Human Nature & the Nature of Hunting


By Mike Larsen | GoWild Field Staff Member and Contributor


I am a hunter.

It’s simple. And it’s complicated. It’s simple because it’s part of my heritage, my instinct and my being. It’s complicated because it’s not that way for everyone. Although, it was at one time. Hunting wasn’t like this in the past.

The word “simple” has alternate definitions. In this case, as an adjective, it is defined as: easily understood. In our past, it was easily understood because it was essential for survival. Back then, there were fewer options to obtain food than there are today and, therefore, hunting was an undisputed necessity.

Hunting was also “simple” because it was free of criticism. Our ancestors of years ago did not complicate the deed of hunting with sentimental emotions. Everyone relied on it to live. Including those that did not hunt. Today, gathering food has been made easy for us through modern access to markets and grocery stores. Meanwhile, the morality of hunting is heavily scrutinized and the world’s increasing population drives high demands for regulations and long-term strategies in conservation.

Perception Is Reality

I wonder, would the hunters that began the movement of conservation be shocked at how the emotional backlash is impacting today’s hunters? If, for instance, we have to put a stop to hunting buffalo for the survival of them as a species, does that make it bad and unnecessary?

Perception is reality, even when perception is wrong. Since food has become easier to acquire, how it got there is taken for granted and the concept of hunting and its role becomes lost or misunderstood. Perception is reality, even when perception is wrong.

The act of hunting has never been easy. Animals are constructed to survive and evade predators. Combining that with certain emotions, hunting is no longer simple at all. When animals prey on each other, it is instinctual. No one complicates matters there—it’s simple. They say, “That’s nature.” When did humans become separate from the natural world? 

Humans were created by God as omnivores, with some of the same traits as predators in the animal kingdom. 

I have canines, molars and incisors. My body and mind is built for hunting. Therefore, I am simply a hunter. Yes, as humans we are also highly intelligent and complex, but this is what gives us the advantage to truly understand our responsibility of ensuring the future of our hunting heritage.

Finding Answers

Some answers to preserving hunting are simple. We must all band together and support every legal means of hunting. Regulations must only be based on science. We don’t need to apologize for hunting but we can be respectful. Both to our prey and non-hunting humans. Arrogance and ego make that complicated. If someone changes their behavior based on emotion and external stimuli I am understanding of that. When those people try to change a hunter’s behavior, I have a problem with that. 

Are you contributing more to the simplification or complication of hunting? 

What do you think? Join the Conversation on the GoWild App. Download It Today. 

Mike Larsen has hunted and fished his entire life. He’s a veteran, GoWild Field Staff member and contributor.


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