Pain and suffering are inevitable when animals are hunted. Rapid killings are rare, and many animals suffer prolonged and painful deaths when hunters seriously injure them but do not kill them. A member of the Maine BowHunters Alliance estimates that 50 percent of animals shot with crossbows are injured but not killed.
Huntingcauses extreme stress to the animals, forcing them to experience conditions that are far outside their normal limits.
When they are chased, deer run for their lives to the point of exhaustion, out of fear that increases as they realize they are unable to escape. They suffer psychological terrors all the time until they die. The negative impact of hunting is not limited to the target animal that dies or is injured by a bullet, arrow, or knife. It can also have a significant effect on other animals, especially dependent young ones. If hunters fail to find and slaughter offspring dependent on draft females, they are left to fend for themselves.
Depending on their age, young orphans can suffer and die from starvation, dehydration or predation. Maternal deprivation is a major stressor in many species, and even if orphaned individuals survive the initial acute stress of lack of nutrition, changes in physiology and behavior can have a detrimental effect on their growth and development. Predatory animals cause many animal deaths in the wild. Lions hunt their own prey and collect massacres that have died naturally or have been killed by other predators such as hyenas. Although male lions leave most of the hunt to females, they create a greater demand for prey deaths from both female lions and the predators they seek.
A male lion needs about 15 pounds of meat per day, and the mortality rate for lions is estimated to be between 10 and 47 deaths per year. These deaths may be difficult to observe, but they are the inevitable result of allowing predators to continue to live. Hunting for these animals will help with population control. That said, there are also a lot of negative effects on hunting, which completely overshadow the positive effects. Therefore, given the facts, it seems difficult to understand why animal welfare advocates would be in such an uproar over Cecil's murder.
So instead of considering whether we should start intervening, the decision before us is whether we should be more thoughtful and compassionate in our effects on wild animals. The fact that animals are already being harmed in certain ways is neither a reason nor a justification for causing further harm. Because they fear being hunted, animals don't risk eating in places where they are most visible and, as a result, may suffer from malnutrition. Hunters kill animals in the field near where they live, or travel to where there are other different animals. Hunting with firearms and dogs near native animals and livestock can also disturb and cause fear.
It may seem that wild animals exist beyond the justifiable reach of mankind and that intervening in or watching over nature would be arrogant or disrespectful. There are also many environmental organizations that reject certain forms of hunting, but nevertheless defend others because they are traditional or considered necessary to “control certain animal populations”. While hunting animals, they also feel pain since humans have a nervous system that allows them to feel pain. In addition to fearing predators, prey animals are also subject to disease, parasites, and starvation. In ecology, this is called “fear ecology” and it happens when potential prey is afraid of predators. The question remains: do animals suffer when hunted? The answer is yes; hunting causes pain and suffering for both target animals as well as other species affected by it.
Hunting can cause physical pain due to injury or death caused by weapons used by hunters as well as psychological pain due to fear caused by hunters chasing them or other predators in their environment. Hunting can also lead to malnutrition due to fear of being hunted in open areas where food is available.