture
” It is also a common courtesy in hunting groups to let the beginner hunters or hunters that have not yet gotten a deer take the first shot. Hunters will often socialize with any other hunter, even a stranger, during hunting season. They commonly will ask how the hunting is going for the other party or if they have even seen any deer. Many conversations are also started when a fellow hunter shows up with a recently bagged deer. Hunters say that there is a sense of pride in bringing a deer they have just shot to the registration center and seeing everyone checking out your deer.
Hunters claim many benefits from participating in hunting. The first, and most direct benefit is the meat that they get from the animals. Most hunters really have developed a taste for deer meat, and prepare it in all sorts of different ways. Some prefer to have it processed into sausage or jerky, while others like it as roasts and steaks. Deer meat, or venison as it is commonly known, is a leaner and healthier than beef. Most important to many hunters, a second benefit is the relationships made and reinforced by hunting with other people.
Another benefit is the sense of accomplishment one feels after outsmarting a deer. Many hunters will speak of having dry spells when they went several seasons without shooting any deer, which makes a successful hunt even more rewarding. When asked, many hunters attribute their hunting successes to luck and good preparation. Preparation for a hunting outing often includes many things. Hunters must prepare their equipment, and ensure they have everything necessary for the hunt. Many hunters also scout out the area in advance where they will be hunting by looking for animal tracks and signs of recent activity.
Additionally, to avoid problems and possible fines with the DNR, hunters must obtain proper licensing. It is the peacefulness of the outdoors that draws some hunters to hunt. They enjoy escaping the chaotic life in American culture and going to a more relaxing and quiet setting of the outdoors. Many hunters enjoy just getting out into the woods, even if they do not get one deer during the whole season. The hours of solitude in the woods may be used as a time for self-reflection about the rest of their lives.
A few hunters even bring books to occupy themselves during the long quest for a deer. Some hunters mention how hunting taught their children to respect guns and learn gun safety. Younger hunters say that it keeps them out of trouble by giving them something to do. With all the different game that can be hunted, it can become a year round sport. Another benefit is the respect for the deer that is gained. Most people have little respect for the meat that they buy in a grocery store and do not associate that meat with the process of killing the animal.
Non-hunters do not fully understand what is like to watch something die in order to feed themselves or the effort involved in hunting. This lack of understanding can often lead to stereotypes of hunters in general. There are some frequent stereotypes associated with hunters. The most popular stereotypes are that they are uneducated primitive people, bloodthirsty killers, alcoholics with guns and a need to kill. Most of these stereotypes are false for the general hunting public and a few bad representations of hunters can ruin the image of all hunters. Stereotypes are not the only problem faced by hunters recently.
Lately, Wisconsin has faced a scary epidemic of Chronic Wasting Disease in the deer herd that is similar to the Bovine Mad Cow Disease. When asked, many hunters were very concerned with the spread of the disease and the safety of venison consumption. Some hunters even abstained from hunting this year because they did not believe that the risk of consuming venison was worthwhile. With absence of some hunters that would normally participate in deer hunting, the herd only grows larger and so do the problem associated with it. A possible solution would be to offer incentives for hunters to hunt or give out more licenses.
Hunting has developed into and will continue to be a popular sport among many Americans. Hunters have their own culture, common practices and values that may vary from non-hunters. Society would be at a great loss without the economical and ecological contributions made by hunters. Hunters provide a valuable service and the stereotypes associated with them can be proved wrong with wide spread education. Many families have passed their hunting traditions down to their children and the sport of hunting will not be lost, no matter what technological advances that may come around.