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Thread: Best way to educate non hunters and converse with an anti hunter

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    Default Best way to educate non hunters and converse with an anti hunter

    I'm starting this thread with a little apprehension because I realize the content of this thread has the potential to start a storm. So, I would like to preface this thread by saying please, please, please let's keep this as civil as possible.

    After someone recently posted the thread about the article in the ADN about hunting should only be for food and not for sport I started thinking that it would be interesting and possibly educational to some of us to have a FRIENDLY discussion about the best way to educate non hunters about hunting and also the best way to confront or converse with an anti hunter.

    Probably about 5-10 years ago I took a hunter safety refresher course. The reason why I say refresher course is because I already took hunter safety when I was a kid about 30 years ago. My wife was signed up to take the course and I though what the heck, I could use a refresher course. Well, a lot of it was basic review that I learned as a kid. But what I thought was really interesting was that the instructor spent a portion of the day talking about how to educate non hunters and converse with anti hunters.

    I have to confess that up until that point in my life the only thing I knew about the subject was that I thought those people were just ignorant and that why bother with people like that. Then the instructor mentioned that in the U.S., approximately 10% of the population were hunters, 80% of the population were non hunters, and 10% were anti hunters. That statistic got me really thinking. Maybe we should take these anti hunters a little more seriously. The other thing that he mentioned was that the 80% of non hunters were not necessarily opposed to hunting, just undecided on the merit of hunting.

    So he began suggesting things that we as hunters should ethically do to try to improve our negative image to the 80% of the rest of the U.S. Things like don't drive your pick up truck all around town with your dead moose head sticking out the back to show off to everyone in town. When your having a conversation with a non hunter explain the importance of the Pittman Robertson Act and how it has POSITIVELY benefited the wildlife in our nation. Maybe think about donating some game meat to a non hunter that you work with or invite a non hunter to join you on an afternoon outing rabbit hunting or duck hunting etc.

    Anyhow, I just thought maybe I would start this discussion and see what some ideas you all had were. And please let's try to keep this civil so that the moderators are not forced to shut this thing down. Can we please have a discussion without someone calling someone else and anti or a bunny hugger etc. Remember the point is to learn how to better communicate with other who don't feel the way we do about hunting. Not push them away any further.

  2. #2
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    The best way to talk with non hunters is the same as it is with hunters, RESPECTFULLY.

    The best way to talk with anti-hunters is not at all.
    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
    - Jef Mallett

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I just answer questions I don't bring up the topic. If a non hunter wants to start I give all to their new effort.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by twodux View Post
    The best way to talk with non hunters is the same as it is with hunters, RESPECTFULLY.

    The best way to talk with anti-hunters is not at all.
    Id have to agree with one. MOST anti hunters will not change their mindsets.

  5. #5
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodux View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    Best way to educate non hunters and converse with an anti hunter
    The best way to talk with non hunters is the same as it is with hunters, RESPECTFULLY.
    ^^This^^ sums up the long and short of it. The best way to converse with/educate a non hunter is to bring to the conversation respect for the other person and a genuine desire to hear and understand that person's perspective.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    ^^This^^ sums up the long and short of it. The best way to converse with/educate a non hunter is to bring to the conversation respect for the other person and a genuine desire to hear and understand that person's perspective.
    Yup. Until you hear and understand his point of view you can't begin to change it.

  7. #7

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    I ask them if they eat meat or use leather. If so, it's easy.

    I point out to them that there's no moral superiority in hiring surrogate killers to do the work for them. I take full responsibility for my meat and do the killing myself. If they get all snippy about eating farmed meat rather than wild, I point out to them all the wild animals that are killed or displaced by THEIR farmed crops.

    No I don't expect to make them happy.

    But you can bet they're educated when I'm through.

    I have zero respect for meat-eating anti-hunters.

    I don't agree with vegans, but I respect them.

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    So what if the shoe was on the other foot...and a non hunter or anti hunter tried to change your point of view about hunting and killing animals? I guess there may a chance of that, if you are conversing with them.
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    I have put a cork in a few anti's who were adamant that hunting for any reason was an evil pursuit simply by mentioning Pittman-Robertson http://www.fws.gov/southeast/federal...robertson.html and organizations such as Ducks Unlimited and RMEF, etc. to name a couple. Such organizations along with the P-R Act and sportsmen/women are far and away the greatest conservationists of fish and game in the nation. Just drop the P-R Act BOMB and the huge amount of funding it provides annually and explain that every purchase of ammo, fishing tackle etc., that you make contributes to this fund, the purchase of your hunting/fishing license supports the efforts as well, then ask them how much $ have they contributed lately or over the years, they shut right the hell up, usually.

    If not, I point out that habitat destruction - FARMING and URBAN SPRAWL- is the greatest cause of extinction and biggest threat to wildlife since the dawn of man. The vegan and vegetarian anti's of course are typically ignorant of this and the conversation ends.

    Then, for those anti's who eat meat and wear leather, etc. then espouse that the raising and killing of farm raised animals is perfectly acceptable for the simple reason that those animals are raised specifically for that purpose, justifies their treatment; being caged/confined/controlled force bred and injected with drugs and hormones is just fine. Then they proceed to say "how would you like it if one day while you are out there in the meadow enjoying your food and some hunter comes along and shoots you dead?!?", I always respond with something like "Dying free and content while doing something I enjoy is a far better way to die than being locked in cage, never seeing the sun or having felt the rain on my face only to one day be sent down a conveyor belt, terrified, in a noisy factory to be dismembered by a machine. As a hunter I offer respect and reverence to the animals I kill, I take full responsibility for my actions and I appreciate the fact they gave their life to support me and loved ones. I am thankful. Have you ever given such thought to the cellophane and styrofoam wrapped chicken you just ate?"

    You can also expand by illustrating the experiences you had in the field, such as interactions between to bulls sparring in the mist as the sun rises while a beaver swims by, the grouse you jumped while walking to your stand from camp, the pack of wolves you saw drift along a ridge a few miles off in pursuit of caribou, or the bear digging after ground squirrels or chasing salmon, the weasel darting around camp looking for an opportunity, or a northern hawk owl chasing after a gray jay with dinner in mind. Ask them if they have ever had these experiences, why or why not? Many have not, they will not put in the effort to get to where it takes to these wonders just as they will not put forth the effort to educate themselves on how important our contributions as hunters and anglers are to the conservation and preservation of fish and game really are, it is far easier to be led by the "Hollywood type" and remain ignorant and self righteous.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    I sometimes do outreach to non-hunters, whether it is presentations to high school classes or engaging with other orgs and reps about hunting.

    Was really cool to work with Ellen Frankenstein in helping to promote what she was working on. Here is a link to the final result, the film "Eating Alaska":
    http://www.eatingalaska.com/

    That film is a great way to introduce non-hunters to hunting.

    There is a whole new subset of hunters out there who've become enamored with eating healthier meats and who oppose confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) where most of store bought meat comes from. Author Michael Pollan kind of started that, and subsequent authors, and it really caught on among a more "liberal" and younger subset of the population.

    Keep in mind that the only arguments the antis have stem from the bad apples within the hunting community (of which there are many!) and so many of the tv programs on the air these days. Too, some of the things hunters push for and support in Alaska, like trapping bears, really turn a lot of non-hunters off and sway their views on hunting and hunters. Really in so many respects we are our own worst enemy.

    That's why some of us have to speak out against some of what we see and some of what is going on. As a group, we really should rid ourselves of the notion that to ever criticize hunting or hunters is wrong.

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    Some really great info and ideas already. For me, the key is identifying if I'm talking to am anti or a non. Like others, if it's an anti I don't normally bother even having a conversation, they aren't going to change. I do take the time to point out the realities of being a meat eating anti, but that's usually equally un-productive and has spawned tears in a few of them...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    " invite a non hunter to join you on an afternoon outing rabbit hunting "


    bunny hunting probably wouldn't be the hunt id pick for a sensitive individual.

  13. #13

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    Quite honestly don't care to give them my time. They have there view point and their right to it. Just don't bring your beliefs and try to infringe on my views and freedoms By then we past the talking point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota boy View Post
    Quite honestly don't care to give them my time. They have there view point and their right to it. Just don't bring your beliefs and try to infringe on my views and freedoms By then we past the talking point.
    Unfortunately your point of view brought on leg hold trapping and instant kill trapping bans in Washington State and bans on using dogs for hunting predators. Because, instead of engaging non hunters in meaningful dialogue and taking the time to educate them about the benefits of these methods, hunters let the anti hunters be the ones to define what was right and what was wrong with these methods and the results were that non hunting voters voted against hunters. If we don't engage non hunters (which are not anti hunting, just non hunting) we will continue to lose.

    And as Mark (Bushrat) pointed out, we must police ourselves. This "No one can tell me what to do" attitude is a losing attitude.
    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
    - Jef Mallett

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jrchambers View Post
    " invite a non hunter to join you on an afternoon outing rabbit hunting "


    bunny hunting probably wouldn't be the hunt id pick for a sensitive individual.
    Lol. Yeah. Me either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    Lol. Yeah. Me either.
    I'll engage both anti and non hunters in conversations. The key is remaining respectful. We won't change an anti-hunters opinion on hunting. One thing we can do is foster a respect for our stance.
    Mim not a trophy hunter. In a meat hunter. However if I had the money to spend in a trophy I might just do it. Why? Memories. I'd love to have a bear rug, but it'll be a black bear. So I can eat it. Justifiable trophy. Lol.

    So repect. Yeah. That's the key. I'm going to read up on this PR act.
    Thanks for the eatingAlaska link. Possible classroom material.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Some good points already but I would add be the positive example.

    If you can present your (our) side in a thoughtful, articulate manner then converse away! Don't confront and don't try to "win". State your case and leave an open invitation to further discussion, especially if you're in the midst of talking hunting to a non-hunter and you get attacked or interrupted by an anti.

    Pique their curiosity if you're able, answer their questions where you can, avoid boasting and leave them with the impression that hunters are reasonable and approachable on the subject of hunting, and possibly an invitation to tag along. If you do get a tag-along absolutely invite them over for a meal of the game they were there to see harvested. (make sure it's a dish you do well)

    *Edit

    As to "Sport" or "Trophy" hunters?
    Don't be afraid to defend those groups. Sport and trophy hunters are the soul of conservation and are THE reason we have the robust wildlife populations that we do in North America. Even the guys who hunt exclusively for the wall are to be credited because as trophy hunters they are highly selective and tend to pass on lots of animals before taking one that meets their requirements. Trophy hunters are usually the ones most willing to go home empty handed.

    Meat hunters often adopt an air of moral superiority because they're hunting for food, but meat hunters, generally, have a far greater impact on a given population BECAUSE they are hunting for the pot. A meat hunter enters the woods determined to kill the first legal animal he/she can find whereas the trophy hunter is holding out for something especially big or old or both.

    The meat hunter hunts until that meat is collected and I'm sorry of this stings but...the number one rationalization for violating fish and game laws is "I'm feeding my family".

    Also, when certain animal populations decline for whatever reasons, it's usually the sport and trophy crowds who are most willing to concede to restrictions aimed at restoring those herds. Not so for the meat hunters. They tend to scream first, loudest, and last and allways point the finger at everyone but themselves.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  18. #18

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    Not sure my way did but ignorant voters may have. I do see your point with non hunters. If they are a non hunter and want my opinion I'll be more than welcome to fill there ear full of what ever they want to hear. As for the anti hunter they have there mind made up and don't even care to be In The same room with such ignorance. And they probably don't give a **** what I have to say anyways so why waste breath.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by twodux View Post
    Unfortunately your point of view brought on leg hold trapping and instant kill trapping bans in Washington State and bans on using dogs for hunting predators. Because, instead of engaging non hunters in meaningful dialogue and taking the time to educate them about the benefits of these methods, hunters let the anti hunters be the ones to define what was right and what was wrong with these methods and the results were that non hunting voters voted against hunters. If we don't engage non hunters (which are not anti hunting, just non hunting) we will continue to lose.

    And as Mark (Bushrat) pointed out, we must police ourselves. This "No one can tell me what to do" attitude is a losing attitude.
    I would find it more meaningful to encourage hunters to get out and vote. Ignorance is dying battle and a waste of time.

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    Dakota Boy, about 7% of Americans hunt. (source, ducks unlimited) It doesn't matter if every hunter votes, we are still badly outnumbered and our only hope is non hunters accepting our activity as reasonable. Fortunately, 67% of non hunters still approve of hunting. Our job is to keep it that way, not aggravate the situation.

    We have to police our ranks and remain remain the factual, reasonable ones in the conversation.
    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
    - Jef Mallett

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