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In American culture hunting has always been a way of life. The Indians and our forefathers hunted to survive. Now in the nineties it is not viewed as a way of life, but as a thirst for blood. Is it necessary, or as stated before, a thirst for blood? What most people don’t know is that without it, the ever increasing population of deer and other animals could be environmentally devastating. People should realize that without hunting, animal populations are in danger. Hunting is beneficial to sustaining animal populations and controlling the problems that overpopulation create.
Is hunting really necessary to control wildlife populations? That is one of the many questions asked by environmentalists and animal rights activists all over the world.  In an article in The Sciences, author Wendy Marston talks about the decrease in hunters across the nation. She found that only six percent of Americans hunt today, down four percent from a decade ago. She says, “from an environmental point of view, unfortunately that change has done more harm than good(12).”  Animal overpopulation in some areas is destroying nature. In some areas of overpopulation, food is becoming scarce and animals have started to eat endangered plants and other vegetation that they would normally not.  Animals also cause a lot of problems alongour nation’s freeways and for many farmers.
In an article in the U.S. News and World Report , author Stephen Budiansky tells of a similar situation in Wisconsin. He says, “rare orchids and the hardwood and hemlock forests have failed to reproduce for fifty years(85).”  He tells about botanist, William Alverson of the University of Wisconsin who has studied old growth forests in Wisconsin for many years. In his studies, Alverson found that the dominant hemlocks and white cedars have failed to reproduce. When asked what was causing the problem he stated, “the deer simply eat up all the seedlings that emerge. The changes due to deer are so slow that it’s not obvious to someone driving by in a car, but at the regional level, hemlock forests are becoming rarer and rarer(85).” An example of what hunting can do for this type of situation is shown by looking at the Menominee Indian reservation in northern Wisconsin. It boasts an extensive hunting program. They allow hunting in and out of season which  has held the deer population to about eight deer per square mile, compared to twenty per square mile in other forests and as much as 200 in some hard hit suburbs.(85)
Budiansky also tells of the cornfields in Gettysburg National Military Park where they have tried to re-grow the cornfields that the soldiers saw on the morning of  July 1, 1863, at the Battle of Gettysburg. The problem  is that the cornfields never make it past six inches tall.(85) Why can’t they get it to grow? The deer have become so numerous in that area, that as soon as the newly grown corn starts to appear out of the ground, hundreds of deer are in the field enjoying a nice meal.
If you have studied animal overpopulation or have over heard others talking about areas in which animal overpopulation has become a problem, then you have probably heard about the elk herds in some of our national parks.  Michael Tennessen, a writer for National Parks , tells us about the increasing number of elk in several of these national parks. Elk, sometimes referred to as wapiti, used to be spread throughout North America. When the European explorers came to North America they slaughtered the elk for food, leather, and sport. The elk were wiped out in the area of Rocky National Park.
Tennessen tells us how the elk populations have grown to what they are today. In 1913, twenty eight animals were transported there from Yellowstone National Park. Now in Rocky Mountain National Park, the elk herd has grown from about 1,000 in the sixties to nearly 3,200 today. In Yellowstone National Park the elk herd has grown to nearly 30,000 elk. Now in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem there are approximately 120,000 elk. (24)