Our enemies within....maybe?
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Jim Moore 21-Oct-17
JusPassin 21-Oct-17
Beendare 21-Oct-17
Beendare 21-Oct-17
Trial153 21-Oct-17
Jaquomo 21-Oct-17
drycreek 21-Oct-17
Woods Walker 21-Oct-17
TXHunter 21-Oct-17
BOX CALL 21-Oct-17
Ned 21-Oct-17
Medicinemann 21-Oct-17
Medicinemann 21-Oct-17
Guardian Hunter 21-Oct-17
BOX CALL 21-Oct-17
AndyJ 21-Oct-17
Jaquomo 21-Oct-17
spike78 21-Oct-17
AndyJ 21-Oct-17
elk yinzer 21-Oct-17
Jaquomo 21-Oct-17
Franklin 21-Oct-17
Owl 21-Oct-17
Bowriter 22-Oct-17
Will tell 22-Oct-17
Bou'bound 22-Oct-17
drycreek 22-Oct-17
Missouribreaks 22-Oct-17
Woods Walker 22-Oct-17
razorhead 22-Oct-17
Arrowflinger 22-Oct-17
Bowriter 22-Oct-17
Big Fin 22-Oct-17
Beendare 22-Oct-17
jjs 22-Oct-17
Jaquomo 22-Oct-17
Missouribreaks 22-Oct-17
trublucolo 22-Oct-17
GF 22-Oct-17
Missouribreaks 22-Oct-17
Pat Lefemine 22-Oct-17
Trial153 22-Oct-17
wooddamon1 22-Oct-17
WV Mountaineer 22-Oct-17
AndyJ 22-Oct-17
Bowriter 22-Oct-17
Missouribreaks 22-Oct-17
AndyJ 22-Oct-17
YZF-88 22-Oct-17
AndyJ 22-Oct-17
Missouribreaks 22-Oct-17
Jim Moore 22-Oct-17
Tonybear61 22-Oct-17
AndyJ 22-Oct-17
12yards 23-Oct-17
Missouribreaks 23-Oct-17
AndyJ 23-Oct-17
Ollie 23-Oct-17
Pigsticker 23-Oct-17
Jaquomo 23-Oct-17
Skippy 23-Oct-17
Beendare 23-Oct-17
Pigsticker 23-Oct-17
elkstabber 24-Oct-17
elkstabber 24-Oct-17
Will 24-Oct-17
Missouribreaks 25-Oct-17
Sage Buffalo 25-Oct-17
Pigsticker 25-Oct-17
elkstabber 25-Oct-17
Bou'bound 25-Oct-17
From: Jim Moore
21-Oct-17

Jim Moore's Link
Short but interesting take on giving the anti's ammunition.

It’s hard not to be preoccupied with the siege against hunters and hunting being put forth by the anti-hunter establishment. Their rhetoric and outright lies have gone on unchecked for too long. But lets be realistic about two things. Just as we, the hunting community, need to up our game and not stand idly by while these groups vie for social change with their lies, misinformation, and junk science, we should also not stand idly by thinking they are our only problem. How much ammunition are we as sportsmen leaving around for them to pick up and use against us? The anti-hunter agenda is to portray hunters as social outcast, bloodsport thugs looking for thrills at the expense of defenseless animals and who celebrate over a lifeless carcass with chest-thumping, dancing and high-fives. Have you seen anything on television or the Internet lately that would support such ridiculous claims? It could be that putting something as personal as hunting on televisions and making it appear to be only about who kills what is the worst thing we could have done for hunting, especially when it seems the entertainment factor is who can do the best death dance for the camera, something our youth now emulate as being the norm. As hunters, we are respectful on many levels, with the game, the land we hunt on, and each other. This includes operating under the notion of, “Don’t mess with the other guy.” Our nature of just going about our own business and shying away from calling out how others go about their business may just be our own Achilles’ heal. If we must believe there has to be an enemy, then we must too believe that these marauders will pick up what scraps we leave for them. We best stop making their job any easier.

From: JusPassin
21-Oct-17
When I observe some of the hunting behaviors on TV and personally by some of the local yocals, I sometimes have to think the anti's have a point. Ask yourself if yo'd want to hunt with that guy, or that group of guys, or share a hunting camp with them.

From: Beendare
21-Oct-17
Its not the antis we should be worrying about....its the silent majority.

I live in an area where hunting is viewed as an oddity. When these folks join me eating a barbecued elk backstrap.....or hear stories of a fair chase hunt ending in the animal fully utilized...they become sympathetic to hunting as our heritage. They are amazed at what we go through on some of the packouts.

Now many I know would never process their own animal...but they get it.

From: Beendare
21-Oct-17
You will never change the mind of a hard core anti...don't waste your breath

From: Trial153
21-Oct-17
All you need to do is read some of the comments on the tonka’s law thread on here and you can see that we are our own worst enemy.

From: Jaquomo
21-Oct-17
When I interviewed the EVP of HSUS for an article, he laughingly told me we have given them all the ammo they need for their TV ad campaigns when they start putting bowhunting on the ballot in referendum states. He said all they have to do is run 30 second clips of our worst hunting videos on TV in the ad campaigns and it will be a slam-dunk election.

A man called the other day to try to sell something and I told him I didn't have time, that I was getting ready to hunt. He asked, in all seriousness, "How do you feel about hunters killing all the rhinos?" There you have it...

From: drycreek
21-Oct-17
The main reason I stopped watching hunting shows on tv is the very thing mentioned in the OP. The goofy acting, the " smoked him " mentality, the fact that the " trophy " is the most important aspect of the hunt just turns me off. I would be ashamed if my friends acted like that. Killing a game animal is a privilege that we would do well to hold in high regard, and not take for granted. It seems like the worst offenders are the most popular, the ones that most of the younger crowd wants to emulate, and that in itself is disturbing to me.

I also agree with Beendare, the antis are the antis, it's the rest of the folks that we need to be winning over.

From: Woods Walker
21-Oct-17
Beendare: My experience has been very much like yours. Yes, ANTI hunters will always be that. It's the NON hunters we have to communicate with. I find that for many of them they are mostly concerned with waste and trespassing more than anything else. When they find out that I butcher and eat all the game I kill they have no problem with that.

From: TXHunter
21-Oct-17
It hurts us all, no doubt.

From: BOX CALL
21-Oct-17
Yep,some of these clowns on so called hunting shows on TV,makes me puke.I cancelled the outdoor channel.I don't watch the duck dynasty either.all scripted,and they look like a bunch of homeless bums.christian or not,clean up a little.

From: Ned
21-Oct-17
the states governments, manufacturers, companies, products, federal government, local businesses, taxidermy, meat processors, map applications, Etc..... it goes on and on and on. Its turned into a multi billion dollar industry. ( just ask Pat :)) And the biggest benefactor is the animals themselves. If not for controlled hunting our herds would be wiped out and unhealthy, as habitat destruction is the number one killer of wildlife, hunting ranks about 5th. For these reasons hunting will NEVER be outlawed in our country. EVEN the anti hunters know it, their main objective is to get rich by playing on peoples emotions and getting them to DONATE for a "just" cause. Plain and simple, its all about money. I for one don't worry about loosing my hunting rights and heritage, It's just not going to happen. Even if they outlawed it in ONE state for a year, Joe Public would be begging for the return of hunting due to overpopulation, disease, and the increase in auto accidents and premium increases alone, not to mention the loss in revenue from sporting goods, jobs, small business revenue ... So yes, every now and then you might see something on tv that portrays hunting in a bad light, but for the most part the shows I've seen are modest, educational, inspiring, and portray hunting in an ethical, responsible manner. Some if not most include children, women, veterans, make a wish hunts, all types of people. Some of the shows are competitive (not my favorite but some people like them). Some use religion as a foundation, which is good if that's what you're into. There's a few bad apples are in every bunch, they certainly don't represent hunting as a whole in this country and they never will.

From: Medicinemann
21-Oct-17
So, how do we educate (or better yet, mandate) the business owners related to the hunting community that we want bowhunting shows that focus on a mature celebration of the process, without the chest thumping?.....especially now that Youtube can circumvent the desired process?

From: Medicinemann
21-Oct-17
Double post

21-Oct-17
We own a small hunting products company and are approached often about sponsorship of TV shows. Personally there are only a couple that I enjoy. I am always polite and ask for a DVD of their shows. After viewing a portion of the DVD I ask myself " do I want my company seen with this show?" 99.9% of the time it is absolutely not! I do watch some shows to stay abreast of the happenings but cannot stomach the message being sent. I too have thought these " celebrities are arming the anti movement beautifully". Send a message and let them know how you feel. Best regards, Gary

From: BOX CALL
21-Oct-17
There is a video place here in Ohio that does DVD.called slunger hollow.one clown borrowed daughters crossbow and shot a deer and bragged how you don't need to practice. Got this DVD as a fathers day gift,but I refuse to watch it anymore.real bunch of clowns.

From: AndyJ
21-Oct-17
+1 beendare- It’s amazing how many people don’t even realize people still bowhunt.

I’ve been saying for years. Hunters, mostly, are a great group of people with a TERRIBLE group of representatives.

From: Jaquomo
21-Oct-17
Ned, you're correct that "hunting" won't be outlawed in our country, but certain types (bowhunting, for instance) may very well be outlawed in referendum states, just as they are voting to ban trapping, bear hunting, lion hunting, etc.. Whoever thought hunting and trapping issues would be slaughtered by voters in a big hunting state like CO?

Hunting is dying a slow death on its own, and nobody has any answers about how to reverse the trend. In 15 years hunter numbers are projected to drop 25-30% from today. Since 1970 the number of licensed hunters has dropped by roughly 2/3. (40M to 15M).

Jake, promoting restraint is unlikely in our growing "LOOK AT ME" culture. Pro athletes act like they've cured cancer just for making a play. Facebookers are compelled to post a photo of every meal to generate "likes". No different in the hunting community when hero shots are already on social media while the animal is still steaming. Antics on shows are just a reflection of that..

From: spike78
21-Oct-17
I was lugging in some coyote bait into a public hunting ground and passed by a lady walking her dog on a trail. She said why don't you hunt coyote somewhere else. Apparently I'm more dangerous to her and her dog then a coyote would be. Gotta love it. I wanted to tell her that my license money went to buying that land she's walking her dog on.

From: AndyJ
21-Oct-17
I just finished reading the “tonka law” thread. I hope no non-hunters ever read that thread. It is a perfect example of what is wrong with hunters. The hunter did wrong PERIOD! No matter what the conditions you need to identify your target. End of story. We should all be able to admit that the hunter is in the wrong. And yet at least 50% of the responses are guys trying to justify why it was okay for the guy to shoot this woman’s dog. Sure, out west ranchers will shoot your dog if it’s running cattle, but this didn’t happen out west and it wasn’t chasing cattle. We see this all the time; a hunter makes a mistake sometimes intentionally, sometimes not, and rather than call them out, admonish, reprimand or whatever, a frightening portion of hunters DEFEND the guilty party. Hunters need to learn that to error is human and people understand that. Admit wrong and people will forgive. To defend an error as a totally legitimate action makes us all look like out of touch, unreasonable,a-holes!

From: elk yinzer
21-Oct-17
Good essay I agree.

I'm in a glass half-full mood...I've noticed the general portrayal of hunting on cable tv improve over the past decade. Hopefully that trend continues.

Realistically, people live in their own little worlds and don't realize the affronts on hunting in the liberal coastal states. Guess what...this may be the decade of Trumpists, but don't think the demographics of the future will be so friendly to conservative values. It's a PR battle for the neutral non hunters, and frankly we are horrendous at waging that war.

From: Jaquomo
21-Oct-17
And then tonight on "Spook Nation" convicted serial poacher Spook Spann "recounts some of his greatest hunts taking some of the biggest bucks ever taken on film, which helped him set the world on fire"...

Wonder if he'll show the one that put him in jail while "setting the world on fire". But he still has sponsors and an audience. Yet another example of what the hell is wrong with us.....

From: Franklin
21-Oct-17
I am kind of partial to the Spook taking a 100 yard shot on a Muley with a bow....up hill. I also do not watch MOST hunting shows as I grew tired of the...."I put the big hurt on that JOKER" crap and also the naming of deer DRIVES me insane....."there`s Gnarls Barkley in the food plot"....moronic.

From: Owl
21-Oct-17
I've talked to more than one person who became absolutely indignant about my killing deer. When asked why it is ok to kill, butcher and eat a cow but not a deer, they straight-faced say, "Well, cows are ugly." Virtually impossible to do anything with people so ignorant.

Oddly enough, tell people you hunt because you want to source unadulterated organic food sources and they're all in. It is effective to align our defenses with their value system and most everyone wants to believe they are health conscious.

From: Bowriter
22-Oct-17

Bowriter's embedded Photo
Bowriter's embedded Photo
Many posts dead on. I have said for years, at times, we are our own biggest threat. I began my "interaction" with animal rights folks back in 1969, in Denver. About the only thing they have changed is their financial status. Social media, makes their job a lot easier. Just last week, I received death threats from some woman, I assume, in Germany. It was written in German and since I don't read German, had to get someone to translate for me. Same old form letter, more or less, I have been getting off and on for years. But now, they use a somewhat less than tasteful picture of me with a deer. My own fault.

Just three days ago, I was honored with a writing award from SEOPA for an article I wrote, titled, "A Poor View of Hunters". It was about the way we are portrayed via many TV shows and our own actions. I published it in Sept. 2016. I could run it again today without changing a word. We users of animals, not just hunters, should probably get a Golden Crutch award for the many times we shoot ourselves in the foot. But it is also easy to not understand, the real problem is not the anti-hunter. The problem, if we choose to make it one, is the non-hunter. Every time we convert a "non" into an "anti", we lose a vote and usually, it out fault. Usually, it is because we rubbed their nose in the gut pile. Once, it was deer tied on car hoods. Then it became the broken tailgate, linked with bloody clothes and even hands in various eating places or stores. That gave way to tasteless pictures and social media and finally and perhaps worst of all...television programming featuring Bubba and Big Killer. You see, a non-hunter, has no problem with killing an animal go eat. They, 100% of them, oppose hunting for trophies. And what do we promote? No. Not all television outdoor programming is bad. Probably, only 95%. Only two days ago, another outdoor writer and I did some research. Best we could figure, there are 58 various outdoor, (hunting/fishing), themed shows on various networks. We enlisted two more writers and tried to see how many of the "stars" we had ever heard of. It was a waste of time. Later that same day, I attended a panel discussion on "The Changing Role of Women in Hunting." One of the best I have ever attended and every single point of complaint I could have raised, was discussed. It was great. Panelists were Joella Bates, Jill Easton, Tess Randle-Jolly and Brenda Valentine. Moderator was Karen Lee. Every single one of them do and does receive death threats on a regular basis. None of them even worries about it. And that was just one, brief topic. I wish That 60-minute discussion could be aired on national TV. Okay, I'll shut up. It is almost tree-time.

From: Will tell
22-Oct-17
I owned a Barber shop and got to deal with all kinds of people. I had Turkey tails, Ducks, Grouse, and Deer mounts on the walls. Most didn't have a problem with hunting overall but didn't understand the food plots, trophy hunting, and killing animals for their antlers. I hunt with self bows and wood arrows I made myself. They were really interested when I showed them some bamboo arrows with stone heads and my Osage self bows. Even your non hunters said that's how you should hunt. It's funny how non hunters get why I'm hunting with primitive equipment and most hunters don't. It looks like we're not hunting anymore, we're just killing for a trophy head. Personally I don't care how you hunt or what weapon you use as long as it's legal.

From: Bou'bound
22-Oct-17
The big problem is that as hunters we are defined much by the stereotype that so many people hold of hunters and that stereotype is very unattractive and damaging.

The more we can do each and every day to demonstrate average normal people who are contributing members of their society and community and who are very much like the guy next-door hunt goes a long way to debunking the stereotype and showing our activity as a mainstream

While all may not participate in the activity they should at least view as acceptable If they see the participants as more acceptable. Any actions that portray hunters as a illiterate loud arrogant rude bloodthirsty fanatical people who seek thrill and have lust for the killing act Are stereotype makers at a time we need our behaviors to be stereotype breakers

From: drycreek
22-Oct-17
Bou, you're right of course. The stereotype you describe is how movies and tv shows have portrayed hunters for years, and I'm afraid some of these "hunting" shows serve to shore up the stereotype. After opening this thread last night, I switched to the Pursuit channel and recorded three random shows just to see what the content was. I watched one just now, " Southern Hog Hunters " I believe was the name. Now I'll be the first to tell you that I like it when hogs die. They are the most destructive animals I've ever been in contact with. My problem with this particular show was showing six dogs on the head/ears of one hog while the "hunter" stuck it in the heart with a knife. Another was holding the back legs. Lots of squealing and lots of blood. I know that's how it's done, but I don't think it's a good idea to show that on television. If a non-hunter were to have viewed that, especially one who knows nothing about wild hogs, they couldn't help but be offended. In their defense, they did show both hogs that they caught and killed on the skinning rack.

22-Oct-17
Hunting is about killing and there is no way to sugar coat it. We are almost two generations removed from a culture of hunting a harder way on the back forty for food and trapping farm ditches for some extra spending money. Voters were sympathetic to that hard rural lifestyle as many were still close to it. That my friends is largely gone forever.

Hunting has been losing with the non hunting voter for well over 50 years. I do not know how to turn it around. What I do know is what we are doing today with horn porn and orgasmic post kill photos is not it. Hunting support will continue to decline in this country, the anti's are well funded and much smarter than the average hunter. You cannot turn the clock back, just slow it slightly if we keep trying.

From: Woods Walker
22-Oct-17
I've been making jerky from my deer scraps for many many years now. When my daughter was in grammar school she'd always want it in her lunch (yes, we actually MADE our own children's food way back then and didn't assume that the school would feed them!). She'd share it with her friends, most of whom did not come from families that hunted. Even when they were older they'd ask me, "Are you going deer hunting this year? Make some more jerky!!!"

The simple fact is that unless they are real vegans, most non hunters are more than open to the idea of hunting as long as you are eating the game you shoot.

From: razorhead
22-Oct-17
I saw the Mitten and Wenzel productions of a dvd, Primal Dreams, man that was a great dvd for a bowhunter

From: Arrowflinger
22-Oct-17
Razorhead, I also enjoyed watching Primal Dreams. It is in my opinion that if all hunting Shows, DVD's were made that way, we would be much better off in the publics eye.

From: Bowriter
22-Oct-17
Yes, hunting is about killing. That is why I never say harvest unless I am talking about wheat. I kill, I gut and I care nothing about political correctness. But...there is way to eplain what you do and a way not to. Two of the worst phrases you can use around non-hunters are, "I'm waiting for something bigger (antlers, horns whatever), I'm a trophy hunter." And, "He will (or will not), make the record books." Once you mention trophy hunting to a non-hunter, you have lost their interest. But there is no reason to "sugar coat", the killing end of it and insult their intelligence. We also do that quite frequently, myself included, with our "grip and Grin", pictures.

From: Big Fin
22-Oct-17
Spot on comments here.

One question.

Q: How many have taken the time to write/email networks, sponsors, organizations, etc about your displeasure with how hunting is being portrayed.

I am sure some have and for those who have, "Thanks."

If you have not, I hope you will, as that is what has the greatest likelihood of creating change. Especially if you are a Bowhunter Ed or Hunter Ed instructor. If you were to write/email your comments, you would have way more influence than you probably realize.

I'm on the inside of this "outdoor TV business." I see how it is funded and where it responds to pressure. The best hope for change is when folks like those commenting here take an active role in pressuring the funding and distribution mechanisms. Until pressure is placed there, expect little change.

As an "insider" who has been a loud and vocal critic, along with a few others, our comments about poor messages by outdoor TV are often discounted as nothing more than "sour grapes."

A quote from a good friend who developed curriculum for Hunter Ed instructors, "Society didn't have to invent the anti-hunter movement; along came outdoor TV and did a way better job of hurting the image of hunting." Wish I could provide some counter to his argument, but like the comments on this thread, he hit the bullseye.

Glad to read the concern many show. If you have not already done so, I hope you will convert those concerns to action by contacting the funding and distribution channels of content you think is damaging.

Happy Hunting!

From: Beendare
22-Oct-17
To the "Tonka law" thing;

A tiny percentage of "Bad guys" are always going to wreck things for the majority. Social networks shine a huge spotlight on these small segments and blow them wayyy out of proportion.

We see it with police....a few officers across the country are making the vast majority look bad. Guns; One or two mentally ill folks with guns cast a huge shadow on the tens of millions of law abiding gun owners

Don't get me started on the rest of the examples- there are many.

IMO, the question is; How do we as Bowhunters get the word out to the public at large that the vast majority of us are ethical hunters in a healthy pursuit?

22-Oct-17
Big Fin, At our department 'Holiday' party this December, I volunteered to make venison burgers. This will be for 50 people. They accepted. Almost as good as writing letters IMHO.

I regularly bring in venison sausage, and the majority ask me to bring more. This is my way of trying to show the best side of hunting.

From: jjs
22-Oct-17
I always believing keeping a low profile, I do not wear my hunting camo's out until I get to the place, keep the decals off the truck, hard to do when going duck hunting but being discreet can go along way and by covering your dead big game up when transporting. Doesn't take much in todays society to offend and confrontations political ideology, getting your tires spiked isn't fun either.

From: Jaquomo
22-Oct-17
Beendare, it's up to every individual hunter to try to win over a few nonhunting voters. If every one of us positively influenced just 10 people, that means 150 million on our side. The media and entertainment industries aren't going to help. CO CPW did a pretty good "Hug a Hunter" ad campaign, still going on, that tells all the good things we do. But tough to counter all the negativity pushed by social media and mainstream media.

I agree about the few ruining it for the many. Just yesterday I was in Wal Mart and saw two morbidly obese girls wearing yoga pants, with rolls rolling everywhere.

22-Oct-17
I love Walmart.

From: trublucolo
22-Oct-17
Jaquomo, you just thought it was two, I've seen that girl in our local walmart.

From: GF
22-Oct-17
“IMO, the question is; How do we as Bowhunters get the word out to the public at large that the vast majority of us are ethical hunters in a healthy pursuit?”

You can tell just about all that you would ever need to know about a culture by looking at who it’s heroes are. And we have chosen some piss-poor heroes. Just sayin’.

22-Oct-17
Yep, agree with GF.

From: Pat Lefemine
22-Oct-17
I’m of the opinion that even without the hunting shows and YouTube clips the antis will just fabricate something to make us look bad. Fake news has origins in the anti-hunting and trapping movements. The left hates hunting and the left control news and entertainment media. It’s never going to portray us as who we really are.

That being said. I’m as sickened by the outdoor shows as anyone else. I can barely stomach any of it. It should be cleaned up. But social media makes it look like a Disney movie in comparison. And imo that’s far more likely to be dropped in front of non hunters than a TV show. Every moron with a phone now has a platform for their clips. God help us.

From: Trial153
22-Oct-17
Blame hunting shows all you want but the fact is they aren’t viewed by anyone other then hunters and anti’s ...both who have already made up their minds on the subject. We as hunters out number showes thousands to one. And our collective presence is way more visual then any and all shows combined. Social media and out in public our interactions with nonhunters are way more telling then any TV show. And trufully there are way to many instances where hunters live up to the stereotypes with their bafoonish actions. The comments you could read on the Tonka law on this websire is a perfect example. You better believe those same individuals spout the same crap in public. Want to cast blame ...look in the mirror first and foremost

From: wooddamon1
22-Oct-17
LOL, Jaquomo! I agree 100% with those whose experiences with non-hunters ended positively after a venison or wild fish meal, the conversation always tips to the story of the hunt. The adventures, the mishaps, ultimate success (in the case of the meal mentioned) and I've had more than one guy or gal say they'd like to try it. I've introduced a few new shooters to longbows and/or recurves and even given some away to those who seemed most likely to stick with it. A few have actually become more rabid than I ever was...

I'm enjoying this thread greatly, glad to see most of us are thoughtful, conscientious savages at least ; )

22-Oct-17
elkstabber used facebook this year to do an awesome day by day recap of his Wyoming and New Mexico elk hunt. He used photo's, good Grammar, and put it in a way that non hunters would read it and be drew into read the next installment. If everyone who used Facebook would do the same, with the same tact, we'd win millions of supporters in a week.

He didn't end up getting one but, he scored more for hunting with those recounts than any of the TV stuff. God Bless men

From: AndyJ
22-Oct-17

AndyJ's Link
“IMO, the question is; How do we as Bowhunters get the word out to the public at large that the vast majority of us are ethical hunters in a healthy pursuit?”

We can engage in the dying art of actual face to face conversation. If there is a little conflict, that's alright. Also, we can listen without judgement or prejudice to why someone has misgivings and respond in a calm and intelligent manner. Everyone is so afraid of conflict and defensive these days, when in fact conflict can lead to a productive conversation. Case and point-African big game hunting. Nothing seems to strike a chord with non-hunters or antis like the thought of some rich hunter paying tremendous amounts of money to kill a lion or elephant. However, when explained the facts, most non-hunters are shocked by the positive effects of legal, managed hunting in Africa. I LOVE talking african big game hunting with people that don't have the facts and I bet I have turned at least 50 people from total antis to approving or at least accepting of african hunting.

"The left hates hunting " Pat I couldn't disagree with you more. This is where we have a potentially giant group of support we can tap into. The paleo diet and the organic, sustainably harvested food movement which is popular largely among left leaning groups has really taken to hunting. Painting all the left as antis will only alienate a potentially very valuable and powerful group.

One last thing: How many of you start up a conversation with other people on trails or back at a trailhead? I always make a point to at least smile and say hi when I pass hikers, usually though I stop and chat for as long as they listen. If I know the area I'll tell them some places they should check out then tell them to have a good trip. I mention this not as a-look how great of a rep I am-but the people I talk to almost always seem surprised by my conversation. They seem standoffish at first but are usually very happy to talk. You can tell a lot of them probably don't understand who we are as a group, but their general feeling probably is we aren't the nicest group of people. I urge other hunters to do what they can to try to dispel our negative image. Talk to people and BE NICE TO OTHER FOREST USERS!

From: Bowriter
22-Oct-17
Give this some thought. My column has been running continuously for almost 42-years. Over 40% of my readers are women and over 46% are non-hunters. You can relate to the outdoors and hunting without alienating a single, non-hunter. Anti-hunters are a different story, ignore them because facts mean nothing.

22-Oct-17
Almost all the left hates hunting, and yes they control the media. I agree with Pat on that one.

From: AndyJ
22-Oct-17
Missouribreaks enjoy that little box you live in. If you believe your last post you are part of the problem.

From: YZF-88
22-Oct-17
As others mentioned, engaging everyone you can is a great start. Saturday morning I rolled into the trailhead at 5am and was greeted by 4 college non-hunters. They tried camping overnight but were unprepared for the cold/wind and snow. They headed back at 3am only to find their car broken into, disabled and their stuff stolen. I gave up an early start to my long hike up and let them pile into my truck and warm up until the police came. It was a good conversation and I used the time to establish the fact that hunters can be civilized, normal, nice, reasonable, and even contributing members of society!

At this trailhead I run into MANY non-hunters when I walk out each day. Some won't even look at me. Maybe they can't see me in camo! Others engage. My favorite question: "Did you catch anything?"

From: AndyJ
22-Oct-17
Nice job YZF! We sure could use a lot more guys like you.

Pat, Missouri-Why exactly do you believe “almost all the left” hates hunting? Give me some examples.

22-Oct-17
YZF, you are too far gone to try and convince.

From: Jim Moore
22-Oct-17
Thanks for the constructive comments. I would say to those that don't believe that these fist pumping, "smoke'm" TV shows aren't seen by non-hunters is not exactly true. I have talked to a couple of non-hunters who have seen these things and thought them uncouth. I also believe that antis use them as proof that we are a bunch of blood-thirsty rednecks who kill for the sake of killing.

How do we get our message across? Maybe implore these people that advertise on the Outdoor Channel and the others that there is a probably more positive messages to be transmitted. As mentioned, they should take a cue from Primal Dreams. I've seen a couple of Randy Newburgs videos on Youtube and they seem to be done with some class as well. They could mention how hunting dollars are spent for the conservation of wildlife and habitat. I don't see those being done.

Good conversation, folks.

From: Tonybear61
22-Oct-17
The Mitten and Wenzel productions, Primal Dreams, man that was a great DVD for a bowhunter... ,any hunter or nature lover great is an understatement. Some of the best wild footage I have ever seen. I hope its played at my funeral when it comes to that.

From: AndyJ
22-Oct-17
I just googled “primal dreams” and I’ve got to say, I’m shocked not a single porn link appeared.

From: 12yards
23-Oct-17
If hunting eventually dies, it will be because we aren't replacing ourselves. I have three boys and one is a duck hunter. My middle one has gone bowhunting with me half a dozen times this year and has yet to see a deer. My youngest one has potential. They are growing up in an immediate action/reward environment now days. Hunting isn't that way most of the time. It might be hard to get them hooked today.

23-Oct-17
You are correct 12 yards. Hunting used to be a part of rural culture and most voters had rural connections. There was a time when 90% of the population was connected to agriculture, and therefore hunting and trapping. I think today's statistics show less than 5% of the population has any connection to agriculture and rural values. America is becoming two generations removed from rural values. Today's youth are exposed and schooled enough to see other options beyond one of killing animals for food or sport. I fully understand their perspective, plus, who needs the competition of trophy hunting and standards? Lot's of other ways to find success.

From: AndyJ
23-Oct-17
Missouribreaks-I completely agree with your last reply. Oddly though, it is surprising at least to me, how few farmers and ranchers hunt. I live in rural NE. When I look out two sides of my house I see cattle. When I look out the other two it’s crops. I know all the farmers and ranchers that operate around me and only one has a son that hunts. Personally, I think video games will be the death of physical activity, hunting included. They have their place, I guess, but it seems like video games are being viewed as a like to like replacement for actually physically doing the activity and they require much less patience.

From: Ollie
23-Oct-17
I am far more concerned with the damage done from within than from external groups like antihunters. The boobs and idiots on the tv shows all too often cast all of us in a bad light. They do far more damage than the antihunters have ever accomplished.

From: Pigsticker
23-Oct-17
The big questions is who finances wildlife when hunters die as a breed or they ban it from the planet. A better argument would be who amongst us votes for politicians and parties who are overwhelmingly supports the non hunting contingency.

From: Jaquomo
23-Oct-17
Pigsticker, the wildlife professionals across the country are struggling with that question (future funding). They know a big problem is looming as numbers drop.

As for politicians, since roughly 86% of the country doesn't hunt, and in metro areas it's less than half that, "hunting" is WAY down the list of issues. Trans bathrooms are more relevant, and how many transexuals are there in this country, really?

From: Skippy
23-Oct-17
The Tv hunting guys are only part of the problem, we are our own worst enemies!

From: Beendare
23-Oct-17
Jaq, good post...though I didn't need that Walmart visual....

I doubt the engaged guys here on this site are portraying hunters in a bad light. Police our own comes to mind...easier said than done. heck, only a small % of hunters belong to a hunters rights or conservation org. Theres a start. I wonder what the % of guys here are SCI members? I know the % is low at our archery club.

The guys I talk to that aren't SCI or RMEF members have all kinds of weak excuses.

From: Pigsticker
23-Oct-17
Jaq, the trannies have a voice because they stick together and know which political party caters to there element. We bicker, fight amongst ourselves, and for some unknown reason to try to explain our sport. Many hunters condemn trophy while fully not knowing what it entails. On guy bowsite number one goal is to outlaw crossbow hunting in Ohio, really?

From: elkstabber
24-Oct-17
Big Fin is absolutely right. If we want to clean up the image of hunters that is being portrayed on the hunting shows then we need to act on it instead of bitching here.

For those that aren't familiar with how television broadcasting works here is what we need to know. There are three players here: television networks, television shows, and the advertisers. Television networks book television shows and the show pays for a time slot on the network. The show's job is to draw an audience so that viewers will watch the ads. The television show generally books the advertisers. The advertisers' money is what is keeping the television shows and networks in business.

The most effective way to get your voice heard is to contact the advertisers. With Google it is easy to find a way to contact any company to give your comment. Of course, this means that you'll have to watch a few shows so that you can specifically point out to advertisers how that show portrays hunters (and the advertiser's product) in a bad light. And, you'll have to determine who the advertisers are. Then, contact the advertisers with a few simple points about how the show does things that you wouldn't want your hunting children to do (or the new person that you're taking hunting, etc). This means that you'll have to articulate why what the show did was wrong.

From: elkstabber
24-Oct-17
Pat and Missouribreaks: I am glad to hear that your view of politics is so simple. Here in Virginia it's a lot more complicated. Virginia's Republicans held back Sunday hunting for decades because they couldn't decide if they wanted to promote hunting or church. The Democrats didn't see the harm in Sunday hunting. We gained the right to hunt on Sunday in 2014 because the Republicans were split on the issue and the Democrats were almost completely in favor of hunting on Sundays (on private land only).

We as hunters would be fools to alienate an entire political party.

From: Will
24-Oct-17
AndyJ - I really enjoyed your post above - the first one. It's very true... There is a bit of an upswing in hunting among folks who are interested in environmental stewardship and health. People who dont want industrial ag raised food. They may have zero knowledge or experience related to hunting, but believe that it's both a fantastic way to provide food and experience nature. As a result, they are starting to look at it and experiment with it.

Maybe it's my bias, because I'm a rather earthy crunchy type myself, but when I trail run, mountain bike, etc... If I bump into a hunter, I make a point to be friendly and ultimately let them know I'm a hunter as well. I want "us" to experience land users positively in both ways - it only helps. Conversely, it's amazing the number of times when hunting state lands I've bumped into mountain bikers, runners, xc skiers, bird watchers etc on my way in, bow in hand, treestand on my back. I dont care if I'm late to the tree - if I can have a good conversation with those people, they walk/roll away with a better view of us.

Hunting isnt left right. It's good. Folks on the left and right should be able to support good ideas, whether they come to those ideas from different angles or not.

25-Oct-17
I agree hunting is not "absolutely" left or right, but it is for certain mostly right. Hillary and Obama were not the friends of hunters, trappers, and gun owners. Maxine Waters, maybe?

From: Sage Buffalo
25-Oct-17
Most survey's have public approval for hunting 75% or higher.

There's no siege other than the annoying Petaphiles who are just annoying more than anything.

There are certain activities the public will never understand and will always be vulnerable - bear bating, dog hunting, etc.

As long as hunting is backed by biologists and we eat what we kill most non-hunters have no issue with hunting.

However, the fear or siege is a great fundraising tactic.

From: Pigsticker
25-Oct-17
Elkstabber, I would gladly eliminate the Democratic party and lose what little value they bring to the overall hunting community.

From: elkstabber
25-Oct-17
Pigsticker, we have similar handles - that's funny. Clearly we cannot eliminate the Democratic party. Here in Virginia the Republicans have had trouble taking a conservative position. My point is that we hunters need to play nice with every political party for our future.

From: Bou'bound
25-Oct-17
nobody watches the hunting shows really. certainly not non's and anti's with any scale. how many shows about things you don't care about or you despise do you watch?

it's not the TV hunters who hurt us it's the guy in the next stand over or the one that parks next to you at the trailhead who will impact our image in the local area a lot more than joe the tv guy.

  • Sitka Gear