What is Hunting Tourism?12/11/2021
Hunting tourism is when somebody travels with the goal of getting involved with hunting. It can be domestic or international, and hunting is generally the main reason for travelling.
Sometimes hunting tourism can be a small part of a holiday and not the sole purpose, but generally hunting tourism is narrowly focused. This allows hunters to explore new grounds, experience new terrains, hunt different animals and more.
Hunting tourism is a lucrative business, albeit a very controversial one. There are different types of hunting but when it comes to hunting tourism, it is generally sports hunting (and trophy hunting) that is involved.
Definition of Hunting
Hunting is literally seeking or finding. In terms of hunting in this context, it is to seek, capture and / or kill wildlife and other (non-captive) animals.
People do this for sport – hunting tourism is generally for those who hunt for fun. However there are other reasons why people may hunt. These include accessing useful animal products e.g meat for food, fur and hide for clothing and so on, as well as removing predators, dealing with overpopulation, eliminating animals that may spread disease and more.
Animals in the wild are natural hunters, of course. They are unable to access packaged, processed and ready-made food in the same way that humans (and animals in captivity) can. There is a whole circle of life in the wild, much like The Lion King taught us about, whereby the system of predators and prey is almost a pyramid. Little animals like bugs are preyed on by slightly bigger animals, who become prey for animals a bit bigger than themselves, and so on. Top of the pyramid are the apex predators like lions, polar bears and even golden eagles.
Types of Hunting
There are three main types of hunting. These are therapeutic hunting, subsistence hunting and sport hunting. Below you can find out more about each type – how and why they are practised, and where.
This is the form of hunting that is done in order to conserve ecosystems and other groups of animals.
For example, Burmese pythons are hunted in the Everglades in Florida because they pose a danger to the rest of the animal population throughout the wetlands. Since the 1980 s, these snakes have taken over. They are huge, growing up to 20 feet long, and have pretty much decimated the smaller mammal population. This is an issue, and as such they have to be culled. They have an ecological threat, so they are hunted in order to protect the landscape and ensure other animal populations have the chance to thrive safely. Hunters are hired for therapeutic hunting, and they will seek out and kill wild animals that are causing some sort of issue in a particular place. This balances out the population and is part of an overall conservation goal. It is an important practise.
Subsistence hunting is when people hunt for food.
The process of subsistence hunting doesn’t vary from other types of hunting, but the goal is to kill animals that can be eaten by the hunter and their family or community. It is common among tribes, and those living in areas without access to supermarkets or other food vendors.
In other words, this is hunting for survival. It is not something that is commonly practised in areas that we might refer to as ‘first-world’, such as the UK and much of the US, but it is common in parts of Botswana and Namibia. Alaska is the only state in the US that permits subsistence hunting.
Depending on the location, the animals that are hunted for subsistence differ. They tend to be deer, goats, sheep, bears and so on – meaty animals that will provide sustenance for the hunter and those they are intending to feed.
Sport hunting is the type of hunting that attracts the most controversy.
Again, the process of the hunt itself is no different to techniques used for subsistence and therapeutic hunting. However, the goal is simply to have fun. It is a hobby for many, and something that is debated at length over and over again.
Illegal in some places, and with many restrictions everywhere, sport hunting is said to increase your physical fitness and sharpen your senses. Sport hunters also say that it teaches you survival skills, and opens your mind enhancing your mentality. It requires training and comes with various obvious dangers, as well as many ethical questions.
Some people take sport hunting one Step further: this is called trophy hunting. This is when hunters kill animals and keep them to exhibit as trophies. As a rule, this is practiced by rich people who are aiming for an impressive-looking game. The animals they hunt are usually lions, bears, moose, deer and other large mammals. They prefer to have horns or horns, as it “looks better” when the trophy is stuffed and put on public display.
Trophies hang on the wall in the hunter’s home or office– many have rooms that they call trophy rooms or game rooms. This is something that is regularly talked about in the media. Trophy hunting is not common, but it exists.