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Thread: Can you help our sport?

  1. #1
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Can you help our sport?

    I think that last thread was great regarding anti's and non-hunters. Kinda got a little off the orginal subject, but still a great thread.

    My question to all of you is 'What can you do to help non-hunters understand our sport, and maybe get involved?'.

    Last summer, I was on the Denali Highway, and I was parked at McLaren summit, glassing over the valley with my rifle on my back. A tour bus pulled over near me, and 50 Japanese tourists came out of the bus, and right over to me. They had an interpeter, and they asked about my gun, and what I was hunting, and had a hundred questions. They were very pleased about this information they were getting, and said thank you many times. All the while, the bus driver was doing everything he could to get them away from me.

    Another thing that I do is take young hunters with my family when we go hunting. Many kids nowadays have single moms, and they never get the oppourtunity to go hunting. So we offer to take them along with us. They always have some of the best times they ever had.

    I also encourage all of my non-hunting friends to come along. I've made more non-hunters hunters by just showing them the basic ropes.

    So what do you do? What have you done? I'm always looking for new ideas on how to get more people involved.

    The ole 'safety in numbers' has gotta be the best way to go about all of this.
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

  2. #2
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default A little

    A few things: Archery Certification Instructor, Hunter Certification Instructor, Bear Baiting instructor for F&G.

    Besides that I try to use a vocabulary that is more pleasent to the ears of the non-hunters. Instead of gutted, butchered, quartered; = processed. Instead of killed; = harvested. While I may say words like the "blood shot out" to friends, in the presence of no-hunters I forego the details.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Default

    What do I do to make Non-hunters understand this sport? I tried to do all the stuff you do Denalihunter, but they are so hard headed, that they won't change, this issue is to controversial,and to the point of political, sort of like the lines of abortion and capitol punishment and etc. The only thing I can do is educate my kids and family about it. The one thing I do hate are the few that relate hunters to guns and guns to violence, too many people out there steryotyping. most of the time I ask a new person if he or she hunts, the first thing is they take offense and say is "I don't like guns" and that wasn't the question I asked. To me it's a waste of time trying to get to these people, when I can use that valuable time hunting with my family and friends. I hope you understand where I'm coming from....K

  4. #4
    Member akndres's Avatar
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    Default education

    I'm partially responsible for getting the last thread off topic, and for than I apologize. These topics are close to my heart and I tend to be more vocal about them than most.

    You have to take advantage of every opportunity to educate. Don't go door-to-door like a vacuum cleaner salesman (no disrespect to all the vacuum cleaner salesmen on this forum ), but anytime the opportunity or conversation leads to hunting, don't hesitate to put your .02 in. I agree that you should put the baby gloves on in relation to the vocabulary you use. Some of these folks have virgin ears, so prudence is necessary. Explain to your kids, and other's kids, what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how it is beneficial. Also, don't be hesitant in explaining there are unethical people that are hunters, just like there are unethical people in other sports and organizations. Explain that these folks are the minority and unfortunately get the publicity the majority of the time. Don't be hesitant in admitting the baby is ugly sometimes. Volunteer for local F&G activities and seminars (I used to volunteer at the Fairbanks Youth Hunt & Fish Day out at Creamer's Field.... was a blast and a great opportunity to teach kids). For adults, clear, conscise, un-heated, debate. Absolutism will get you nowhere. I think the "burger and steak at Applebees" is a legitimate basis for a hypocracy debate. See their side of the debate and agree where appropriate. Most people I have talked to about this topic have been more open-minded when I can relate to their arguments and point out the good/bad in their thinking and also take critisism on the good/bad in my thinking.

    Your not going to change everyones mind. People are set in their ways, but if you can come off as an educated, open-minded, responsible, ethical, hunter... then you may not get them to hunt, but they may see that hunters aren't all blood-crazed lunatics with guns. A non-hunter "on the fence" is always better than an anti.
    "The rich... who are content to buy what they have not the skill to get by their own excellence, these are the real enemies of game".... Theodore Roosevelt's A Principle of the Hunt

  5. #5

    Default Sorry to Go Off-Topic.....

    Denalihunter,

    Man, you brought back some memories! I live in Maryland now but was born in Alaska in 1961, and we used to hunt the Denali Highway every Fall for moose and caribou. There was a trail that went south from the highway at the 36-mile mark, before you drop down to the McClaren - do you know it? It goes back about 6 miles, to a couple of big lakes.

    We used to camp there every Fall, and would usually get several caribou and often a moose! I started going with my Dad for a week at a time when I was four years old - I can remember him stopping the Jeep and getting a pot of coffee started....meanwhile, I would have grabbed the binocs and found some 'bou!

    Now, at 4 years old I could never understand HOW my Dad could sit there and drink coffee, when there were CARIBOU all over the place, and we were hunting!! It took me several years to realize that we would be there all week, and see lots more, so no need to rush.

    Thanks for bringing back a great memory, and sorry to go off topic.

    Michael

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    Default the question

    Quote Originally Posted by denalihunter View Post

    My question to all of you is 'What can you do to help non-hunters understand our sport, and maybe get involved?'.
    In my mind, the question you asked holds a good part of the answer. I don't consider hunting a "sport". And I think that's the problem most non-hunters have with it. Most really don't have a problem with hunters harvesting (the PC version of killing) animals if they are put to good uses such as food, fur, leather. But they do have a problem with people who kill for "sport" or the fun of it. With the current emphasis by the hunting industry of hunting for trophies (in other words ego killing) it's easy to see why hunters get a bad name with the non-hunting public. And it's easy to see how anti hunters (the real enemy) can use this emphasis against us. We give them the ammunition to use against us. Throw in high fenced hunting where you pay for your hunt by the size of the animal you want guaranteed to you, then throw in an organization like the WHA which wants to turn hunting into a "reality" show based competition and it's easy to see how hunters can appear pretty disgusting to the uneducated non hunters.

    To me, I think the best way to win over non-hunters is to get back to the basics of what hunting really is. In my mind, hunting is a personal way to stay in touch with nature by harvesting my own food. I'm an important part of the cycle of life when I'm hunting. I'm in touch with where my food comes from, I'm not eating meat from some faceless animal that came from a slaughterhouse and before that came from a farm where it was shot full of chemicals and steroids or growth hormones to cause it to grow faster. I know that I am responsible for the death of the animal I've eaten unlike the masses who eat a burger or chicken at McDonalds or where ever and never give where it came from a second thought. Because I know that habitat is important for my food source, I'm more likely to do something about protecting it, because if I don't I'll loose my food source.

    I've never had a non hunter respond negatively when I explained my reasoning for hunting in these terms. Some have even expressed admiration for what I'm doing but said they just couldn't do it (kill) themselves. I've shared wild food with them and most appreciated it. I've even taken a couple out to observe me hunting and they got a whole new perspective of what hunting really is. They were able to see up close the connection to nature that a hunter really has.

    I took 6 Israelis (three guys and three gals) deer hunting one summer when I lived in Kodiak. They were college students on a summer vacation who stopped in Kodiak to make some money in the canneries to finance their trip. (yes they were working illegally) They had never been exposed to hunting but were very interested in it. We hiked in a couple miles off the road system and I harvested a nice spike. The guys insisted on packing it out for me, and when we got back, the gals took a whole hind quarter and roasted it Israeli style, (I think back home they used lamb) slathered in curry and made rice and salad and some other fixings. Then we invited some other friends to enjoy the feast with us. There was also some wine involved.... It was an awesome day and evening, one of my favorite hunting memories ever. And my Israeli friends saw no difference in hunting a deer than taking a lamb from the herd and slaughtering it to eat. In fact they thought hunting was more fun because there was a little adventure involved. (We had spotted a bear down in a valley below us while we hunted) The point is, viewed in that context, they thought hunting was the most natural thing to do in the world. But I'm sure I could have turned them off to hunting if I'd only been interested in a trophy and hadn't cared for the meat properly or left most of it in the woods. I don't think they'd have had the same experience if I'd crowded them all into a little blind and shot a deer that came in to a feeder, either. Sure we could have still had the dinner, but they wouldn't have all those memories from up on the mountain.

  7. #7
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Default

    As stated in past posts I educate my non-huntung friends and ayone else who will listen, not in a pushy or condisending wat but as a mater of conversation. If I know of a newbe who maybe intorested I invite them along. I taught hunters saftey for 10 years. And when appropriate I write letters in supot of our sport.

  8. #8

    Default not a sport

    I have to agree with twodux, it is not a "sport" to me. Basketball is my sport, hunting is not. It is a "lifestyle and way of life". Anytime I hear "sport" in hunting I cringe. Makes it sound like a game of some type. JMO on this though.

  9. #9
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Default

    Ok again as stated in my eariler posts to me hunting is a deeply spiritual and personal way of life. And a means of obtianing healthy meat that lived and died in a honorable way.

  10. #10
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Default

    Good thread....

    I agree with much of what's been said so far and while there are those who will disagree with the idea of couching our descriptions of the hunt, kill, and "processing" of the game in terms that are gentle on the sensibilities of the uninitiated, I feel this is paramount. We must bear in mind that our words and behavior carry weight, and that we have a responsibility to each other to be polite and to choose those words carefully. We must talk about the animals we kill in respectfull, even clinical terms. We must do our homework and be prepared to offer rational arguments why hunting is a perfectly natural and normal activity for a human being.

    Some will contend that this amounts to "bending over" or apologizing for being hunters. It's not. It's being smart. We're trying to win sympathizers if not outright converts. Taking a "I kill animals and if you don't like it...tough" attitude, helps push a NON-hunter into the ANTI camp.

    When we have the opportunity to talk about hunting to people who don't hunt, we are representing ALL hunters whether we want to or not.

    For me, I loan out my hunting books to interested/curious non-hunters. I invite the kids of non-hunters to tag along on various trips to the woods, and I like to invite non-hunters over for buffet style dinner parties featuring game meat--I'm a pretty good cook (I like to think) and a plate of savory, roast moose backstrap and/or braised ptarmigan with hand-picked wild berry compote has never done hunting any harm.

    Bottom line: I try to be conscious of my role as an ambassador of hunting to the general public and act accordingly.

  11. #11
    Member chrisWillh's Avatar
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    Default

    The problem I've seen is that some people just don't want to even listen to a different point of view. One of the doctors I work with can't even understand why someone would own a firearm, let alone kill a living creature with it and he's not interested in other peoples opinion on the matter, because he's right. It all depends on how someone was raised. If someone was raised to be open minded they will be more suceptable to other opinions, even if they don't embrace them.
    Chris Willhoite

  12. #12

    Default Here's One for the DOC

    Chris,

    Maybe someone here can find that stat about how many people are killed each year by incorrect diagnoses or surgeries - if I recall, that number is quite a bit higher than the people killed by guns! Ask him to explain THAT to you...

    Michael

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