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The skills female hunters can teach their children – Most parents, and especially women, reconsider their lifestyle when their children are born. They consider whom they befriend, how they act in public and in what daily activities they engage in. Hunting is also something every mother should consider when having children.
Here are some things children learn when they see their mother hunting, or go with her, when hunting.
Emotional management is crucial to hunting. Every mother has a choice of how she wants her child to see her. Most mothers would agree that they would like their children to think they are strong enough and able to handle a variety of problems or situations. Being too stressed or too excited could all lead to a failed hunting attempt. Sometimes the day doesn’t go according to plan. Unfortunately, that is how life is too. Children need to see their mother handle disappointment and success, so that as they grow, they are able to reflect back on those moments and learn from them. It makes for good life lessons.
Hunting is a skill that needs to be practiced. One does not just take up a weapon and shoot. Time, effort and dedication needs to be put in. Children learn what weapon to use for what type of game and what to take into consideration when shooting long distances for instance. Through this they learn that acquiring a skill takes practice and dedication.
Walking in the bush for day in and day out creates perseverance. Unlike what most people think, hunting can be tedious, as well as rewarding. Walking and stalking a specific prey can take hours and days. Most women hunt with men, who might physically be more able than they are. During that time, each woman comes face to face with the knowledge of her own physical strength, ability to persevere, ability to fail and ability to succeed. It is often acknowledged how people gain self-insight through periods of hardship. A hunting trip can create that same situation for self-reflection for women.
Benefits of nature
Child specialists all agree that playing outside has definite developmental advantages, from enhanced physical development to increased health from vitamin D exposure through the sun. Children (and also their mothers) do therefore not only develop physically when in nature, but they also experience nature through the feeling of crisp mornings and spectacular sunsets and sunrises. When children are in nature they have a chance to see how animals behave and what animals move during what time of day and season. The only way you can truly gain such knowledge is by spending time in nature.
Hunting teaches that small things count. One needs to be aware of nature and all its facets. The time of day, temperature and direction of the wind all affects the behavior of animals and one therefore need to adapt one ones expectations. Because nature doesn’t change according to your whims. A child learn to respect nature and that there is something bigger than their own needs.
Hunting teaches all involved what role they play in the eco-system and how important it is to look after all role-players in the system. From the conservation of endangered animals, to feeding and taking care of the local communities through feeding schemes and work creation. Children learn how to handle weapons responsibly, keep it safe and have respect for it. Children learn to not only be aware of their own safety, but also to be aware of the safety of others. In a world that teaches freedom of expression and behavior, hunting teaches the control of behavior.
A trophy to a hunter doesn’t just mean a head on a wall. There is a misconception that hunting is only to the benefit of the hunter. What is often ignored is the fact that for each trophy that is hunted, there is a direct influence on the community.
A trophy never gets wasted. It is usually taken to be skinned so that all parts of the animal can be put to use.
Providing meat to communities and others
According to Stats Africa, Africa comprises out of 75% of the world’s poorest countries. Many things that others take for granted, Africans see as a luxury – even basic necessities, such as clean running water, electricity, and sanitary can in some communities be seen as luxury. Providing much-needed food for those communities are an integral part of community service. Most farms make sure that their own workers and the workers family gets enough meat. The meat is not only used to feed the workers on the farm, but is very often donated to less fortunate communities. The game meat of the trophy can also be made into patties, mince, sausage, fillets and stews. South African delicacies, such as biltong (dried meat), dry sausages and chilli bites, are also made and much enjoyed.
In South Africa, we do take conservation seriously. Most people working within the hunting industry loves nature – that’s why they choose to be professional hunters. In order to be a good professional hunter you need to be able to sense what goes on around you in nature and have knowledge about animals, their habitat and behavior. They need to have knowledge about plants, bushes and trees and that you only get through appreciating nature and putting in extra time and effort into learning about nature.
Profits of hunting
Hunting is a profitable business, as money needs to be made in order to provide the necessary infrastructure, water provision and sometimes vet services in order to look after the animals. There has also been quite a few community projects, as can be seen when you look at PHASA’s “Hunters Care” Activities. Two examples of community projects that have been funded by hunting, is the Wild Hearts Rehabilitation Centre, as well as the Wintershoek Pre-Primary School.
Wild Hearts Rehabilitation Centre
The Wild Hearts Rehabilitation Centre focus on the rehabilitation of injured or orphaned animals and re-introduce them back into their native habitat. Animals that would have died if left out into the wild are given a second chance at life.
Wintershoek Pre-Primary School
This school gives the local children an opportunity to go to a school that can prepare them before entering the primary school years. It has a qualified teacher that focus on their educational, emotional and social development. The school is open to all children in the vicinity and is specifically targeted at parents who do not have the financial capability to send their children elsewhere. The school is for free and provides two nourishing meals a day for the children attending.
In conclusion – it is all about ethical hunting. It’s about having respect for each animal and for nature. It’s knowing that animals were put on this earth for humans to eat and survive, but also knowing that it is our human responsibility to look after those animals that also provides us with a living. Hunting enables us to not only look after ourselves but also look after those less fortunate. We hunt responsibly.
One of the orphan Rhino at Wild Hearts Rehab Centre enjoying some milk. Wild Hearts has a full reaction team for the rescue and reintroduction of wildlife which includes ample staff, veterinary services, tranquilizer specialists and a helicopter with a pilot. They are permitted to accept any orphan from a list of 32 indigenous species, including all of the Big Five.