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Deer Hunting Offers Much More than Mere Sport
By: Ray La Foy

There's just something about the thrill of the chase that's perhaps even more appealing to deer hunters than the actual kill itself. A process that harkens back to primeval times, hunting is about more than the act itself. In days gone by, it was nothing more than basic survival - the food chain in action. Today, there are other means for obtaining food, but that doesn't mean the hunt is any less appealing or important. In fact, people in many parts of the world still rely on the skill of hunters for their food. And those who don't still have in their ranks those who enjoy the sport. But what is it about deer hunting that draws so many enthusiasts today?

There are many reasons why deer hunting remains a strong favorite among hunters. Perhaps one of the top reasons cited is the fact that the end result is something that can be used. While some hunters enjoy the act only, most prefer to only kill what they and their family and friends will eat and use. In the case of deer, the animal does not go to waste. Its meat is edible; its hide useable and so on.

Deer hunting is so popular in North America, for example, that a number of hunting clubs exists in all parts of the country to help hunters further their sport. Private clubs and even some associations exist that cater to deer hunters. These clubs serve a number of purposes, but most include the preservation of habitat for the animals, social activities, lobbying efforts to protect land and hunting rights and so on.

Deer hunting clubs tend to exist in two major forms:

* Associations/social clubs that help hunters get together and book trips, discuss techniques and so on. By banding together for excursions, hunters often can take advantage of group rates, or at least group planning, to visit remote areas where the hunting is ripe and the wilderness vast. These clubs, especially the larger-scale ones, are also active in hunting issues and preservation efforts.

* Cooperative clubs. These tend to exist to help hunters lease private property on which to hunt. By joining together, hunters can ensure land is available for not only hunting, but also to support wildlife. The leases on private hunting grounds can be expensive, but when land is lease or purchased outright by hunting cooperatives, it helps ensure the habitat is available, something that's become a big issue in these development happy days.

Whether the associations and clubs have just a few members or are national undertakings, the goals are basically the same. Hunters, for the most part, are out not only to catch their quarry, but also to protect the lands on which they sport. Hunting in and of itself is actually a necessary sport, which is why it's allowed under the law. When animal herds are too big, their members may face starvation during the cold and food short winter months. By thinning the herds, hunters tend to help Mother Nature along and ensure a population that's strong and stable.

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