Hunting in the Future

How Hunting Will Change

Because traditional hunting has become so far removed from its roots, especially in America, it is very possible that in the future, hunting will need to be strictly used as a wildlife management tool rather than being available to hunters for the traditional game of hunting.  On the chance that sport hunting survives, America may have to take after what the Europeans are now doing – limiting hunting only to the wealthy who can pay hefty prices for their beloved sport.  In Jim Freeman’s 2013 article, he mentions that several factors, including demographics, the economy, urban sprawl and climate change, all contribute to the rising questions of who will hunt where, and how?1  Freeman makes the solid point that hunting in Europe is seen as an aristocratic game for the nobility whereas in America, it is available to all,  reiterating America’s emphasis on freedom and democracy.  However, hunting is now so developed, with weaponry advances and other changes across the board – from hunting supplies and equipment, clothing, hunting tactics, game limits, licensing, and game checking2 – that eventually hunting for sport will have to completely change, and in ill favor of hunters at that.  The human power trip over nature that has emerged from the traditional pastime of hunting may be nearing an end thanks to the irresponsibilities of humans and their disregard of the true experience of hunting.


Modern day sniper rifle hunting. Photo Credit:


Traditional bow hunting of the past. Photo Credit:


Hunting Re-imagined

It may seem necessary for future hunting to eventually come to an end, but luckily for hunters there is research developing means of hunting in ways that will not lead to negative environmental effects.

A 2013 article by Paul Jepson discusses a future concept of “opti-hunting” and proposes a reinvented “gun” and bird-hunting application for iPhones and iPads to reduce the actual hunting and killing of animals on  Jepson is currently doing research at an interdisciplinary Conversation Governance Lab attempting to discover creative new insights to advance conservation efforts.4


Photo Credit:




Paul Jepson’s Opt i-Gun Prototype. Photo Credit:



Preview of how Paul Jepson’s hunting software might work. Photo Credit:

Jepson fostered these ideas thanks to author and birder Jonathan Franzen re-pondering a question that was asked many years ago, demonstrating the growing concern and need for bird conservancy.  Jepson believes Franzen rehashing the problem of overhunting and the dwindling bird population reiterates the growing concern of what will happen to hunting in the future.   Jepson addresses these concerns in his research on how to re-govern hunting. 5  Jepson overall views hunting as wrong and believes our current methods of regulating hunting will fail us soon, especially with the possibility of hunting becoming a symbol of resistance. 6  Continuing to use previously established approaches to regulate hunting is not the answer.  We need to find innovative and incentivizing ways to change the dynamic of hunting rather than our previously and currently used approaches of restriction, regulation, and bans, hence the creation of Jepson’s Opt i-Gun and media application.  Jepson uses society’s growing fascination and reliance on technology as his support and reasoning for recreating hunting through use of technology like iPhones and iPads that fill the everyday lives of most modern societies.  Technology will definitely be the way to envision futuristic hunting methods which maintain conservation of important species, but still allow hunters to practice and improve their skills.  Paul Jepson’s software model and prototype “gun” are an example that completely embodies this futuristic idea of hunting.  Hopefully more and more research and designing prototypes for future means of hunting will be publicized soon, because as of now, Paul Jepson’s 2013 idea is one of very few that aspire to change hunting for the future without simply just changing policies and regulations.

How will these changes in hunting affect conservation, sport hunting, politics, and the economy, and how soon??  How ethical will hunting be in the future??

Show 6 footnotes

  1. Jim, Freeman. “What Does the Future Hold in Store for Hunting?” July 26, 2013. Accessed December 11, 2014.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Paul Jepson, “Ending Songbird Slaughter? There’s an App for That,”, October 10, 2013, Accessed November 23, 2014,
  4. University of Oxford, “School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford – Dr. Paul Jepson,” University of Oxford’s Geography Department, October 20, 2014, Accessed November 23, 2014,
  5. “That Franzen is asking this question again now is significant. It reflects a growing view among European bird conservation networks that the issue demands attention. Europe’s dwindling bird populations may be less able to withstand hunting.By exposing the scale of bird trapping and hunting, Franzen dispels the popular assumption that Malta and Cyprus are the last stubborn outposts of this practice, and draws attention to holidaying hunters (particularly Italians) who head to less regulated countries such as Albania” … “In an article for National Geographic and a forthcoming documentary film, author and birder Jonathan Franzen ponders the slaughter of migratory songbirds around the Mediterranean, and asks how it can be stopped.  When the same question was asked 40 years ago, the result was the 1979 EU Birds Directive, the birth of modern pan-European environmental organizations” — Paul Jepson, “Ending Songbird Slaughter? There’s an App for That,”, October 10, 2013, Accessed November 23, 2014.
  6. “The Eurozone crisis has provoked feelings of injustice and humiliation in Southern Europe, and the risk is that enforcement of Brussels’ legislation at home may be interpreted as yet another attack on southern identities. Bird hunting might become a symbol of resistance”. — Ibid.

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