There are many reasons every American should try hunting

For those who grew up in rural areas surrounded by wilderness and wildlife, hunting seems totally normal. You probably spent your childhood accompanying your parents and friends on different types of hunts throughout the year. But for those unfamiliar with the sport, the friction is palpable.

Making the Case for Hunting

If you’ve never been hunting, the idea of waking up before the crack of dawn, adorning yourself in camouflage, and working your way deep into the wilderness to seek out wildlife probably seems a bit strange. But for those who have spent their lives hunting, the benefits of the sport clearly outweigh any of the inconveniences. Here’s a look at some of the top reasons every American should try hunting at least once in their lifetime.

  1. Protects the Environment

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, American hunters have helped contribute about $5.6 billion to wildlife conservation since 1939,” Sportsman’s Finest reports. “Not only that, but contributions in the form of taxes on firearms and hunting equipment, licenses, and auctions, are growing year after year.”

While detractors like to say hunting harms the environment, the indisputable facts show that hunting actually does the opposite – allowing for wildlife conservation in areas that need it most.

  1. Very Safe Sport

By and large, hunting is a very safe sport. According to research, you are 11-times more likely to be injured playing volleyball, 19-times more likely to be injured snowboarding, 25-times more likely to be injured cheerleading or bike riding, 34-times more likely to be injured skateboarding or playing soccer, and a whopping 105-times more likely to be injured playing football.

  1. Teaches Responsibility and Discipline

The reason hunting is such a safe sport is that hunters are trained from an early age to be responsible and disciplined. They understand how to care for, use, and store firearms appropriately. Hunters also learn discipline, which proves useful in many other areas of life.

  1. Stress Relief

While you don’t have to be a psychologist to recognize the benefits of spending time in nature, it’s reassuring to know that a number of accredited studies back the idea that time outdoors is time well spent.

In an age where we spend more time indoors, staring at screens and numbing our minds with social media, being outdoors for a few hours at a time can relieve anxiety, promote creative thinking, and enhance mental clarity. Regardless of whether or not you end up getting anything, a hunt is always beneficial to the mind.

  1. Physical Exercise

Most hunts also provide a significant amount of physical activity. Whether you’re running dogs, climbing a tree, or wading through a pond, you end up burning calories, increasing circulation, and promoting the release of pain-killing endorphins.

  1. Family Bonding

Finally, you can’t ignore the benefits of bonding. While few words are shared during a hunt, you learn a lot about the person you’re hunting with through the way they carry themselves and how they respond under pressure. This is why so many parents cherish this precious bonding time with their children.

Don’t Knock It Until You’ve Tried It

Hunters are easy to pick on. The general public and mainstream media like to talk negatively about the sport and claim that hunters are blood-thirsty people who are hell-bent on killing innocent animals. But when you actually take the time to study the sport and speak with the people who are involved with it, it becomes abundantly clear that hunting is healthy, beneficial, and necessary to society. If you haven’t yet tried it, now may be the perfect time to give hunting a shot.