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**Purpose and Ethics of Hunting**:
– Humans hunt for various reasons, including meat, recreation, pest control, trade, and conservation.
– Recreational hunting focuses on specific mammals and birds known as ‘game.’
– Modern regulations differentiate legal hunting from illegal poaching.
– Hunting can help manage animal populations and contribute to conservation efforts.
– Ethical considerations include debates on cruelty, unnecessary practices like canned hunts, and controversial activities like hunting marine mammals.

**History and Evolution of Hunting**:
– Hunting has been a part of human culture for millions of years, evolving from scavenging to hunting.
– Stone tools and the control of fire are linked to hunting in human evolution.
– The development of hunting weapons like spears and bows dates back to ancient times.
– The concept of hunting predates Homo erectus and has evolved over time.
– Hunting remained significant in ancient societies, even alongside agriculture and domestication.

**Hunting Practices and Techniques**:
– Legal hunting can aid wildlife management and conservation efforts.
– Differentiating between legal hunting and illegal poaching is crucial.
– The use of dogs has been essential in aiding hunters for finding, chasing, and retrieving game.
– Hunting contributes to rural economies and cultural traditions.
– Different types of hunting practices and techniques have been developed over time.

**Cultural and Religious Perspectives on Hunting**:
– Hunting has cultural and psychological importance in ancient societies.
– Various religions like Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have different perspectives on hunting.
– Specific rituals and deities are associated with hunting in different cultures.
– Hunting traditions, such as safari expeditions, hold cultural significance in various regions.
– The importance of hunting in different national traditions, like in the United Kingdom and the United States, reflects diverse cultural values.

**Wildlife Management and Legal Aspects**:
– Hunting is used as a tool for wildlife management to control populations and prevent endangerment.
– Laws and regulations govern hunting activities, with poaching being illegal and punishable.
– The right to hunt is recognized in some jurisdictions, with bag limits controlling the number and type of animals that can be hunted.
Wildlife managers play a crucial role in setting rules and guidelines for hunting practices.
– Concerns about sustainability, illegal hunting practices, and the black market for poached game highlight the importance of proper wildlife management and conservation efforts.

Hunting (Wikipedia)

Hunting is the human practice of seeking, pursuing, capturing, or killing wildlife or feral animals. The most common reasons for humans to hunt are to exploit the animal's body for meat and useful animal products (fur/hide, bone/tusks, horn/antler, etc.), for recreation/taxidermy (see trophy hunting), although it may also be done for non-exploitative reasons such as removing predators dangerous to humans or domestic animals (e.g. wolf hunting), to eliminate pests and nuisance animals that damage crops/livestock/poultry or spread diseases (see varminting), for trade/tourism (see safari), or for ecological conservation against overpopulation and invasive species.

Bushmen bowhunting for bushmeat in Botswana

Recreationally hunted species are generally referred to as the game, and are usually mammals and birds. A person participating in a hunt is a hunter or (less commonly) huntsman; a natural area used for hunting is called a game reserve; and an experienced hunter who helps organise a hunt and/or manage the game reserve is known as a gamekeeper.

Hunter on a ground stand during a driven hunt in Finland

Hunting activities by humans arose in Homo erectus or earlier, in the order of millions of years ago. Hunting has become deeply embedded in various human cultures and was once an important part of rural economies—classified by economists as part of primary production alongside forestry, agriculture, and fishery. Modern regulations (see game law) distinguish lawful hunting activities from illegal poaching, which involves the unauthorised and unregulated killing, trapping, or capture of animals.

Bowhunter with a compound bow using a call

Apart from food provision, hunting can be a means of population control. Hunting advocates state that regulated hunting can be a necessary component of modern wildlife management, for example to help maintain a healthy proportion of animal populations within an environment's ecological carrying capacity when natural checks such as natural predators are absent or insufficient, or to provide funding for breeding programs and maintenance of natural reserves and conservation parks. However, excessive hunting has also heavily contributed to the endangerment, extirpation and extinction of many animals. Some animal rights and anti-hunting activists regard hunting as a cruel, perverse and unnecessary blood sport. Certain hunting practices, such as canned hunts and ludicrously paid/bribed trophy tours (especially to poor countries), are considered unethical and exploitative even by some hunters.

Professional deerstalker standing over a downed red stag in Scotland

Marine mammals such as whales and pinnipeds are also targets of hunting, both recreationally and commercially, often with heated controversies regarding the morality, ethics and legality of such practices. The pursuit, harvesting or catch and release of fish and aquatic cephalopods and crustaceans is called fishing, which however is widely accepted and not commonly categorised as a form of hunting, even though it essentially is. It is also not considered hunting to pursue animals without intent to kill them, as in wildlife photography, birdwatching, or scientific-research activities which involve tranquilizing or tagging of animals, although green hunting is still called so. The practices of netting or trapping insects and other arthropods for trophy collection, or the foraging or gathering of plants and mushrooms, are also not regarded as hunting.

Hunter carrying a reindeer in Greenland

Skillful tracking and acquisition of an elusive target has caused the word hunt to be used in the vernacular as a metaphor for searching and obtaining something, as in "treasure hunting", "bargain hunting", "hunting for votes" and even "hunting down" corruption and waste.

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