Prior to the invention of agriculture, hunting was one of the primary methods of obtaining food for thousands of years. For many centuries, hunters and gatherers roamed the earth before people began to settle down in one place and grow their own food. Hunting is still a common method of obtaining food in many parts of the world, and it is also a sport in others. Hunting is used to control wildlife populations in some areas, but it has also resulted in the endangerment and extinction of species. Many groups oppose hunting because they believe strongly in animal rights, while others oppose hunting because of religious beliefs.
Animals hunted in the wild today are better sources of meat because they can eat a natural diet and roam freely as nature intended.
Hunting can actually help animal populations thrive and grow in some cases where hunting is strictly regulated.
Poachers are people who kill animals illegally. In most cases, a person must have a hunting license and a tag in order to kill an animal. Poachers who are caught can face jail time and large fines.
Various types of hunting are popular in various parts of the world.
In North America, hunters are sometimes forced to kill animals that pose a threat to humans or livestock. Coyotes, wolves, cougars, mountain lions, and bears are among the animals hunted.
In the United States, most hunters use a gun, a bow and arrow, or traps.
Fox hunting is a long-standing tradition in the United Kingdom. For centuries, it has been regarded as an upper-class sport.
Safaris are another popular type of hunting in which a hunter travels for several days to weeks in search of a big game specimen.
Many hunters save the heads and/or other parts of the animal to be preserved and mounted on the wall as trophies.
Around the world, various hunting methods exist. Shooting, bows and arrows, traps, using other animals to chase and catch prey, spears, and today, some hunters hunt remotely via the internet.
Some areas prohibit the use of lead bullets because they have the potential to pollute the environment when they miss their target and fall to the ground.
Throughout history, some animals have been hunted for only a small portion of their body, resulting in devastating population losses. Elephants (for their ivory tusks), bears (for their gallbladders), white rhinos (for their horns), and American bison have all been among these animals (for their hides).
Sport hunting has surpassed food hunting in many parts of the world, though many animals hunted for sport, such as moose, deer, elk, and bison, are also consumed after they are killed.