Hunters: The Best Conservationist, Ever (Part 1)

by david on October 8, 2012

To most non-hunters putting the words hunter and conservationist in the same sentence makes no sense at all.  I wanted to do something to change that concept and I hope I have done so in this five part series of writings.  Please read it carefully and with an open mind.  If you have concerns or questions after reading the post, let me know and I’ll do my best to explain or answer your question. 

David L. Brown

Hunting as a Conservation Tool


            After a couple of messages back and forth with a few of my Facebook friends, I have decided the concept of hunting as a conservation tool needs more explanation.  It works well in the United States, but it works even more dramatically in Africa so I will use it for my examples.

            First off, I need to explain a few things about Africa so we are all on the same page.  Number one, rural Africa is poor.  Not everyone is necessarily living in a mud hut (although some people still do), but one month’s income in the US is more than a year’s wages to a great many people there.  Number two, many Africans are hungry.  Africa is one of the most protein-starved places on earth.  Number three, Africans (at least the ones I know) are willing to work hard to make things better. 

 Now let me give a little illustration to help make a point.  Suppose I gave two people two quartz-looking pieces of rock and told them they could do as they pleased with it.  The first person looks at the rock and thinks, ‘This will work great in my slingshot to pot a small animal for supper’, and that is exactly what he does with it.  He feeds his family for one meal.  The second person is a little more thoughtful about what he has been given, and he decides to look at it a little closer.  He washes it off and notices a sparkle to it.  Upon further inspection, he finds he has a raw diamond.  Instead of selling it immediately, he decides to have it cut and polished.  After taking care of it (cleaning, cutting, and polishing), he finally sells it for much more money and feeds his family many, many, more meals than the first person.  It all boils down to perceived value.  The more value something is perceived to have, the better care it is given.  I’ll explain two ways perceived value is so important to conserving animal populations in the next two sections.

Part 2 Tomorrow


Previous post:

Next post: