Whether for sport or for food, hunting if left unregulated can lead to the extinction of certain animals. Putting up a certain duration when people can participate in hunting not only saves wildlife but also lets people enjoy themselves. Hunting seasons tells people when they can kill certain animals and is, therefore, the solution to the extinction problem.
In the USA, the government has set different seasons for hunting different types of animals in different states. The penalties for breaking these hunting laws also differ with each state. They range from paying a variety of fines to having your licensed revoked depending on the level of violation.
Common rules for open hunting seasons
Choice of weapon
One of the rules during these seasons is the specification of the type of weapon to be used during hunting. One cannot use a rifle to hunt a deer when the law says it’s a bow season. This applies to all types of animals regardless of the state. People have to use a specified tool at a specific time.
Even though it may be the right time, one cannot take part in the activity without proper documentation regardless of the residency status. You have to get a hunting license and carry it with you throughout the period whether you’re a resident or non-resident. In most cases, the states set an age limit one has to meet when getting the license. You have to use your identity and give correct details otherwise; you may be fined or jailed. Some states offer youth hunting licenses for younger individuals so it’s better to check with your respective state.
One must undergo a training course to be qualified for a license. Failure to meet this requirement hinders you from participating.
Wearing a reflective clothing including headgear is always recommended although exempted when hunting on private property in some states. A fluorescent orange jacket must be won at all times when hunting. To increase safety, hunting by roadsides is prohibited.
Dangers of not following the hunting season schedule
Other than paying a hefty fine of up to $10000, you could be jailed since it is a criminal offense. Being suspended and losing your license is also mandatory in such cases, and you could lose all your hunting gear leading to more loses. Reapplying for a license once yours is suspended costs more money. Hunting during closed season will, therefore, cause you to lose a lot of money that could easily be avoided.
For the animals, disobeying the hunting season schedules could lead to over-hunting which can then lead to a reduction in the animal species. When people decide to hunt anytime they feel like, the animals can go extinct since they will be dying and won’t be having enough time to procreation and leave behind a new generation for the hunters.
Hunting seasons are set after much thought into the animals’ lives, which include their migration and hibernation. Going against these rules can, therefore, lead to a change in their habits due to fear. Animals that are hunted during migration may stop the process. This can then cause a ripple effect affecting the general behaviors of the animals and can even be detrimental to their health.
Benefits of following the hunting seasons
While illegal hunting can lead to extinction, not hunting at all can lead to overpopulation. Hunting regulations bridge the gap between the two. Following the hunting seasons ensures that enough animals remain in the wild to enable procreation and increase in number without being too many.
Some people may hunt for sport whereas others do it as a way of getting food. Following the season gives the latter group the opportunity to sustain themselves without getting into trouble with law enforcement.
Following the schedules brings people together thereby improving and encouraging social skills. People come from different areas to participate in this activity. As a diverse group mingles, you can learn about different cultures as you have fun. Rather than staying indoors, you can become more active by going hunting.
Below are examples of hunting season dates in the USA.
In Alabama, hunting a deer with a firearm is open from November to 10th February, with archery 15 October to 10th February and with an air rifle from November 12th to 16th.
In New Hampshire, the open seasons for hunting a deer using archery go from mid-September to mid-December, with firearms 14th November to 9th December, and with a muzzle-loader from 3rd to 13th November
In Washington, the open season dates for firearms are 13th to 31st October, with archery September 1st to 28th, with muzzle-loader is 29th September to 7th October. Late open dates are 15th to 18th November, 21st November to 15th December and 21st number to 15th December respectively. The state of Washington has separate dates for the disabled, the elderly and the youth.
In Georgia, hunting a bear is open from September 20th to January 13th for those using firearms, those who prefer archery can hunt from September 8th to January 13th while primitive weapon users can go from October 13th to January 13th.
In New York, youth firearms can be used from 6th to 8th October, archery can be used from September 15th to October 19th, use of firearms is open from 20th October to 2nd December and muzzle-loading is allowed from 13th to 19th October.
Hunting a turkey begins on April 25th to may 26th in Connecticut during spring, bow-hunting in fall begins on 1st to 31st January and 15th to 31st December while using firearms is allowed from 6th to 31st October.
Wisconsin has general seasons for turkey hunting beginning from April 13th to 14th for spring youth hunting, April 17th to May 28th for spring general hunting and September 15th to January 6th for fall general hunting season.
Hunting is an activity that has been around for a long time and is still being practiced by a majority of people around the world. If left unregulated, it could cause harm to not only the animals but to the environment at large since the ecosystem is always interconnected.
For those interested in participating, find out the open dates for each animal in the state you live in for more information. Take all the necessary precautions by gathering all the necessary equipment and documentation to avoid getting into trouble. Avoid hunting during the closed seasons.