CategoriesHunting

Considerations To Make Before Purchasing a Tree Stand This Hunting Season

Tree stand hunters have a distinct advantage over those who hunt on foot: they sit above the deer’s field of view. Additionally, elevated hunters enjoy the benefit of a somewhat aerial view, providing more opportunities for harvesting wildlife. 

While a tree stand is more beneficial than hunting on foot, you want to find a suitable stand for your hunting location. A stand that is too large, weak, or plain uncomfortable will not provide for a successful or happy hunting trip. There are several factors you should consider when selecting your tree stand this hunting season.

Considering Style

When looking into tree stands, you will likely come across four main styles: hang-on, ladder, climbing, and tripod stands. Hang-on stands are often the most affordable option but not the most comfortable. These stands attach to the tree using straps or chains and are typically a little shaky. You will also need to purchase climbing sticks or steps for access. 

Ladder stands are among the most stable because of the heavy ladder base. However, the stability comes at a price because two people will need to set the stand in place. Unlike some other types, the ladder stand comes in single and double configurations.

Climbing tree stands are not as stable as ladder options, but they are more convenient and easy to carry. The stand is a two-piece, and it is used to climb the tree.

A tripod stand is a freestanding option, and it is best used when there are no adequate trees in the area. While the construction of these stands provides greater stability than the other options, it is cumbersome.

Size, Weight Capacity, and Comfort

When looking into available stands, consider your anticipated use. Will you be hunting alone or with a partner? While a single-wide ladder stand might be efficient for you, a double is a necessity if you’re hunting with a partner. Additionally, a wider stand might be more comfortable in general.

Comfort is a significant concern when hunting. In most situations, you find a spot and stay there for hours, waiting for that buck to wander by, but if you’re sitting in a small stand with an uncomfortable seat, you might miss the deer because you had to stretch your legs or decided to return to camp early.

One aspect of a stand that contributes to comfort is the weight capacity. If you weigh over 300 lbs and are sitting 15 feet above the forest floor in a tree stand made for 250 lbs or less, you will not feel safe, secure, or comfortable. Always purchase a stand that can handle your weight; it’s a safety issue.

Safety and Accessories

Before you put yourself into the trees, consider safety. While tree stands provide straps, chains, or other connection methods, you should also find additional ways to secure yourself to the tree. A safety harness should be a part of every elevated hunter’s tool bag.

Additionally, don’t forget the purpose of an elevated position: to get a clean shot. You can usually purchase a shooting rest for greater stability and accuracy when shooting a gun, crossbow, or muzzleloader. The rest also provides an additional safety measure.

Elevated hunting is fun and exciting, often providing unique vantage points for hunting. However, you should not select your stand without considering your preferences and needs.

Do you have any other pointers for first-time elevated hunters? Leave a comment.

CategoriesHome Defense Hunting Prepping Survivalism Weapons

Why the Right To Bear Arms Is Still Extremely Relevant

Quick! How many times within the last year have you heard that you don’t “need” to have guns? If you’re like many outspoken gun owners, you have probably lost count. People have various reasons for their favorite anti-gun arguments. Some say that no one needs guns because they can just call the police when they need help. Others insist that you can fight off a gun-wielding attacker with a knife, baseball bat, or another inferior weapon. Still others claim that if all guns are outlawed, no one will be at risk of gun violence anymore.

If you’re confused by all the pro- and anti-gun rhetoric, you’re not alone. Many people struggle to understand how necessary guns really are in today’s world. Could those calling for more gun control be right, or could they be horribly misguided? To help answer your questions, here are a few reasons why the right to bear arms is still extremely relevant today.

The Second Amendment Is Not Outdated

Our forefathers were very wise people. They willingly fought and risked their lives to escape a tyrannical government. The last thing they wanted to do was create a new government that had any chance of becoming like the one they ran away from. This was the primary reason they included the Second Amendment in the Constitution of the United States.

By giving the people the right to keep and bear arms, the founders protected citizens of the United States from forced government encroachments and takeovers. With how divided and caustic our country has become in recent years, it’s clear to see we still need that protection today.

Tyranny doesn’t have an expiration date, and there’s no reason we should think it’s limited to governments of yesteryear. In fact, there are several dictatorial governments in the world already (Cuba is just one example), so there’s no reason to think the heads of our government wouldn’t try it too if they could successfully disarm the citizens of our great nation.  

Crime Rates Are Rising Fast

Crime rates in major cities are rising at unprecedented rates. From April 2020 to April 2021 alone, homicide rates in major American cities increased 33%. Taking away the peoples’ right to protect themselves from criminals makes no sense in our current situation.

Some claim that if there are no more guns, you can’t be killed by one. But savvy criminals always find a way to get their hands on the things they want. As a wise man once said, “when guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns.”

Guns Create Equality

Equality is a buzzword these days, right? A growing number of people want equal outcomes when it comes to professional pay, education, and living standards. But when it comes to defending oneself, there are some who suddenly abandon their equality ideals. It’s a strange phenomenon.

If you look at guns as the great equalizers, you’ll see that they are very necessary today. They help put people who might be physically disadvantaged (such as females, people with disabilities, and the elderly) on equal ground with their attackers. If you have a gun, you have hope of fighting off anyone who tries to harm you, no matter how much larger or physically stronger they may be than you. Sometimes, all you need to do is show a gun and the bad guy runs away (though it’s an unspoken rule that you should only pull a gun out if you are prepared to use it).

Guns aren’t the evil things they’re often portrayed to be. After all, they’re just inanimate objects. It’s the people who wield them who determine whether they are used for good or ill, to harm or to preserve.

What do you think about the recent talk on gun rights? Do you think guns should be more tightly controlled or that the Second Amendment should not be infringed upon? Let us know in the comments section!

CategoriesHunting

What Is the Bigger Threat to Hunting: Urban Sprawl or Politics

Despite many of the wrongful accusations against hunters, typically about animal cruelty, most are considered conservationists. Through licensing, population control, and even inherent beliefs, hunters support national and global conservation efforts. However, it is getting more challenging to participate in the practice because of politics and urban sprawl.

Politicians and the Guise of Animal Welfare or Rights

It is no surprise that politicians will hitch their opinions and beliefs to the most popular agenda or the issue most likely to get them elected. In more liberal-leaning areas, the politics do not favor the hunter. Many liberal-leaning individuals believe hunting is an animal welfare or rights issue and consider the act of hunting immoral.

Fortunately, while politics can occasionally get in the way of hunting or make the activity more challenging, there are politicians on both sides of the argument. Having a balanced political spectrum is not something you see much of anymore, but there seems to be equal representation when it comes to hunting.

While every person is entitled to their opinions, it is necessary to point out that hunting is conservation. Without hunters, prey would overpopulate, causing ecological problems. There are not enough apex predators to control the population independently, meaning humans must step in and help. However, regardless of how sound the argument in support of hunting, you will always have those who argue against it.

Urban Sprawl and the Overpopulation of the Human Species

Urban sprawl is likely the greatest threat to hunting. As the human population continues to grow, cities expand, eliminating natural habitats. Forests, wetlands, marshes, and so much more are being destroyed acre by acre. 

Species are more threatened by human population and advancement than hunters. As the country continues to put pressure on infrastructure expansion and ignore the needs of the natural environment, wildlife will continue to struggle, and it is not at the hands of hunters.

Essentially, urbanization will reduce hunting in a region, but it is not for the betterment of wildlife. Instead, increased housing is reducing and eliminating essential habitats, forcing wildlife to migrate or perish.

Conservation and the Need for Change

Hunting is not the enemy to conservation. The human need to expand is more abusive to wildlife in hindsight. The drive for family and housing is ultimately the cause of animal displacement. 

When speaking of animal welfare and rights, it is unjust to blame hunters for neglect or abuse. A hunter is essential to wildlife management and control. They give back to the environment they cultivate. How do non-hunters, those living in ever-expanding cities, work to protect the environment? Hunters, survivalists, and preppers are more likely to live off the land and in harmony with nature than most who attack hunting as an archaic process.

Urban sprawl and politics interfere more with nature than a hunter ever could. The worst part is, the intention of the politician or city planner is typically power or profit; a hunter only wants to participate in the tradition. Where do you land in the debate against hunting? Do you believe it is an act of conservation or malice? Also, what do you think is the more significant threat to the activity: urban sprawl or politics? Leave a comment, and keep the conversation going. Your input provides insight into future topics.

CategoriesHunting

Rewilding and the Interest in Wolves and Lynx

Rewilding — the act of reintroducing native species to a country or continent — is an idea gaining traction in the UK, with over 44% of the population in favor of reintroducing lynx and wolves into the natural environment. Both species experienced extinction in the country primarily due to overhunting; however, exact causes are hard to determine because of when the extinction took place.

The elimination of wolves, lynx and other apex predators resulted in an overpopulation of prey species, particularly deer. By re-establishing a population of once natural predators, the country is hoping to curb the negative population trend of deer, especially as it relates to overgrazing and migration.

The Human Effect

While the precise reasons for exterminating specific apex predators are unclear, the consensus explains it as a necessary transition for a more prosperous society. Farmers made up the economy, and predators made it difficult to tend to and maintain livestock. Therefore, predators were hunted, and the natural order disrupted, resulting in population explosions of prey species.

While the initial effects were beneficial, today, deer are a serious nuisance to areas because of overgrazing. Additionally, prey animals are becoming desensitized to human interaction, making instincts to forage and migrate obsolete. Deer are like wild pets, unfortunately losing the survival instinct and changing the ecosystem for the worse.

The Necessity of Predators

Predators, such as lynx and wolves, create a necessary fear and order to a location. Deer, fearing becoming a predator’s meal, are careful not to overgraze a field and leave evidence of its actions; they will migrate to reduce the risks of capture. Additionally, a predator maintains population control, ensuring that animals, like deer, have enough food and shelter.

The Societal Benefits of Rewilding

Population control is not the only benefit to bringing back wolves and lynx to the UK. Some rewilding proponents believe the measure would also bolster tourism, adding an essential income stream to smaller cities through wildlife spotting. 

Even with lynx and wolves, animals that tend to shy away from people, tourism experts believe wildlife photographers and others will come from miles around to attempt to photograph the animals in their once natural habitat. Even if people are not paying for photography tours, they will likely still need places to eat and rest, making the proposal of rewilding interesting. 

The Hurdles to Overcome

Even with the potential benefits, some citizens remain skeptical of reintroducing once-native species. First, many are concerned about existing livestock, like sheep. While the intention is for the wolves and lynx to hunt deer, what is to stop the predators from hunting easier targets.

Additionally, many people worry about public safety and the effect on roaming rights. Many UK citizens worry about the safety of walking trails or paths when there is a lynx or wolf on the prowl. While some rewilding experts have attempted to appease those worried about animal attacks, they have done so by suggesting a compromise on public access to lands. 

While rewilding is continuing to gain steam across the UK, it is still not a sure thing, especially when it comes to apex predators, like wolves and lynx. However, every year, people seem to get more open to the idea, meaning one day wolves and lynx might roam free again.

What do you think about the concept of rewilding? Can you think of any species you might want to see reintroduced to your area? Leave a comment below.

CategoriesHunting Nature Survivalism

The Deadliest Animal in Every U.S. Region

Every part of the United States has at least one deadly arachnid, mammal or reptile. Get the facts about these lethal animals so you know what to do if you come face-to-face with a dangerous creature in the wilds of any region.

New England

When you travel to New England, you don’t have to worry too much about wildlife hazards. Although you may run into black bears if you hike or camp in the Maine woods, these bears are smaller and calmer than their grizzly counterparts and rarely attack humans.

As for reptiles, New England has just two poisonous snakes. However, you won’t encounter the copperhead or timber rattlesnake unless you’re in an isolated part of the mountains. If you travel to New Hampshire or Massachusetts, be wary of the northern black widow spider. A bite from the female of this venomous arachnid species has dire effects on the nervous system.

Mid-Atlantic Region

Poisonous black widow and brown recluse spiders are found throughout the mid-Atlantic region. The black widow is known for its distinctive red hourglass marking. While bites can cause nausea, muscle aches and breathing difficulties, most healthy adults recover easily from this type of bite.

A brown recluse spider is about the size of a quarter and has a violin-shaped mark on its thorax. Bites can cause tissue damage to the affected area as well as vomiting, rash, fever, dizziness and chills. Most healthy individuals respond quickly to medical treatment for this type of bite.

The South

The American alligator ranks as one of the deadliest animals in the nation. Found throughout the Southeastern part of the U.S., alligators rarely attack humans out of aggression. However, they may strike when they see a person as prey. To avoid alligator attacks, do not provoke these animals and avoid swimming after dusk and before dawn in states like Florida.

The Midwest

While gray wolves have long been endangered, conservation efforts have given this species an impressive rebound in the Midwest. Like other wild animals on our list, these wolves have lethal power but rarely attack humans unless they are hungry. If you do run into a gray wolf, try to appear threatening. Never run from the wolf, as it may cause the predator to read you as prey.

The Southwest

Scorpions rank as the most dangerous animal in this part of the country, with more than 90 different species making their homes in the Southwest. The bark scorpion, found in Arizona, has the most powerful venom. This arachnid’s sting causes intense pain, immobility in the affected area, convulsions, trouble breathing, vomiting, nausea and numbness. While fatalities are rare, a person bitten by a scorpion should seek immediate medical attention.

The West

Cougars rarely attack humans but will do so if they are starving and have no other food source. This risk is greatest throughout the Western states. Attacks may also occur when a young cougar acts aggressively to mark or defend territory. If you encounter a cougar, do not play dead. Make direct eye contact and try to scare it away by throwing rocks or making loud noises. These big cats usually avoid humans, but solo travelers have the greatest risk of an attack.

Grizzly bears, which are significantly more dangerous than black bears, also live in the Western U.S. If you come across a grizzly, walk away slowly without turning your back on the bear or making direct eye contact. Do not attempt to outrun a grizzly bear.

If you frequently take the road less traveled during your U.S. explorations, you’re bound to meet a few wild animals along the way. By behaving cautiously and making appropriate safety preparations, you can avoid a life-threatening animal attack.

CategoriesCamping Disaster Response Hunting Prepping Survivalism

What To Consider When Picking a “Bug Out” Property To Buy

Times are changing, and it’s important to prepare for additional changes yet to come. Just as you probably never imagined you’d experience a toilet paper shortage in your lifetime, you may not have imagined you’d need to start looking for a “bug-out” property this year. But here we are. Wise preppers understand that when things get really bad, they may have to leave their homes and head out to the wilderness (at least for a while). The more prepared you are to handle such a situation, the more likely you will be to survive.

The good news is that your bug-out property can also double as a recreational property where you go to camp and practice your survival skills. But you don’t want to buy any remote property you see for sale. Here are a few things you should consider when deciding which bug-out property to buy.

water

This may seem obvious, but many people forget to even consider the availability of water when looking for a property where they can lay low for a while. However, if you’re serious about survival, you need to make sure the property has some sort of access to fresh water year-round. This may be in the form of a lake, river, well or natural spring. Stock up on water purifiers as well and keep them in your bug-out bag so you can make any available water safe for drinking purposes. If there is no water to be found within miles of a property, it’s probably not worth buying.

distance

You may be able to find the perfect survival property for sale, but if it’s going to take you days to get there in an emergency, it’s just not a practical solution. When it comes to location, here are a few things the ideal property should offer:

  • It should be close enough to where you live that you can get to it on a single tank of gas
  • It should be far enough from the city that you aren’t in danger of being overrun by others who are trying to escape the dangers of the city
  • It should be no more than 60 miles from your home so you can reach it on foot if necessary

It may not be possible to find a good survival property that meets all of these recommendations, but do your best. If you can’t find a good bug-out property close by and you know you’re going to have to travel many miles in a SHTF situation, make sure you pack extra fuel and supplies to bring with you.

self-suffiency

When looking for the right property for an emergency, consider how it will help you be self-sufficient. Ideally, you should look for a place that’s located near:

  • Game and/or fish
  • Firewood
  • Sufficient space and sunlight for gardening
  • A source of electricity (such as water, solar and/or wind)

Don’t count on the electrical grid to power your needs when SHTF. Alternative sources of power are essential for any bug-out location.

security

When buying a property for survival purposes, take some time to consider how secure it is. Is it concealed by trees, fences, gates, etc. or is it located in a wide-open space? How many paths and roads lead to your property? Is your property located right next to a main road?

Generally, the more secluded your property is, the easier it will be to defend it from anyone with ill intent. You may also want to invest in Sentry Alarm Mines when situations become dire. They’ll alert you if someone trips the wire and trespasses on your property so you have time to react.

These are a few of the top things to consider when looking for a property you can purchase for your bug-out needs. Do you have additional suggestions we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments section!

CategoriesDisaster Response Home Defense Hunting Prepping Survivalism Weapons

How To Pick Your Very First Gun

You know you want a gun, but you have no idea what type of gun will best suit your purposes, right?  With so many different varieties out there, how can you possibly decide which gun should have the honor of being your “first”? While there is no single “right” gun for everyone, there are some things you can do to determine which gun is right for you. Here are some helpful tips to make the first-time gun selection process much easier.

Figure Out the Purpose for Your Gun

Before you purchase your first gun, you need to think about what its primary purpose will be. Are you buying a gun primarily for home defense or for target practicing at the gun range? Do you want a gun you can carry with you (concealed or open), or are you searching for a home-defense gun that will do the most damage to an intruder with murderous intent?

The intended purpose for your gun may not fall into a single category, and that’s OK. You may want to use it for both home defense and target shooting. But as long as you at least have an idea for how you’ll use it, you’ll be able to avoid purchasing a firearm that doesn’t meet your most important needs or expectations.

Try a Few Types

Remember how your mom always encouraged you to date a lot of girls so you get an idea of what’s out there? The same holds true when you’re gun shopping. You don’t want to make a commitment to the very first gun you hold in your hands, because you don’t know if there’s something better out there for you. Try a variety of guns. If possible, go to a gun range and test shoot multiple guns so you can see how they feel in your hands, how much recoil they have, etc. When it comes to choosing your first firearm, “playing the field” is a good thing. It will help you make a wise investment when you’re ready to commit to your first gun.

Consider Ammo Availability

As a first-time gun buyer, you may not be aware of how difficult it’s been to find ammo lately. Hopefully, everything gets back to normal soon, but it is wise to at least consider ammo availability before purchasing a gun. Though every type of ammo is more difficult to find right now than usual, there are some types of ammo that are more popular and are generally easier to find when there isn’t a general ammunition shortage. They include: .22, 9mm, .223, 12 gauge and .308. In normal conditions, if you have a gun that takes any of these ammunition types, you should be able to find the ammo you need pretty easily.

Figure Out Your Budget

Firearms can be expensive, but you can also get decent models for a reasonable price. When you’re shopping for your first gun, set a realistic budget, then look for a gun that fits within that budget.

In addition to these tips, you’ll also need to consider gun weight and size when purchasing your first firearm. If you’re still not sure what type of gun is right for you, don’t be shy about talking to a salesperson at your local gun store. He or she knows a lot about different gun models and will be able to help you select the firearm you need.

Are you an experienced gun owner who has a favorite gun you consider ideal for first-time gun buyers? Or maybe you have a few models you’d advise inexperienced gun owners to stay away from. Either way, let us know in the comments section!

CategoriesDisaster Response Home Defense Hunting Prepping Survivalism Weapons

22 vs. Shotgun for Survival

The world has gone a little bit crazy lately, and it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll protect yourself and your family if it ever comes to that. One of the most effective survival tools available is the one government is constantly trying to take away: the firearm. Though some people seem to think they’re all equally dangerous, the truth is that some firearms are more lethal than others. And no, it generally has nothing to do with how “scary” the firearm looks.

Those who have real-world experience with guns know that the .22 and the shotgun are both highly desirable for home-defense purposes. But what about survival in general? Which one is the better choice for your overall survival needs, including staving off predators (both the human and animal varieties) and obtaining food? It turns out the answer isn’t obvious at first glance, so let’s break down the pros and cons of each gun in detail.

Range

When it comes to your survival, the shooting range of your gun is very important. In this category, the .22 is the clear winner. The average .22 long rifle is effective at 150 yards. A shotgun, on the other hand, is meant for close-range targets. The estimated effective range of the average shotgun is just 25-40 yards with birdshot, approximately 50-75 yards with smoothbore slug, and closer to 100-125 yards with a rifled slug. So, in the category of range, the .22 wins if you’re planning to shoot targets far away from you. Of course, accuracy also depends on the skills of the person doing the shooting, as well.

Weight

It’s not unusual for shotguns to weigh as much as 12 pounds, though there are lighter-weight options available. The average .22, on the other hand, weighs just 5-7 pounds fully loaded and scoped. When it comes to survival purposes, even a few pounds makes a big difference. The lighter the gun, the less energy you’ll expend lugging it around. So in terms of weight, the .22 comes out on top.

Versatility

The more versatile a gun is, the better it generally is for survival purposes. A .22 can only use one type of ammunition, while a shotgun can take a variety of ammunition options. This can make it easier for you to choose the right variety for the type of food you’re trying to take down. In terms of versatility alone, the shotgun has the upper hand.

Damage

In a real-life survival situation, you’ll probably care more about the damage your gun can inflict than how much it weighs. You’ve probably already guessed which gun is the winner when it comes to mortal damage, and it’s the shotgun. For up-close encounters, such as if a robber is trying to kill you or make off with your supplies, a shotgun is more desirable than a .22. It also requires less accuracy, which is important when your adrenaline is pumping and your arms are shaking.

You’ll also want a shotgun at your side if you encounter large predators in the wild. A shotgun will probably take down an attacking bear quicker than a .22.

The bottom line is that both of these guns are great to have for survival purposes. However, out of the four categories listed above, the .22 wins two and the shotgun wins two. We hate to decide the outcome of a tie-breaker (though we’re leaning toward the shotgun), so we want you to let us know which one you’d rather have by your side in a survival situation. Have you had to use either of these guns for self-defense? If so, how did it turn out? Let us know in the comments section below!

CategoriesHunting

Top 4 Reasons Boar Hunting Is so Important

Wild pigs, hogs, or boars are not often animals that jump to the forefront of peoples’ minds when they think about hunting. For many parts of the country, boars are not a significant burden on local economies or farming communities, but that is not the case in all parts of the US. 

While boars can be a dangerous species in close proximity, that is not reason enough to hunt them because any animal can show signs of aggression, even house pets. When it comes to boars, wild, undomesticated pigs, there are several reasons for hunting the species.

1. Reproduction Rate is Uncontrollable

One of the primary reasons for the licensed hunting of any species is population control. Whether some people like to admit it, most hunters are strong allies of conservation efforts. Pigs are among the fastest breeding animals on earth. They reach sexual maturity at 12 months old and can produce up to two litters of up to 13 piglets twice per year. An average boar will live five years, meaning they have the potential of producing 130 pigs in their lifetime. 

With the current population of feral hogs estimated at nine million in the US alone, hunting is necessary. Additionally, the population is expected to balloon, resulting in significant damage and expense. Some states are more likely to take the brunt of those costs than others; for example, Texas has a wild boar population of over two and a half million, nearly a third of the entire US population. Hunting is the only way to control the rising numbers and potential costs.

2. Cause of Significant Destruction and Expense

While Texas has one of the largest wild boar populations in the country, they do not share the majority of the costs for damage. That is not to say the expense is minimal. In one year, the Texas Department of Agriculture spent nearly $52 million to repair wild hog damage across the state. However, the multimillion-dollar number seems small compared to the estimated two and a half-billion dollars in damage estimated across the US by the Department of Agriculture.

People have a sentimental connection to pigs, believing them all to be Wilbur, but the truth is boars are destructive animals that reproduce at a rapid rate, making any other method of control unfeasible when compared to hunting. However, if population control and expense are not enough to get you on board with boar hunting, consider health and safety.

3. Carriers of Disease and Pests

Wild hogs are not friendly and often have pests and illnesses that are transmissible to people. Most boars can have issues with lice, fleas, and ticks. Along with these infestations, they can be carriers of tuberculosis, anthrax, cholera, and other transferable diseases. 

For individuals looking to take up wild boar hunting, it is necessary to take precautions to protect yourself against infection. Keeping your distance and ensuring your kill is amongst the most important, preventing any aggression or attacks in close quarters.

4. Delicious

If you aren’t sold yet with the above public safety measures, consider boar meat is delicious. A boar is a pig, and it is an excellent source of bacon.

While you do not have to be pro-boar hunting, it is good to understand the necessity of the practice. Most hunters care about the environment and the animals they help control. Hunting is not some bad word, and when done for the right reasons, it is beneficial to the population and animals. Do you have anything to add to the conversation? Leave a comment below.

CategoriesHunting

Understanding Hunting Zones and Seasons in the US

Hunting is a conservation tool, despite animal rights activists that want to argue otherwise. The sales made from licenses for various game seasons go toward conservation practices to ensure the continued population and preservation of specific species. For example, since its inception in 1934, the Duck Stamp has contributed more than $950 million, helping to restore nearly 6 million acres of habitat for migratory birds. 

After the near eradication of bison and the extinction of the passenger pigeon in the early 1900s, people and the government realized the need to protect wildlife, to prevent overhunting and the potential extinction of other species due to human interference. Through legislation, like the Wildlife Restoration Act, and other regulatory agencies and principles, hunting is more of a wildlife management tool. The basis of that tool is the development of hunting seasons and zones, which are often regulated by state with federal cooperation and instruction.

Understanding Hunting Zones Throughout the US

A hunting zone establishes an area for hunting an animal of a specific size and weight during a set timeframe, and it typically stipulates the type of weaponry and ammunition you can use. The zones can encompass some private lands but typically rely on public or government-owned lands. 

Hunting zones will vary by state because of climate, wildlife population, and migration. The differences mean that licensing is necessary for every state, meaning purchasing a hunting license in one state might not transfer to another. Every state is responsible for tracking the population of wildlife, making licensing a critical component of conservation. 

Understanding Hunting Seasons in the US

A hunting season is a time when a specific game animal can be hunted. Each hunting zone will typically have its own season that correlates to a specific species. If you chose to hunt a species outside of its season, you can face legal consequences, such as fines or jail time. 

There are times when a state might designate an open season on a specific species. An open season means that restrictions are lifted temporarily to limit a rampant population. However, while an open season allows hunters to hunt animals off-season, it does not permit a free-for-all approach. There will still be rules as to the weight, size, age, and gender of the species. You will also still need a license so wildlife officials can maintain accurate estimates of populations.

The Importance of Zones and Seasons

Conservation is critical to wildlife protection. When people were left to their own worst intentions, they nearly eradicated several species. Animals do not only play an entertainment role in the environment, they contribute to it. Nourishing other species and plants and ensuring a sustained food cycle for humans. 

Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of hunting because they look at it in terms of killing, equating it to murder. While hunting for pure sport, with no intent on using the flesh and meat of the animal is wasteful, and not beneficial to the environment. Hunting with purpose is vital to sustained natural landscapes and populations. 

Hunters are leading the charge in conservation efforts, and while some might not agree with the tactics, the objective is the same as other wildlife activists, to preserve and protect the environment. However, it is only the hunters who abide by the laws of the US, adhering to hunting seasons and sticking to zone limits, who are true friends to the environment.

As survivalists, having a healthy and balanced relationship with wildlife and the environment is crucial. Leave a comment below clearing up any regulations or hunting issues that confused you when you started.

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