Hunting vs. Poaching
Difference Between Hunting And Poaching
Hunting is the pursuit and killing of wild game animals for food or sport. For most of human history, people hunted to survive. This kind of hunting is called subsistence hunting. Later, people hunted on a larger scale. They sold meat, fur, feathers, and other animal products to markets. Market hunting nearly destroyed wildlife populations in the United States. Then laws were enacted to outlaw it. Most game species have since repopulated. Today nearly all hunting is done for sport. Most modern hunters eat what they kill. They hunt mainly for the challenge of matching their skills against the instincts of animals.
Kinds of Hunting
Hunting methods and equipment vary according to the game being hunted. Game is typically classified as one of four types.Big game animals include white-tailed deer, elk, moose, and bears. Among the most popular small game animals are squirrels and rabbits. Upland game birds include pheasants, quail, grouse, woodcocks, and wild turkeys. Ducks and geese are classified as waterfowl.
Many hunters pursue some or all of these game species. But a growing number specialize in just one type. This is because hunting each type of game presents its own challenges. It also requires specialized skills, knowledge, and equipment. For example, hunters usually use high-powered rifles for big game; in densely populated areas they may use shotguns, which have a shorter range, loaded with buckshot or slugs. Hunters pursuing small game or birds in flight typically use shotguns loaded with smaller shot. Waterfowl hunters hide inside camouflaged blinds. They may use calls and decoys to lure game within shooting distance. Hunters of big game may stalk their prey. That is they try to approach within shooting range undetected.
Poaching is killing or catching game or fish illegally. Formerly the poacher was most often an individual seeking to augment his food supply or income, or a sportsman whose interest was the trophy. In the 20th century the problem of poaching has centered on large-scale violations for commercial profit.
Hunting and fishing grounds may be patrolled by game wardens to discourage and apprehend poachers. At one time, large landowners set mantraps to catch intruders, but the use of such devices is now forbidden. In some areas, poaching is serious enough to threaten the supply of game and fish, or even to endanger the survival of certain species, as in the national parks of Africa and the islands off Alaska. Countries whose economies are heavily dependent on fishing have sought to reserve fishing rights to their own nationals in waters up to 200 nautical miles off their coasts.