As a modern engagement with nature, hunting is a much-debated and often highly controversial undertaking. Its critics portray it as a cruel anachronism, unnecessary and irrelevant, while its proponents argue not only its legality, but also its capacity for inspiring concern for wild nature and its use as both a management tool and mechanism for wildlife conservation. In few regions of the world has this contrasting view of man's original and longest lasting profession been so forcefully expressed as in North America.
The hunter-conservationist movement of Canada and the USA arose in the latter decades of the nineteenth century. Many complex forces influenced its emergence as one of the great North American inventions: citizen activism for nature based principally upon sustainable use and vested interest - the North American Model of Conservation. Although unrestrained slaughter by commercial hunters had endangered North America's wildlife legacy, regulated hunting became the origin of the world's longest standing continental movement for wildlife protection, use and enhancement.