The sports components of the hunt arose primarily from the hunting public's desire to maintain the chance to hunt by not decimating animal populations via overhunting. According to this logic, sports laws have enhanced the hunting and fishing worlds, as well as conservationism, by leaps and bounds.
Before the advent of regulated sport hunting, the only control on game population levels was the rate of mortality due to natural causes. If left alone, animals would either kill themselves off or be killed by other animals for food. As more people began to hunt and fish, they realized that these activities were not only fun but also could provide them with an economical source of meat. To keep game populations at a level where there would be enough animals to continue to offer a good hunting experience while at the same time not being so high that they would cause problems for farmers or destroy their livelihood if they went beyond what they could eat themselves, scientists developed methods for estimating animal populations. They do this by counting the number of babies born each year and then assuming that the ratio between adults and children is constant, you can estimate how many adults there are. This process is called mark-recapture science and it provides information about species abundance and distribution from which managers can make informed decisions about whether future efforts should be directed toward increasing conservation measures or allowing some populations to grow naturally.
Today, most countries have some form of regulation of sport hunting.
PETA considers all hunting to be "sport hunting," claiming that man no longer needs to hunt because of industrial food infrastructure. Many individuals consider vermin removal, pelt hunting, and other forms of recreational hunting. This is essentially hunting for non-food purposes.
Hunting is prohibited in sports because it is not a fair game. If hunting were allowed, then the strongest species would win, thus negating the need for any form of conservation. Also, animals taken as trophies are often kept by hunters as permanent displays of power and success, which can have negative effects on their mental health.
There are also concerns about the effect hunting has on the environment. Hunting leaves behind waste products that can impact soil quality and animal populations don't reproduce if they aren't hunted, so this method of population control is also seen as unfair.
At its core, hunting is about taking life for entertainment or profit. Although this practice began for survival reasons, it now takes place despite there being enough food available without killing people or animals. Sports hunting does not improve survival rates for humans or animals, so it should never have been allowed in the first place.
Trophy hunting can have a negative impact on a species' total population. By killing only the strongest and healthiest animals, trophy hunters can influence species evolution by promoting the survival of those individuals that are best able to adapt to human-modified habitats or predators. This phenomenon is called "selective pressure" and it can have negative effects for the species as a whole. For example, since only the most attractive animals will be chosen by hunters, this may cause other members of the species to suffer evolutionary pressures that make them more similar to their successful competitors.
Another negative effect of trophy hunting is the amount of money invested in it. Since big game animals can sell for high prices in international markets, some countries rely heavily on revenue from trophy hunting to fund conservation efforts. But since these animals are killed solely for profit, this practice is not compatible with wildlife protection initiatives such as the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Finally, some people oppose trophy hunting because they believe that these animals should not be killed for pleasure. However, since trophy hunters only kill those animals that they intend to keep, this argument does not apply to them.
The main advantage of trophy hunting is that it can generate much-needed funds for conservation programs.