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Does Hunting Help or Hurt the Environment?

Like so many hot button issues, the answer to this question depends upon who you ask. On the one hand, some say, nothing could be more natural than hunting, and indeed just about every animal species—including humans—has been either predator or prey at some point in its evolution. And, ironic as it sounds, since humans have wiped out many animal predators, some see hunting as a natural way to cull the herds of prey animals that, as a result, now reproduce beyond the environment’s carrying capacity.

On the other hand, many environmental and animal advocates see hunting as barbaric, arguing that it is morally wrong to kill animals, regardless of practical considerations. According to Glenn Kirk of the California-based The Animals Voice, hunting “causes immense suffering to individual wild animals…” and is “gratuitously cruel because unlike natural predation hunters kill for pleasure…” He adds that, despite hunters’ claims that hunting keeps wildlife populations in balance, hunters’ license fees are used to “manipulate a few game [target] species into overpopulation at the expense of a much larger number of non-game species, resulting in the loss of biological diversity, genetic integrity and ecological balance.”

Beyond moral issues, others contend that hunting is not practical. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the vast majority of hunted species—such as waterfowl, upland birds, mourning doves, squirrels and raccoons—“provide minimal sustenance and do not require population control.”

Author Gary E. Varner suggests in his book, In Nature’s Interests, that some types of hunting may be morally justifiable while others may not be. Hunting, “designed to secure the aggregate welfare of the target species, the integrity of its ecosystem, or both”—what Varner terms ‘therapeutic hunting’—is defensible, while subsistence and sport hunting—both of which only benefit human beings—is not.

Regardless of one’s individual stance, fewer Americans hunt today than in recent history. Data gathered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for its most recent (2006) National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, show that only five percent of Americans—some 12.5 million individuals—consider themselves hunters today, down from nine percent in 2001 and 15 percent in 1996.

Public support for hunting, however, is on the rise. A 2007 survey by Responsive Management Inc., a social research firm specializing in natural resource issues, found that 78 percent of Americans support hunting today versus 73 percent in 1995. Eighty percent of respondents agreed that, “hunting has a legitimate place in modern society,” and the percent of Americans indicating disapproval of hunting declined from 22 percent in 1995 to 16 percent in 2007.

Perhaps matching the trend among the public, green leaders are increasingly advocating for cooperation between hunters and environmental groups: After all, both lament urban sprawl and habitat destruction.

Originally posted via Scientific American

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Women and Hunting

For women and most men too, there’s an overwhelming rush and feeling that comes on strong after killing an animal. Both sexes will benefit from these words.

My father James was an excellent teacher when it came to all things outdoors. He loved hunting and wanted to share his passion with his only child. But, there was a problem. I was a tender-hearted youngster. I loved animals and wouldn’t dream of taking one’s life. I even made him release the fish we’d catch during our weekend outings. My father understood his sensitive child and knew that pressuring me to take an animal would be the worst thing he could do.

Even though I didn’t want to hunt, I loved spending time in the woods with my dad. So, throughout my kiddie years, I accompanied my father on many of his hunts as an observer only. After graduating from high school, I went off to college with the intention of becoming a veterinarian. But like many if not most college students, my future followed a different path than the one I initially wanted to pave. I became a journalist instead. When I returned home from college, I started volunteering at Alabama’s Wildlife Refuge Center. I spent most of my time there feeding orphaned animals and helping to rehabilitate injured raptors. I loved my work with the animals and found it very educational and completely rewarding.

One evening at the refuge, I overheard another volunteer discussing his upcoming deer hunt. There he was feeding a bottle to an orphaned fawn and talking about his love for deer hunting. That’s when it dawned on me. I can be compassionate toward animals, give back to nature and enjoy hunting as well.

Not long after that, I started writing for some hunting magazines, and I went on a turkey hunt. That first turkey hunt was a defining moment in my life.

I met up with turkey hunting expert Brad Harris and some women for a three-day turkey hunt in Missouri. Prior to the hunt I made up my mind that if I had the chance to take a turkey, I would do so. Well, my chance came that first day. Harris called in a bird for me, and I took the shot. The bird went down and my heart rate soared.

Harris and I ran to the downed bird. As I looked down at the fallen bird, I felt a twinge of sadness, which apparently showed up on my face. Harris responded with an understanding smile. Upon seeing his reaction, an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and pride welled up inside of me. I had finally become the hunter that would make my father proud (well, even more proud than he probably already was of me). That experience gave me a renewed appreciation for the opportunity to hunt wild creatures as my ancestors have done for generations. Although I did feel a little bit of the hunter’s remorse, hunting and taking an animal felt very natural to me, and I continue to enjoy taking part in this pastime today.

A Range of Emotions

As women who hunt, we’re often afraid to talk about or express our feelings after a kill, especially after our first kill, and especially in front of men. Many women didn’t grow up hunting, so the experience can be overwhelming to say the least. We express our emotions differently than our male counterparts, and we worry that if we cry, they’ll consider us wimpy, and if we’re too excited, they may think of us as cold-hearted.

Men that hunt with their girlfriends, daughters or wives should take into account the emotional differences between men and women. Whether a woman cries a river of tears or screams with excitement at the top of her lungs after a kill, especially a first kill, she should feel free to express those emotions as she desires. If she robs herself of this inward expression, she misses out on the true essence of the hunt.

The following women experienced an array of emotions after their first kills. None of them are ashamed of their reactions. They happily share their experiences in an effort to inspire other women to not be embarrassed by their first-kill emotions and to give men a little bit of insight into a woman’s perception of the hunt.

PR Lady Sheds a Tear

Karen Lutto, president of Lutto & Associates, Inc. (a public relations firm in the outdoor industry), said to this day she still feels a great sense of sadness after killing an animal. “I personally believe that I feel so sad because of the immense respect I have for the animals that I choose to hunt,” Lutto said. “I actually cried after taking my first few animals. I was excited, proud and sad all at the same time.”

Last spring, Lutto took her daughter Ashley on her first hunt. “Like me, Ashley also felt sad after she shot her first doe. She struggled with her emotions and didn’t really understand why she felt the way she did. I explained to her that it’s okay to cry and feel sad after you take an animal’s life. As Ashley and I continue to hunt, together we have developed a better understanding and appreciation for all that is involved with the hunt — including our emotions.”

Clean Kills Spell Relief

Some female hunters say the fact that they were able to make clean kills affected the way they responded emotionally to their first kills.

Lynn Pankey, a past executive assistant for Realtree’s vice president of marketing, says after several years of working at Realtree, she felt like she needed to give hunting a try so she’d know more about the brand she sells. Pankey’s first hunt was for turkeys at High Pines Plantation in Georgia. Like most beginners, Pankey told me that her mind was racing before she made the shot.

“I wondered if the gobbler would get close enough for me to shoot,” Pankey said. “I worried about judging the distance properly, and I worried about injuring the bird. I was a nervous wreck. But I took the shot and downed the gobbler. I was so relieved that I was able to drop the bird and not have to worry about it suffering and falling prey to other wildlife.”

Once she realized she had made a clean kill, Pankey was elated with her accomplishment. “I take hunting very seriously and practice with my firearm on a regular basis to decrease the odds that I’ll wound an animal. Knowing that I’m doing all I can to make a clean kill makes me a more confident hunter. The more a woman practices and familiarizes herself with her firearm or bow, the more confident she’ll be in the woods, and the more likely she’ll make a solid kill. Injuring an animal can be a pretty traumatic experience for anyone.”

Family Ties That Bind

Women who grew up in hunting families often experienced hunts and the harvesting of animals by family members at a very early age. So the feelings they often express after a first kill are those of accomplishment and pride.

Ginger Morehead, famed female archer and Realtree pro staffer, took her first deer when she was just seven years old. “I was raised in a hunting family, so hunting came very natural to me,” Morehead said to me at a recent camp we shared. “I was absolutely thrilled to death the first time I took a deer. My feelings about hunting have evolved as time has passed. Now that I’m older, I take more time to consider the majesty of the whitetail. As an adult, I still love hunting, but I’ve gained more respect for the animals I harvest.”

Lisa Metheny of Farmersburg, Indiana, said she felt nothing but happiness when she took her first deer. “I grew up hunting with my family and was raised to feel pride for harvesting an animal. It was an honor to take an animal in our family. We utilized the deer we took, so I didn’t have a hard time harvesting one. In fact, the first time I took a deer, I felt a great deal of accomplishment because I had practiced hard for it and was able to take the animal cleanly. I just thanked God for that magnificent animal. I was in awe of the entire experience.”

Sue Averette of Coker, Alabama, one of six girls and three boys, said hunting in her family was a necessity.

“We hunted for food,” Averette said, “So I was used to hunting and all that was involved with the sport. I took my first doe when I was probably 18. Back then, points didn’t matter. I was just thrilled to go out and take a deer and contribute to providing for my family. I felt nothing but exhilaration. Although we continue to eat venison, deer hunting is no longer a necessity but a sport for my family.”

We’re Helping Wildlife

Some women told me they felt little remorse after their first kills because other hunters had stressed to them the importance of hunting for maintaining a healthy animal population. These women hunt not only for the recreation factor but also to contribute to a healthy wildlife environment.

Kandi Kisky, co-owner of Kisky Productions and Realtree pro staffer, grew up in a non-hunting family and hunted for the first time when she met her husband Don 17 years ago. She said Don was so passionate about hunting that she thought maybe there was something to it.

“Don always brought across the importance of hunting for controlling the herd,” Kisky proudly said. “I took my first animal — a turkey when I was six months pregnant. I didn’t feel any remorse, perhaps because I understood that hunting was important for a healthy wildlife population. I was so excited about my first turkey that I was instantly hooked on the sport. Each year my passion for hunting gets stronger.”

At the End of the Day

No matter a woman’s reaction — happy, sad, boastful or calm, her first-kill emotions are nothing to be ashamed of. These women are proof that by remaining true to yourself and to your emotions, you remain true to the hunting experience.

Editor’s note: This was originally published on July 20, 2006.

This article was originally posted on Realtree by Stephanie Mallory.

Read more here: https://www.realtree.com/all/articles/the-womans-first-kill 

Does Hunting Help or Hurt the Environment?

Does hunting help or hurt the environment? Like so many hot button issues, the answer to this question depends upon who you ask. On the one hand, some say, nothing could be more natural than hunting, and indeed just about every animal species—including humans—has been either predator or prey at some point in its evolution. And, ironic as it sounds, since humans have wiped out many animal predators, some see hunting as a natural way to cull the herds of prey animals that, as a result, now reproduce beyond the environment’s carrying capacity.

On the other hand, many environmental and animal advocates see hunting as barbaric, arguing that it is morally wrong to kill animals, regardless of practical considerations. According to Glenn Kirk of the California-based The Animals Voice, hunting “causes immense suffering to individual wild animals…” and is “gratuitously cruel because unlike natural predation hunters kill for pleasure…” He adds that, despite hunters’ claims that hunting keeps wildlife populations in balance, hunters’ license fees are used to “manipulate a few game [target] species into overpopulation at the expense of a much larger number of non-game species, resulting in the loss of biological diversity, genetic integrity and ecological balance.”

Beyond moral issues, others contend that hunting is not practical. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the vast majority of hunted species—such as waterfowl, upland birds, mourning doves, squirrels and raccoons—“provide minimal sustenance and do not require population control.”

Author Gary E. Varner suggests in his book, In Nature’s Interests, that some types of hunting may be morally justifiable while others may not be. Hunting “designed to secure the aggregate welfare of the target species, the integrity of its ecosystem, or both”—what Varner terms ‘therapeutic hunting’—is defensible, while subsistence and sport hunting—both of which only benefit human beings—is not.

Regardless of one’s individual stance, fewer Americans hunt today than in recent history. Data gathered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for its most recent (2006) National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, show that only five percent of Americans—some 12.5 million individuals—consider themselves hunters today, down from nine percent in 2001 and 15 percent in 1996.

Public support for hunting, however, is on the rise. A 2007 survey by Responsive Management Inc., a social research firm specializing in natural resource issues, found that 78 percent of Americans support hunting today versus 73 percent in 1995. Eighty percent of respondents agreed that “hunting has a legitimate place in modern society,” and the percent of Americans indicating disapproval of hunting declined from 22 percent in 1995 to 16 percent in 2007.

Perhaps matching the trend among the public, green leaders are increasingly advocating for cooperation between hunters and environmental groups: After all, both urban sprawl and habitat destruction.

Orginally posted via Scientific American

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Explore the Land of the Midnight Sun in Juneau, Alaska

Known as the land of the midnight sun, Alaska is one of the most exciting destinations on the planet for anyone with a sense of adventure. The state capital, Juneau, is located on the panhandle that makes up the Southeastern region of Alaska. It’s a perfect base for exploring massive glaciers, whale watching, and other outdoor activities. However, the city is sandwiched in between a rugged mountain range and the Pacific Ocean, making it only accessible by air or ferry travel. Fortunately, there are plenty of great hotels in Juneau.

 

The city itself is an excellent place to relax. It became the capital during the Alaska gold rush and is a treasured place in resident’s hearts. The weather is surprisingly nice; even the winters aren’t as cold as those in Chicago or Cleveland! It has a small-town vibe and is populated by fishermen, state legislators, artists, and Alaska natives. There are excellent restaurants and at least one excellent brewing company that are worth paying a visit to while in town. City events include music festivals, craft markets, and even a salmon derby during the summer fishing season. It’s a great place to plan expeditions into the surrounding region. When tourists eventually need to crash after all the excitement, plenty of hotels in Juneau offer excellent accommodation options.

 

The city is surrounded by miles and miles of hiking trails through rugged terrain and up into the mountains around the city. Mountain biking and kayaking are also excellent options for those inclined to explore. Boats take tourists out into the Pacific to spot humpback whales. Even larger than the whales, one of the biggest draws in the area is the Mendenhall Glacier, only 13 miles from downtown Juneau. It’s part of the Juneau Icefield, a massive network of 38 interconnected glaciers that covers more than 1,500 square miles. Many different agencies offer trips to bring tourists to see the glacier. Some operators will drive to the glacier, but one of the coolest options is a helicopter trip that actually lands on the ice. Trekking up icy ridges and peering into deep blue crevasses is an experience unlike any other in the world.

 

At the end of an exhausting day it’s time to retire to one of those hotels in Juneau for a bit of relaxation before hitting one of the local pubs. It’s a refreshing, healthy, and exciting place for enjoying life.

Environmental Consciousness Extends to Makeup Brushes

America’s consciousness about environmental issues has gained tremendous momentum over the past several years. Evidence of global warming and scientific discoveries about the impact of greenhouses gasses on everything from the melting of the polar icecaps to the extinction of animal and plant species has spurred the U.S. and countries around the world to take action. The importance of research into lessening our dependence on fossil fuels and moving to alternative energy sources has been front-page news and is the subject of contentious political debates. In the meantime, many consumers have taken matters into their own hands by taking steps to reduce their carbon footprints and generally increasing their awareness of the impact humans have on our environment.

 

Animal Rights

Long before environmental issues became popular with the mainstream, however, animal rights activists sounded the alarm about routine practices that harm wildlife and farmed animals. The rise in popularity of faux fur, for example, was a direct result of efforts to educate the public about the cruelty of harvesting animals for their pelts. Similarly, animal rights groups shone the light on the practices of many cosmetics companies that routinely tested makeup on animals and caused untold anguish and pain.

 

Cruelty Free Makeup Brushes

Although women are increasingly aware of animal testing methods and choose to support cosmetics companies that are committed to cruelty free and animal free testing, women are often less educated about makeup brushes. The animal hair that forms the bristles of many makeup brushes is often purchased from the same suppliers that engage in cruel fur harvesting practices. In fact, all but about a dozen companies in the U.S. have animal hair makeup brushes in their lines.

 

Technology and Taklon

This fact is perplexing not only because the support of cruelty free products continues to grow, but also because technology is now so advanced that synthetic and natural fiber makeup brushes are superior to animal hair brushes in both functionality and durability. For example, Taklon is a synthetic fiber that is far superior to animal hair in makeup brushes. With animal hair, makeup, dead skin cells, and other contaminants can easily get caught in the cuticles of the animal hair, allowing bacteria to grow and making the brushes unsanitary. Taklon, on the other hand, doesn’t have a hair cuticle and has antibacterial properties, making it much better for the skin.

 

In addition to its antibacterial properties, Taklon is superior to animal hair makeup brushes because of its versatility. Again, the cuticles in animal hair cause streaking when makeup brushes are used for creams or liquids. In contrast, Taklon can be created in textures ranging from extremely soft to very coarse, making it perfect for the application of powders, creams, and liquids.

 

Synthetic Brushes for Everyone

You don’t have to be a vegan to buy cruelty free cosmetics and makeup brushes. As awareness of all environmental issues – from global warming to animal cruelty – increases, conscious consumers will increasingly choose to purchase products that reflect a solid commitment to preserving our planet and its species.

 

Realtree beauty products are not tested on animals, either! Check out our products, here!

Which Skin Care Body Lotion To Choose?

How do you know if the weather like snow and cold winds have done damage to your skin? One of them is when you are feeling itchy all over your body. Your skin may or may not be affected negatively by the outdoor elements.

 

Harsh winds and cold temperatures can dry out your skin quickly. This can leave your skin cracked, rough, and itchy. Your hands can especially dry out quickly because they are, often, the part of your body that is most exposed during the colder seasons. Using a moisturizer on a daily basis will help correct dryness and keep skin soft. However, this only works if you are drinking enough water because lotions do not restore moisture, it only helps retain it. Plus, not all lotions are equally effective.

 

There are so many types of skin care body lotion in the market, so how do you know which one will be good for your skin in order to maintain its moisture?

 

Having said that, you are not going to have problem getting a skin care body lotion because it is easily available. It tells us that there are so many of us who are suffering from dry skin.

 

What will you do when your skin is dry and itchy? Scratching is your answer, right? Does it help? No. Why? This is because dry skin occurs deeper than the top layer.

 

Since it is not just the top layer of skin, a couple of applications will not be sufficient. At times, you may only see the result after more than a week, providing you apply the right body lotion and drink lots of water to help in the process.

 

Another point to take note of is not all skin care body lotion will work. It all depends on your skin type because skin does not produce sufficient moisture for the whole year. Therefore it is important to preserve our skin’s moisture by applying at least twice a day.

 

The frequency of applying body lotion varies due to the different types of skin that we have. Different products are targeting different deficiencies in your body, like vitamins and some even contain firming effects for your thighs or hips.

 

To help keep your body soft all year round, make sure you are drinking at least the standard 6 to 8 cups of water each day. This helps keep moisture in your skin, which increases the effectiveness of body lotion. When using body lotion, make sure everything from the ingredients to the scent is right for you.

 

Make sure to check out our line of body lotion and skincare products that come in both scents For Him and For Her!

Beauty Does Not Get Any Easier Than This

You don’t have to be incredibly strict with beauty to fully embrace it. Creating your look should be fun and inventive! It doesn’t need to be strict and regimented.

 

No matter what your skin looks and feels like, it is important to wash your face at least once a day. Regardless of your personal beauty regimen, make a habit of always completely removing all your makeup prior to cleaning your face. If you don’t properly clean your face, it can cause clogged pores and often acne.

 

If you’re stuck on what colors to use for eye shadow and lip color, look to your hair! Your hair color can actually have a great influence on what colors will compliment you best. If you are a brunette, try using a dark mahogany eye shadow as a multipurpose tool. This color can be used to fill in your eyebrows, line your upper lashes, and even work to help cover gray roots in your hairline.

 

Like mentioned above, it is important to wash your face at least once a day. Before going to bed for the night, part of your routine should be removing the day’s makeup. Gently scrub your face with a warm washcloth with your favorite cleanser. This step is important to keep pores clean and prevent breakouts.

 

Substitute aloe gel for expensive moisturizers, witch hazel for costly toners and pure castile soap with a clean cloth for those high priced cleansers. When you use organic, natural items, your skin will brighten up instantly. If you need even more moisture, add some vitamin E.

 

To improve your lip color application, always apply lip balm first. The balm will keep your lips soft and moisturized allowing your lip color to go on smoothly. To keep your lipstick or gloss color pure, try using a basic, untinted lip balm.

 

Beauty tip for tired eyes! Eye gel will help reduce the appearance of puffy or tired eyes. Keep this in the refrigerator, and use it for an extra boost if you are really tired. You can feel very tired without having to show it on your face. Just make sure to use the gel on a clean face. Another option is to leave a spoon in the freezer overnight and use that as a cold compress on under eye bags.

 

Put your vegetables on your skin. Vegetables have many health benefits when you eat them, and several more when used as a beauty treatment. Try cool cucumbers or sliced potato on your eyes to relieve puffiness and redness. Use water left from boiling cabbage, broccoli, or kale for a healthy skin toner.

 

Choose your eye shadow based on your eye color to make your eye makeup really pop. If your eyes are blue, shades of brown are the most flattering. For brown eyes, try purple shadows like lavender or plum. If your eyes are green, golden shades are very flattering, as are many shades from the brown family.

 

Avoiding piling on foundation is a great tip in looking more well rested. Try using a tinted moisturizer instead and then apply a beige eye pencil, this will counteract the redness around the eyes and leave you looking refreshed and ready for the day.

 

By using a pressed powder as an eye shadow base before applying the color you can avoid your shadow from creasing during the day. It helps absorb any oils on the eyelids.

 

Beauty is more than precision-based. If it weren’t, then only professionals could buy and use the products. Hopefully these tips have opened your eyes to the wonders of beauty and the small tips and tricks you can use to perfect your look. So get out there and start practicing!

 

If you’re looking for a way to incorporate your favorite fragrance into your beauty routine, look for the scent in a lotion or body wash! At Realtree Beauty, we offer both our scents For Her and For Him in lotions, body washes, shampoos, and more!