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According to the International Hunter Education Association, less than 1,000 persons are inadvertently shot by hunters in the United States and Canada each year, with fewer than 75 deaths. The number of hunters killed while trying to protect their livestock or pets is estimated to be about 25 per year.
The most common cause of death for hunters is firearms-related accidents. Hunters have a higher rate of mortality due to self-inflicted injuries (suicide), mostly from hanging, shooting themselves accidentally, or falling from a stand. Animals attack humans occasionally; these incidents usually involve dogs or other animals that have been left unsupervised. When this happens, the person at risk needs expert help to prevent further attacks from developing into something more serious.
Hunters experience violence from other people primarily through acts of vandalism aimed at them personally rather than at their property. This includes cases where someone shoots at a hunting vehicle or camp site, but misses and causes injury to someone else. Violence against hunters can also occur when they are held hostage or tortured in order to make them reveal their hiding place. In some countries without an adequate justice system, hunters may never come forward to report crimes committed against them because there is no guarantee that they will be taken seriously or that they will be given protection.
Convoys of wranglers, gun loaders, cleaners, skinners, chefs, blacksmiths, guards, and teamsters with their horses and wagons accompanied teams of professional hunters. A hunter might kill 100 buffalo in a single session, and hundreds of such teams worked every day. The annual slaughter was enormous. In 1775 George Washington ordered the hanging of 4500 pounds of meat from Niagara Falls as food for the army.
In those days before antibiotics this much meat would have putridized fast, but since then technology has come a long way toward preserving food. Today we know that you can store meat for months if not years by either freezing it or curing it.
Freezing is done either quickly in a freezer bag or slowly at 0 degrees F (minus 16 degrees C). Freezing doesn't hurt most types of meat except lamb, which should be frozen no more than three times before it's eaten. Even then it should be cooked before being served to avoid eating raw meat freezers.
Curing meat is done either naturally by smoking, drying, or salting it, or chemically by applying salt or other chemicals. Cured meat will keep for several months if stored in a refrigerator section away from fresh foods.
Raw meat can cause you to contract certain illnesses; therefore, it's important to properly cook it before eating it.
Hunting may have been vital for human existence in early times, but most hunters nowadays chase and kill animals for the excitement of it, rather than out of need. People sometimes call off hunting trips if they feel like it will not be worth their time or if they get bored, but this is usually only because they found something more exciting to do with their time.
Hunter-gatherers probably killed many animals that they did not need for food, tools, or clothing and they also likely killed humans that they disliked or feared. But by and large they tried to avoid killing people unless there was a need to do so.
Today most hunters kill for pleasure, but this is not always the case. There are still many primitive peoples around the world who rely on hunting and fishing for survival instead of farming. These people often use "sport hunting" to provide food when they cannot grow enough plants to eat themselves and other people sometimes travel to these places to shoot exotic animals for money.
In general, modern hunters kill animals for pleasure or profit.