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.