Hunters vs. Rednecks: A Cultural Stereotype

Hunters vs. Rednecks: A Cultural Stereotype

From the cavemen who paved the way for humanity to the frontiersmen who made living in America possible such as Daniel Boone and Lewis and Clark, hunters have historically been revered for their competence as providers, prowess with weapons that aid in harvesting various animals, and ability to read and translate signs in nature. Without the brave and resourceful men throughout history who spent their lives hunting and exploring the wilderness, civilization as we know it today simply would not exist. However, in recent years with food being readily available,  the role of a hunter has become disposable in regards to the human survival. The hunter no longer holds the prestigious role it once had. Rather, in today’s world, the hunter is associated with terms such as “hillbilly” and “redneck”. How have hunters gone from holding such a vital role in the human condition to being referred to as hillbillies and rednecks? There is a cultural stereotype regarding the animal killing and redneck hunter, and it must be debunked. Continue reading “Hunters vs. Rednecks: A Cultural Stereotype”

A Hunter’s Duty

A Hunter’s Duty

Resulting in one of the most intriguing ecological phenomenons observed by man, the 1995 gray wolf reintroduction into Yellowstone National Park shed light on the various impacts large predators have on the ecosystem. In result of national park predatory control efforts conducted by various federal agencies, gray wolves were extirpated from Yellowstone by 1926. In the absence of an apex predator, elk had the ability to thrive and reproduce without fear of predation. Without wolf competition, coyote numbers also rose to unbalanced numbers which negatively impacted rabbit, red fox, and rodent populations. As the elk population reached near unsustainable numbers, shrub and plant life throughout the park were in peril. Cottonwood, willow, and aspen saplings were being consumed and destroyed at alarming rates, removing habitat and food sources for various other species. The ecosystem of Yellowstone National Park in the 1900’s was in desperate need of rebalance. It wasn’t until 1995 when biologists and wildlife agencies took action with a simple resolution. Gray wolves were reintroduced into the park to fill the missing predatory niche. The release of gray wolves gave rise to life. As the wolves predated on elk reducing their numbers, plant life throughout the park flourished. Beaver populations began to grow with the regeneration of food sources, and they built dams which changed the landscape. The new landscape changed by the beavers provided crucial habitat for waterfowl, fish, and amphibians. With wolves hindering the success of coyote reproduction, red fox, rabbit, and rodent populations also began to recover. As an apex predator, the gray wolf had a great deal of impact not only on its prey species, but on its environment as a whole. Continue reading “A Hunter’s Duty”