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Thread: public image of hunting

  1. #1
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Default public image of hunting

    The more I think about how we, as hunters, might better promote ourselves, the more I figure the use of a positive approach when 'confronted' with the subject of hunting might be wise.... and that perhaps being defensive (attack the anti's) is the wrong way to approach 'non hunters' when they question our chosen pursuits.

    I would be curious as to what one or two sentences folks might use to encourage a positive dialogue when non hunters ask why we hunt or they comment that they have heard hunters are rednecks, etc etc etc.... I would especially be interested to hear specific occurrences, if anyone has some they would like to share.
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I never talk about hunting in any sort of "trophy" language- ie. size of antlers, etc...always about the natural field to table process of procuring food. Most non-hunting folks are surprised when I tell them that 80% or more of my family's protein comes from hunting or fishing activities and very few have any problem with it at all. Not every one hunts, but everyone eats- it's the point of commonality most quickly reached in any conversation about hunting.

    As hunters we realize the distinctions between trophy hunting and "freezer filling" are mostly arbitrary and nonsensical and the word "subsistence" has been all but hijacked for political reasons... non hunters don't usually realize all that and anti hunters don't generally care so trying to discuss it is mostly pointless.

    I never argue with the die hard "anti" fanatics. You're unlikely to convince them and you know the saying... "if you wrestles a pig in mud you'll just get filthy, and the pig enjoys it."
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Good reply hodgeman, I agree with ya.

    For me, I'm an unapologetic hunter. I don't attack antis because it's their choice not to hunt and they're entitled to to make that choice in the easy world we live in. Just the same it's my choice to hunt, and I don't feel I should be attacked for it so when someone takes that route, I don't feel I have to defend myself as most of their arguments are made based on ignorance.

    If someone isn't familiar with hunting or is a vegan and asks me about hunting then I'll politely explain why I hunt and inform them of all the good hunters do, not just through population control but through organizations like ducks unlimited, and even all the revenue brought in buy the sale of hunting and fishing licenses that goes toward conservation efforts. Most of them will walk away thinking more positively of hunters.

    If someone attacks hunters saying they're rednecks then F-them who are they to judge.

    Anti hunting groups like PETA are activists. Hunter are conservationist. Hunters do more to protect the future of wildlife than anyone else in the world, and out of all the hunters from all the different countries, American hunter do the most, not just for the wildlife in their country but throughout the world.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    I was going to say something along the same lines.......food. When I was reading the comments made by people on that other post, I couldn't believe that some people actually think that "trophy" hunters don't have to bring out the meat and compared it with subsistence hunting where they do.

    If most people realized that the main reason that (a lot of us) hunt is to have good healthy food for the table, then I think a lot of the "smoke um" redneck mentality that they only hear about would change.

    Any (smart) person would have to agree that when they buy chicken or beef at the store they are actually paying for someone else to kill it. And again, any (smart) person knows that that same meat they buy at the store could very well be contaminated. We, as hunters, prefer to take on the whole procedure from start to finish to assure that we are putting fresh, organic, quality food on the table for our families.

    I say any "smart" person because I agree with hodgeman and say that you have to pick your battles. You can't talk to someone (devout anti-hunting) that has already formed an opinion and will not open their minds no mater how much logic you try to fill it with....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    I try to, as diplomatically as I am able:

    ● Explain that, in the absence of natural predators, without adequate hunting activity, the vegans, vegetarians, and others will not have nearly as many carrots, corn, etc … to eat and it would be a lot more expensive and rare because the lack of hunting on farmland means at times the devastation of crops by the cyclical overpopulating deer, bunnies, pigs, etc … For example, the feral pig population in places like North Carolina has reach epidemic levels. They have lifted all limits on pig hunting by time and number to hope to address the destruction of farmland crops occurring there.

    ● Explain that, in large ecosystems, including public forest land, where deer hunting has historically been banned, the deer overpopulate at first. They also are not forced to move and disperse due to the lack of hunting pressure. Then, they both exhaust their food supply and also, because of the lack of dispersion, develop sickening levels of inbreeding. So, as much of 95% of the overpopulated deer population will die out due to famine and an increased proportion of those surviving will be sick, inbred animals. The, they will cyclically expand their population density as the food sources rebound, only to have the same thing happen periodically. Better to allow reasonable, regulated hunting that keeps the population stable at a healthy population density. It’s better and healthier for the deer (which also are tasty).

    ● Point out that there are more deer in North America than when the pilgrims first set foot here.

    ● Point to out their leather shoes or other attire or accessories.

    ● Etc ….

  6. #6
    Member soon2beinAK's Avatar
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    I come from a family of anti's and I have found that this topic is much like religion. You can't convince anyone of anything they don't already believe.

  7. #7

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    Some animal-lovers have been swayed by the argument that a humane kill by a human hunter is a lot kinder than starvation or being dragged down by wolves or coyotes.

  8. #8

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    Not much can change their view, but I can sure make them stop and think.

    I tell them I won't hire anyone to kill meat for me, then ask them if they're hiring surrogates to kill for them. After all, SOMEONE had to put that meat on their table, and hiring it done doesn't give them any moral edge over people who do it themselves. Yeah, I'm not very gentle.

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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Not much can change their view, but I can sure make them stop and think.

    I tell them I won't hire anyone to kill meat for me, then ask them if they're hiring surrogates to kill for them. After all, SOMEONE had to put that meat on their table, and hiring it done doesn't give them any moral edge over people who do it themselves. Yeah, I'm not very gentle.
    Nail on head - at least on one point of the argument for hunting. I know people that would not be willing to kill their own food (although they don't have an issue with hunting).
    Taxidermy IS art!
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    I would say that about half of my circle of friends and co-workers are anti hunting, mostly due to a lack of understanding of true animal conservation issues and the genuine need for hunting to exist. The other major factor for many of them is the trophy aspect. Filling the freezer for the family is generally not that big of a issue for them, but the "trophy" component of it is what is off-putting to them. Most outdoor forums (including this one) are filled with threads about "how big", "look at this beast!", "guess the size", "what a rack!", "Boone and Crocket..." etc. etc. That's all well and good, but it does not play well to those on the outside looking in that are against hunting or on the fence. It doesn't help the good 'ol boy, blood thirsty, lust for killing, perception.

    I'm certainly not here to argue for or against keeping trophies, and I know that many of you make your living from it, but that is one negative aspect that I hear most often as a real objection. It's a tough one to overcome....

    Scott

  11. #11
    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    I took linguistics from a professor (not a hunter) who said vegans and hunters were the only truly honest people in life. Either we face our food, seeing the life leave its eyes - or we don't sacrifice a life (or have others do it) to sustain our own.
    My only gear sponsor is the salvation army - Dick Griffith

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by scott_rn View Post
    I took linguistics from a professor (not a hunter) who said vegans and hunters were the only truly honest people in life. Either we face our food, seeing the life leave its eyes - or we don't sacrifice a life (or have others do it) to sustain our own.
    That's outstanding! And true.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fin Chaser View Post
    I would say that about half of my circle of friends and co-workers are anti hunting, mostly due to a lack of understanding of true animal conservation issues and the genuine need for hunting to exist. The other major factor for many of them is the trophy aspect. Filling the freezer for the family is generally not that big of a issue for them, but the "trophy" component of it is what is off-putting to them. Most outdoor forums (including this one) are filled with threads about "how big", "look at this beast!", "guess the size", "what a rack!", "Boone and Crocket..." etc. etc. That's all well and good, but it does not play well to those on the outside looking in that are against hunting or on the fence. It doesn't help the good 'ol boy, blood thirsty, lust for killing, perception.

    I'm certainly not here to argue for or against keeping trophies, and I know that many of you make your living from it, but that is one negative aspect that I hear most often as a real objection. It's a tough one to overcome....

    Scott
    I agree. Most of the people I know are supportive or at least no against hunting. But there are a few who do not like the "trophy" side of things. They understand the gathering meat for the freezer and are okay with that aspect, but have a harder time when people focus the talk on how big the rack was and things like that.

    I make a concerted effort to be careful how I talk about hunting depending on who the audience is. With some, I have no problem talking about antler size or the excitement of the hunt, but with others, I will gear it more toward the fact of gathering meat for the freezer and the satisfaction of knowing how healthy the food is that I am getting from it compared to what you get from the store. When questioned about antlers I may have at home by someone who isn't a fan of trophy hunting, I tend to point out that the antlers are only a bonus in my mind. My main focus is on getting meat, which it is. I point out that of the last 5 animals I have taken (3 moose and 2 caribou), 4 of them have been cows because that is what presented itself and that satisfied my primary need to put meat in the freezer. If a large bull presented itself or I had the choice between a large bull or a smaller bull or cow, I would take the larger bull due to the greater amount of meat I would get from it. The rack is extra and definitely not the goal of the hunt, at least for me.

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    Member acelia8912's Avatar
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    It may sound negative to certain people I understand that, however we as hunters are proud of the "trophy"! To us that means that we took a Mature animal towards the end of it's life. We appreciate the fact that animal has out smarted every other hunter and all the odds to finally meet his destiny after a long life of reproducing and teaching all the other younger animals below his status. Think of it like that! It's better than shooting something that is in the early or prime stages of his reproductive life! Taking a mature animal is far better and far more satisfying than taking something young!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fin Chaser View Post
    I would say that about half of my circle of friends and co-workers are anti hunting, mostly due to a lack of understanding of true animal conservation issues and the genuine need for hunting to exist. The other major factor for many of them is the trophy aspect. Filling the freezer for the family is generally not that big of a issue for them, but the "trophy" component of it is what is off-putting to them. Most outdoor forums (including this one) are filled with threads about "how big", "look at this beast!", "guess the size", "what a rack!", "Boone and Crocket..." etc. etc. That's all well and good, but it does not play well to those on the outside looking in that are against hunting or on the fence. It doesn't help the good 'ol boy, blood thirsty, lust for killing, perception.

    I'm certainly not here to argue for or against keeping trophies, and I know that many of you make your living from it, but that is one negative aspect that I hear most often as a real objection. It's a tough one to overcome....

    Scott

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by acelia8912 View Post
    Taking a mature animal is far better and far more satisfying than taking something young!
    I'll venture into "table talk." We much prefer the youngsters, even if means less meat in the freezer. For me the best trophy is neatly wrapped in the freezer. Sure I'll take a mature animal if that's all that's presented. But if both are legal and standing side by side, I'll shoot the youngster every single time.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Much of how I approach hunting is based on what Genesis ch. 1-8 tells me about man's relationship to the creation. Since our society has become secularized in the last century, that paradigm has been thrown out and replaced with the idea that all animal life is basically equal, but some have the upper hand in an evolutionary sense. I believe it is very hard to make a case for a human taking another creatures life, unless you understand man's God given dominion and stewardship. I know, and am OK with the fact that many on this forum don't agree with that sentiment, but that is the only way I personally can justify killing animals, which I take very seriously. I don't think I could kill if I only understood it from the "survival of the fittest" point of view. As it is, I feel for the animals I kill, but I also feel that taking them is a blessing from God.
    As far as being an ambassador for hunting, I approach hunting with humility and try to project myself that way to non-hunters. I will not blow my horn or advertise trophies because that turns a lot of folks off. I will offer them wild meat and fish and tell about my love of the land and my love of the activities involved in hunting and harvesting. I don't expect everyone to understand anymore. We live in a different world, even here in Alaska.

  17. #17
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    A "trophy" is in the eye of the beholder. The law says I have to bring out the hide and skull of the bear I kill. The law says I can't leave the antlers of the moose I kill laying on the tundra. If someone wants to criticize me for having bear skins and moose antlers in my house, well go right ahead.


    I don't go out of my way to throw it in others faces that I enjoy hunting and harvesting animals...that's who I am, and I WILL NOT apologize for it.

  18. #18

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    Jeff Cooper pointed out that once you've eaten everything from the freezer it can be hard to remember every detail of that years-ago hunt, unless you look at the memento on the wall and it all comes back to you. For me, looking at photos and marked-up maps is enough..

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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimH View Post
    Jeff Cooper pointed out that once you've eaten everything from the freezer it can be hard to remember every detail of that years-ago hunt, unless you look at the memento on the wall and it all comes back to you. For me, looking at photos and marked-up maps is enough..

    Having trophies hanging in the house is not for every hunter. My bf is not a big taxidermy fan - at least not for mounts in the house. He is a 'meat in the freezer' type of hunter...That is ok, I get to enjoy other people's 'trophies' and some of my own as well.... ..I enjoy taxidermy (and being a taxidermist) for the artistic skill required to reproduce as lifelike as possible a mount..more so than the trophy aspect of it....These animals we harvest, they are beautiful all in their own way. I get a great deal of satisfaction in trying to recreate that - and I love the challenge of it, as I am sure many many taxis do.

    I suspect for a vast majority of people that do have mounts done, they do so specifically for memory's sake...for tracing those footsteps that led down the path, and all the experiences associated with the hunt.
    Taxidermy IS art!
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    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

  20. #20
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    I have a few trophies in my house, as mementos of the hunts. I'm first and foremost a meat hunter; in the course of hunting I've come across some nice animals that ended up on the wall. They've led into some interesting discussions about hunting, but I've rarely seen vitriol from people in regards to my lifestyle. I just approach my hunting very matter of factly. It is something I do, and has been a long family tradition, dating back as far in my family as I've been able to trace. It is, for me, an affordable way to put the best of grass fed, organically raised meat onto my family's table, and allows us to use scarce funds on other necessities of life. Most of my meat hunting is done near home, with very little cost associated with it.

    now that I guide, as well, I'm thrust more into the debate about trophy hunters and hunting. I've yet to guide a "trophy hunter," in the way most people view a trophy hunter. All my clients have been blue collar workers who have saved up for many years to do an Alaskan hunt, and who consider any legal Alaskan game to be a trophy. Meat that they have not kept ends up being split among the guides; it could be debated that "trophy hunters" raise the value of the animal they harvest. They give money to a transporter, guide and outfitter, a taxidermist and expediter, before leaving the state with only a set of horns or skin. Meanwhile, the meat from the game also goes to the guide or other locals, and many take some of the meat back home with them. So for me to guide, if I'm successful, it takes care of not only my hunting meat needs, but my income during hunting season. If I were to shoot the same moose that a hunter did, I would take home the trophy and meat. It would likely cost me time and money. Likely the antlers would go sit in the shed, and the meat would be eaten by my family. The "trophy killed" moose also gets eaten by me, but I don't have to bother with the trophy, I get paid for it, and several other entities in the state also are paid to help in the transport and care of the hunter and trophy.

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