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

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  • 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
    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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    • #3
      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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      • #4
        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.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by twodux View Post
          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

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          • #6
            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.

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            • #7
              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.
              "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
              Merle Haggard

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              • #8
                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.

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                • #9
                  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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                  • #10
                    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.
                    Mark Richards
                    www.residenthuntersofalaska.org

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                    • #11
                      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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                      • #12
                        " 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.

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                        • #13
                          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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                          • #14
                            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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                            • #15
                              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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