Excluding Hunting/Hunters from Wildlife Management - Episode 1 of 4

Just finished listening to the last one this morning. Thanks Randy and Andrew for the in depth discussion.

I still have hope Randy. No defeatist attitude.
 
Still working my way through EP3. I can't hardly listen to any of these episodes; 5-10 minutes in, and I have to pause it. I get too worked up or need more time to think through the discussion points. I'm constantly wishing I had the ability to interrupt with a question or comment. However, I feel the need to put some of my thoughts down before I continue.

So far I'm not sure there is a consistent take away. I've heard both we need to revise our actions/efforts to better connect with mainstream thoughts, ideas, and opinions; that conflict and combative language isn't a winning strategy, that we need to focus on our similarities with the anti-hunting crowd because really we're both wildlife lovers and it's the apathetic that are the real enemy. But I've also heard that we need to litigate when wildlife isn't managed per statute. Aren't those in direct tension with each other?

But the main concept that keeps being brought up in one form or another is that hunters need to change to stay relevant in society. That change needs to be attitude/entitlement towards wildlife, elimination of practices that are no longer supported by the general population, and our messaging/storytelling (all forms). However, if we look at who we're losing to and why, I'm not sure change is the answer. At least not the change that I heard.

Anti-hunters use three main strategies to "fight" us. First, and easiest, they use our own words and actions to paint hunters and hunting in a negative light, think smoke a pack a day stickers, etc., and sway overall public opinion. In this case, our messaging can, and should, change.

Second, they paint us as anti-wildlife because we directly kill wildlife. It makes logical sense to basically everyone that doesn't hunt, that you can't kill something you love. I'm not sure we can ever overcome this hurdle, because it goes so contrary to too much in our day-to-day lives. Would you kill your pet dog? Not unless they were dying. And then they gain even more traction on this front simply because so few people think, about let alone engage in, actual death in any form anymore. Even though death is an inherent and inevitable byproduct of our life and lifestyle. We can't change that fact or their perception. The best we can hope for is to do an end around and focus on the food supply chain really driving home the point that hunting is a far superior mechanism than industrial farming. This means supporting food source transparency labeling, locavorism, support small scale farming (chickens, goats, etc). Because even if someone doesn't ever hunt, just knowing, and experiencing death in association with food acquisition helps our cause on a conceptual and fundamental level.

They also attack every nuance, detail, omission, and error with litigation. We need to arm up for the same fight. We need more lawyers. We need to demand an eye for an eye.

There is one more point that has been brought up several times in these episodes that I'd like to offer some thoughts on.

The conversation has often touched on the religious nature of both sides of the debate over hunting. I'm not a traditionally religious person. But hunting, particularly big game, and especially when done alone, is as close to a religious experience as I've ever had. There's a connection that happens, at least for me, that has a depth and richness I don't see in other pursuits in my life. It's something I care very deeply about on a level that is hard to explain to others, even if others call it a cop out.

Now looping back around to a point made at the start of this thread and made over and over in the podcast series, that part of the proposed path forward for hunters and hunting is a need to change to stay relevant, I want to make a point incredibly clear. I don't want to change my religion. I don't want to redefine it, sugar coat it, water it down, or simplify it into something different just so it can be more palatable for others. I'm not willing to concede the fringes, nor continue to compromise this way of life in order to POTENTIALLY gain a slightly more favorable view from the general public.

It's a slippery slope, when does modifying our messaging turn into reducing our opportunity, turn into facilitating the demise of the very thing we're trying to protect? When do we finally draw the line in the sand?
-After we do away with predator hunting
-or trapping
-or the hunting "trophy" species
-or hunting on public land

When will the other side be satisfied?

IDK maybe I'm the crazy one here. Kick me out of the boat. But I intent to go down swinging.
 
Last edited:
Still working my way through EP3. I can't hardly listen to any of these episodes; 5-10 minutes in, and I have to pause it. I get too worked up or need more time to think through the discussion points. I'm constantly wishing I had the ability to interrupt with a question or comment. However, I feel the need to put some of my thoughts down before I continue.

So far I'm not sure there is a consistent take away. I've heard both we need to revise our actions/efforts to better connect with mainstream thoughts, ideas, and opinions; that conflict and combative language isn't a winning strategy, that we need to focus on our similarities with the anti-hunting crowd because really we're both wildlife lovers and it's the apathetic that are the real enemy. But I've also heard that we need to litigate when wildlife isn't managed per statute. Aren't those in direct tension with each other?

But the main concept that keeps being brought up in one form or another is that hunters need to change to stay relevant in society. That change needs to be attitude/entitlement towards wildlife, elimination of practices that are no longer supported by the general population, and our messaging/storytelling (all forms). However, if we look at who we're losing to and why, I'm not sure change is the answer. At least not the change that I heard.

Anti-hunters use three main strategies to "fight" us. First, and easiest, they use our own words and actions to paint hunters and hunting in a negative light, think smoke a pack a day stickers, etc., and sway overall public opinion. In this case, our messaging can, and should, change.

Second, they paint us as anti-wildlife because we directly kill wildlife. It makes logical sense to basically everyone that doesn't hunt, that you can't kill something you love. I'm not sure we can ever overcome this hurdle, because it goes so contrary to too much in our day-to-day lives. Would you kill your pet dog? Not unless they were dying. And then they gain even more traction on this front simply because so few people think, about let along engage in, actual death in any form anymore. Even though death is an inherent and inevitable byproduct of our life and lifestyle. We can't change that fact or their perception. The best we can hope for is to do an end around and focus on the food supply chain really driving home the point that hunting so a far superior mechanism that industrial farming. This means supporting food source transparency labeling, locavorism, support small scale farming (chickens, goats, etc). Because even if someone doesn't ever hunt, just knowing, and experiencing death in association with food acquisition helps our cause on a conceptual and fundamental level.

They also attack every nuance, detail, omission, and error with litigation. We need to arm up for the same fight. We need more lawyers. We need to demand an eye for an eye.

There is one more point that has been brought up several times in these episodes that I'd like to offer some thoughts on.

The conversation has often touched on the religious nature of both sides of the debate over hunting. I'm not a traditionally religious person. But hunting, particularly big game, and especially alone, is as close to a religious experience as I've ever had. There's a connection that happens, at least for me, that has a depth and richness I don't see in other recreational pursuits in my life. It's something I care very deeply about on a level that is hard to explain to others, even if others call it a cop out.

Now looping back around to a point made at the start of this thread and made over and over in the podcast series, that part of the proposed path forward for hunters and hunting is a need to change to stay relevant, I want to make a point incredibly clear. I don't want to change my religion. I don't want to redefine it, sugar coat it, water it down, or simplify it into something different just so it can be more palatable for others. I'm not willing to concede the fringes, nor continue to compromise this way of life in order to POTENTIALLY gain a slightly more favorable view from the general public.

It's a slippery slope, when does modifying our messaging turn into reducing our opportunity, turn into facilitating the demise of the very thing we're trying to protect? When do we finally draw the line in the sand?
-After we do away with predator hunting
-or trapping
-or the hunting "trophy" species
-or hunting on public land

When will the other side be satisfied?

IDK maybe I'm the crazy one here. Kick me out of the boat. But I intent to go down swinging.

a lot to chew on there. hard to disagree with a lot it, personally.

i personally think there is no line "to be drawn in the sand" i agree with the hard stance to which you're alluding - the line is already crossed and we fight like hell to not lose another inch of ground.

regarding not changing our religion to stay relevant - yes and no. when you watch much of our community it's hard to not blame people for being skeptical or antagonistic to hunting when people tell them they should be. it is, at its core, at it's most innate and primal core, about food. hunting is an impossibly defensible activity if that's not the centrality and core of the so-called "religion", full stop IMO. is that a slippery slope? ugh, i don't know. cause then why wouldn't we be okay with surrendering all heads to our wildlife agencies?

on the flip, i feel like when you get the chance to talk face to face with people it's easy for them to not be very antagonistic to hunting if you can talk about it well.

i dunno, some people absolutely need to change or get out. but maybe that's a really bad and dangerous take as well. very open to criticism on that.
 
I'm not a traditionally religious person. But hunting, particularly big game, and especially alone, is as close to a religious experience as I've ever had. There's a connection that happens, at least for me, that has a depth and richness I don't see in other recreational pursuits in my life. It's something I care very deeply about on a level that is hard to explain to others, even if others call it a cop out.

Now looping back around to a point made at the start of this thread and made over and over in the podcast series, that part of the proposed path forward for hunters and hunting is a need to change to stay relevant, I want to make a point incredibly clear. I don't want to change my religion. I don't want to redefine it, sugar coat it, water it down, or simplify it into something different just so it can be more palatable for others. I'm not willing to concede the fringes, nor continue to compromise this way of life in order to POTENTIALLY gain a slightly more favorable view from the general public.
Well said, I'm incredibly lucky to have spent an inordinate amount of time outdoors, and to continue to spend at least part of almost every day out in the mountains, there's just something different about hunting that hits the soul differently than all the other pursuits, and I'm by no means a religious person...

I can't for the life of me explain why it hits the way it does, but I know the current outlook has me feeling like no matter how much hunting means to me I'm powerless to stop the inevitable decline in opportunity to do the thing I love most, I'd be the first in line to help in any way I can, but I feel like there isn't a really clear direction to channel that energy right now, I submit public comment on every hunting-related legislation, I show up at meetings, I try to influence as many people as I can in person, but boy, does it feel like the boy with his finger in the hole in the dike...

I was really hoping that there would be a clearer way forward for those of us who love hunting so much but feel like we are losing it in the podcast, but unfortunately, I don't think it is that simple, I think the message that hunters need to quit fighting within our own ranks is key, but boy, that seem a hard ask right now, I just browsed a thread on wolf reintroduction on a different site and I'm not sure we are all even on the same planet...

a lot to chew on there. hard to disagree with a lot it, personally.

i personally think there is no line "to be drawn in the sand" i agree with the hard stance to which you're alluding - the line is already crossed and we fight like hell to not lose another inch of ground.

regarding not changing our religion to stay relevant - yes and no. when you watch much of our community it's hard to not blame people for being skeptical or antagonistic to hunting when people tell them they should be. it is, at its core, at it's most innate and primal core, about food. hunting is an impossibly defensible activity if that's not the centrality and core of the so-called "religion", full stop IMO. is that a slippery slope? ugh, i don't know. cause then why wouldn't we be okay with surrendering all heads to our wildlife agencies?

on the flip, i feel like when you get the chance to talk face to face with people it's easy for them to not be very antagonistic to hunting if you can talk about it well.

i dunno, some people absolutely need to change or get out. but maybe that's a really bad and dangerous take as well. very open to criticism on that.
From my experience talking face-to-face is by far the best way to actually change minds, if you are not what people have in mind as the stereotypical "hunter" and have your position well thought out so you can speak well I think you can change the perception of all hunters a lot...

I've run into very few people who maintain an anti-hunting stance that I interact with regularly, I think a significant percentage of anti-hunters are uninformed, and look at the worst of hunting, the "smoke a pack a day" or maybe worse, the "keep hammering Bro" crowd as what hunting is, because they can be louder than the majority of us who place a love of wildlife and wild places first and foremost, being a good representative for the sport has never been more important IMO, but it gets tricky when it gets beyond the in-person setting, perhaps it's just tough to describe why something is so meaningful on a spiritual level and have it come across well when you aren't looking the other person in the eyes?
 
First off, @Big Fin, thank you for putting this series together. Your work of trying to bring hunters together to focus on the issues that matter most is truly invaluable, and I am grateful that using your voice in that way is the primary objective of your platforms. It's what separates you from the rest of the outdoor media space and I for one respect the hell out of you for it.

Second, they paint us as anti-wildlife because we directly kill wildlife. It makes logical sense to basically everyone that doesn't hunt, that you can't kill something you love. I'm not sure we can ever overcome this hurdle, because it goes so contrary to too much in our day-to-day lives. Would you kill your pet dog? Not unless they were dying. And then they gain even more traction on this front simply because so few people think, about let along engage in, actual death in any form anymore. Even though death is an inherent and inevitable byproduct of our life and lifestyle. We can't change that fact or their perception. The best we can hope for is to do an end around and focus on the food supply chain really driving home the point that hunting so a far superior mechanism that industrial farming. This means supporting food source transparency labeling, locavorism, support small scale farming (chickens, goats, etc). Because even if someone doesn't ever hunt, just knowing, and experiencing death in association with food acquisition helps our cause on a conceptual and fundamental level.

Caution--there is some generalizing and perhaps even stereotyping in what you're about to read here: There has been a lot of talk about the idea of "colonialism" over the past few years among the types of people who have coalesced against hunting. Colonialism seeks to enact total control over a settled area and the people who were first living there, erasing the culture and traditions of those people and enstating radically new ways of thinking and behaving. Old traditions, practices, and culture is stamped out for being "barbaric, primitive, and misguided." Perhaps it seems melodramatic to say that the taking over of wildlife commissions in Washington and Colorado (and surely other states like Oregon before too long) is a new form of colonialism, but I'm not sure that it is. I think the point being made over and over in the third podcast--that we need to change the narrative used to communicate why hunting, wild places, and wild things matter to us in way that resonates on a more emotional level--is going to have to be kept at the forefront of all engagements on this subject moving forward. Data is important, but so is a meaningful, well reasoned "why" in conjunction with that data.

I'll give it a go, though my explanation will undoubtedly need work--how can I kill something I love? I love mule deer more than any other animal. I love to hunt mule deer more than any other animal. I love watching them, seeing the way they use a landscape, interact with one another, and make decisions about feeding, movement, and protecting themselves. But I am confident that I wouldn't think about and advocate for the conservation of mule deer in the way that I do if I did not hunt them. They would be a part of the landscape that I appreciate, but not obsess over and be willing to fight for. Because there is something in hunting that causes us not to just be observers of wildlife, but a part of it. An equal link in the whole great chain. I believe we evolved this way, and it is part of our DNA to be part of that continuous circle living and dying and, while living, continually solving puzzles that connect us meaningfully to the whole. When I kill an animal, it's life isn't just over, because it then brings life to my family. The first meat both of my kids ever ate was from deer and elk that I killed myself. Appreciation for this food has made them care for these animals more than just seeing them as ornaments out on the landscape, but as something we are connected to that truly matters. It is about connection. If we are forced to be mere observers of wildlife, set apart outside the circle, we would be disinheriting ourselves from our own DNA, and from nature itself, and severing the connection to the REAL.

The conversation has often touched on the religious nature of both sides of the debate over hunting. I'm not a traditionally religious person. But hunting, particularly big game, and especially alone, is as close to a religious experience as I've ever had. There's a connection that happens, at least for me, that has a depth and richness I don't see in other recreational pursuits in my life. It's something I care very deeply about on a level that is hard to explain to others, even if others call it a cop out.

Trying to take that away in favor of a "new way" of thinking and behaving would be an example of that colonialism I was referring to. I think this might be something worth pointing out, as it has a certain emotional resonance.

I've run into very few people who maintain an anti-hunting stance that I interact with regularly, I think a significant percentage of anti-hunters are uninformed, and look at the worst of hunting, the "smoke a pack a day" or maybe worse, the "keep hammering Bro" crowd as what hunting is, because they can be louder than the majority of us who place a love of wildlife and wild places first and foremost, being a good representative for the sport has never been more important IMO, but it gets tricky when it gets beyond the in-person setting, perhaps it's just tough to describe why something is so meaningful on a spiritual level and have it come across well when you aren't looking the other person in the eyes?

This is why I've been paying attention to the Matt Rinella discussions. The crap that seems to be put out on a lot social media that Rinella is calling out has a message of dominance over wildlife, rather than connection to it. Changing the messaging to one of connection (which I think it is to most hunters on this site) rather than one of dominance is, to me at least, a big part of why calling out the uber alpha bro hunting social media stuff is actually worthwhile.
 
more than just seeing them as ornaments out on the landscape
I'm absolutely going to poach this line, it's a dandy.
The crap that seems to be put out on a lot social media that Rinella is calling out has a message of dominance over wildlife, rather than connection to it.
Yes, but...

Science is starting to erode the narrative around surplus animals in a population, which is effectively the scientific basis for hunting. Without it, it's our use of wildlife (game animals) vs other wildlife's (predator) use of that same game. I think there is some value is us maintaining some level of higher use, higher morality, something, so that people can't simply say I'd rather the wolves eat the deer than us, selfish terrible humans eat them. I know that doesn't necessarily equate to dominance over wildlife, but it's kind of in that same ballpark.
 
Yes, but...

Science is starting to erode the narrative around surplus animals in a population, which is effectively the scientific basis for hunting. Without it, it's our use of wildlife (game animals) vs other wildlife's (predator) use of that same game. I think there is some value is us maintaining some level of higher use, higher morality, something, so that people can't simply say I'd rather the wolves eat the deer than us, selfish terrible humans eat them. I know that doesn't necessarily equate to dominance over wildlife, but it's kind of in that same ballpark.

So you’re saying that it could (and would) be argued that hunting itself is a sort of dominance over wildlife? That when a wolf hunts, she is instinctually acting as a part of the web of the natural world, whereas when I hunt, I am merely exerting my dominance over it? I could see that being argued, and I think that argument is bullshit.

How exactly did all of us humans get here? Why should we be forced to embrace an artificial separation from that web of the natural world? When hunting, dominance is about the last thing I feel, and if I’m successful, any elation I experience is due to gratitude. I understand that we may be the only critters out there with the capacity to examine our own motives and adjust our behavior accordingly, but I don’t think that means we have to pull ourselves out of the circle of the natural world, just that we must take great care to treat it with respect and, here’s that word again, love. What gives the wolf more of a right to maintain her nature than you?
 
So you’re saying that it could (and would) be argued that hunting itself is a sort of dominance over wildlife? That when a wolf hunts, she is instinctually acting as a part of the web of the natural world, whereas when I hunt, I am merely exerting my dominance over it? I could see that being argued, and I think that argument is bullshit.

How exactly did all of us humans get here? Why should we be forced to embrace an artificial separation from that web of the natural world? When hunting, dominance is about the last thing I feel, and if I’m successful, any elation I experience is due to gratitude. I understand that we may be the only critters out there with the capacity to examine our own motives and adjust our behavior accordingly, but I don’t think that means we have to pull ourselves out of the circle of the natural world, just that we must take great care to treat it with respect and, here’s that word again, love. What gives the wolf more of a right to maintain her nature than you?
Preach it! Love it! Triple heart emojis!

I just don't necessarily think it's a winning strategy. But I trend more and more that there isn't a winning strategy.

Have you noticed that much of the environmental bend of the left centers around how terrible human's are, yet how majestic nature is? I'd never thought about it until last year where someone pointed it out to me. We, and most (all?) hunters, know it's bullshit. Nature is immensely more cruel than human hunters are; shit, wolves eat their prey alive. But I think it is important to maintain that human needs are also important, if we're honest, more important than other animal needs. That feels like a form of dominance, but maybe I'm wrong there. I mean you and I both peach loving wildlife but then plowed up perfectly good wildlife habitat to create our own human habitat.
 
For the last year Andrew McKean and I have been working on a podcast series that dives into the political movement that is working to carve hunting/hunters out of wildlife management. It started in Washington and is now in full swing in Colorado.

In this series we discuss what has happened and what the ramifications are, in this episode #1. We explain a lot of the history and bring together a lot of the research we have done on the topic. We've always relied on good people and good governance in would wildlife agencies. That trend is proving to be ripe for abuse when some view wildlife as another "spoil to the victors." We also ask the honest questions about when our community might have taken liberty with the powers of agencies and Commissions.

In episode #2 we have Kim Thorburn, a physician and former Washington Wildlife Commissioner, who happens to be a non-hunter. In her terms as a Commissioner, she supported hunting and hunters. She explains how political process was used/abused, to take over the Washington Wildlife Agency and is now being directed with an anti-hunting bias. Again, you will hear a lot of abuse in the process of appointment and lack of governance.

In episode #3, we have Tony Wasley, former Director of Nevada Department of Wildlife, now leading a program with the Wildlife Management Institute to address the relevancy of hunting and hunters in a rapidly changing society. Nevada is one of the most diverse and urbanized states, forcing Tony and his Commission to address a lot of these concerns. Tony has spent much of his career leading efforts at the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) on this topic.

In episode #4, we try to bring together what we've learned in our research and from our guests. We discuss where this is going, how well it is funded, and the importance of hunters getting involved, no matter what state they live in. We show how grassroots in Washington is being mobilized. We give ideas provided by folks who've been in these battles that illustrate how hunters can make a difference. It might sound like 9th grade Civics class, but if ever there was a time for hunters to get involved and stop fighting over the small stuff, now is the time.

This was a fun project. A ton of work. And hopefully beneficial.

Link to Episode #1 - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podca...ting-part-1-of-4/id1012713381?i=1000633828542

If you find it worthwhile, I hope you will share it
 
First off, @Big Fin, thank you for putting this series together. Your work of trying to bring hunters together to focus on the issues that matter most is truly invaluable, and I am grateful that using your voice in that way is the primary objective of your platforms. It's what separates you from the rest of the outdoor media space and I for one respect the hell out of you for it.



Caution--there is some generalizing and perhaps even stereotyping in what you're about to read here: There has been a lot of talk about the idea of "colonialism" over the past few years among the types of people who have coalesced against hunting. Colonialism seeks to enact total control over a settled area and the people who were first living there, erasing the culture and traditions of those people and enstating radically new ways of thinking and behaving. Old traditions, practices, and culture is stamped out for being "barbaric, primitive, and misguided." Perhaps it seems melodramatic to say that the taking over of wildlife commissions in Washington and Colorado (and surely other states like Oregon before too long) is a new form of colonialism, but I'm not sure that it is. I think the point being made over and over in the third podcast--that we need to change the narrative used to communicate why hunting, wild places, and wild things matter to us in way that resonates on a more emotional level--is going to have to be kept at the forefront of all engagements on this subject moving forward. Data is important, but so is a meaningful, well reasoned "why" in conjunction with that data.

I'll give it a go, though my explanation will undoubtedly need work--how can I kill something I love? I love mule deer more than any other animal. I love to hunt mule deer more than any other animal. I love watching them, seeing the way they use a landscape, interact with one another, and make decisions about feeding, movement, and protecting themselves. But I am confident that I wouldn't think about and advocate for the conservation of mule deer in the way that I do if I did not hunt them. They would be a part of the landscape that I appreciate, but not obsess over and be willing to fight for. Because there is something in hunting that causes us not to just be observers of wildlife, but a part of it. An equal link in the whole great chain. I believe we evolved this way, and it is part of our DNA to be part of that continuous circle living and dying and, while living, continually solving puzzles that connect us meaningfully to the whole. When I kill an animal, it's life isn't just over, because it then brings life to my family. The first meat both of my kids ever ate was from deer and elk that I killed myself. Appreciation for this food has made them care for these animals more than just seeing them as ornaments out on the landscape, but as something we are connected to that truly matters. It is about connection. If we are forced to be mere observers of wildlife, set apart outside the circle, we would be disinheriting ourselves from our own DNA, and from nature itself, and severing the connection to the REAL.

Trying to take that away in favor of a "new way" of thinking and behaving would be an example of that colonialism I was referring to. I think this might be something worth pointing out, as it has a certain emotional resonance.

This is why I've been paying attention to the Matt Rinella discussions. The crap that seems to be put out on a lot social media that Rinella is calling out has a message of dominance over wildlife, rather than connection to it. Changing the messaging to one of connection (which I think it is to most hunters on this site) rather than one of dominance is, to me at least, a big part of why calling out the uber alpha bro hunting social media stuff is actually worthwhile.

very well said. i agree wholeheartedly that emotion, a lot of it, is something we need to bring to the table. even if it could be categorized as a logical fallacy. we need it.

fire with fire.

the most challenging thing confronting us is how do we create a message that is simple and widely resonant?

like this is great, really great:

I'll give it a go, though my explanation will undoubtedly need work--how can I kill something I love? I love mule deer more than any other animal. I love to hunt mule deer more than any other animal. I love watching them, seeing the way they use a landscape, interact with one another, and make decisions about feeding, movement, and protecting themselves. But I am confident that I wouldn't think about and advocate for the conservation of mule deer in the way that I do if I did not hunt them. They would be a part of the landscape that I appreciate, but not obsess over and be willing to fight for. Because there is something in hunting that causes us not to just be observers of wildlife, but a part of it. An equal link in the whole great chain. I believe we evolved this way, and it is part of our DNA to be part of that continuous circle living and dying and, while living, continually solving puzzles that connect us meaningfully to the whole. When I kill an animal, it's life isn't just over, because it then brings life to my family. The first meat both of my kids ever ate was from deer and elk that I killed myself. Appreciation for this food has made them care for these animals more than just seeing them as ornaments out on the landscape, but as something we are connected to that truly matters. It is about connection. If we are forced to be mere observers of wildlife, set apart outside the circle, we would be disinheriting ourselves from our own DNA, and from nature itself, and severing the connection to the REAL.


but, how can we try to get that messages across in a broader sense? i borderline feel it's impossible. it can't be understood until you do it. we can't elevator pitch it to the wider non hunting american public.

but, i think there are ways to help the non-antihunting-non-hunting crowd get a sense of this. perhaps at least an appreciation. which always full circles me back, IMO, to probably our exhibit A and widest audience presenter of such a intangible spiritual view of hunting: steve rinella.
 
I agree with everything you said. A few years ago I met a biologist working for the BLM out of their Gunnison, CO office. We became good friends and talked lot about hunting and fishing. After a long day of calling/scouting elk, my friend broke down and vented his outrage from the Denver office BLM leaders. I remember him speaking of the strong anti-hunter bias and how it was becoming so political. I think now we all are seeing the results.
Absolutely agree. Count me in that minority also. I talk to hunters all the time in Colorado who are in complete denial that this is happening. This isn’t some crazy right-wing fringe conspiracy theory. Anti-hunting, animal rights activists have gained enough political influence with the ruling party in Colorado to completely remove hunters/hunting from wildlife management.
 
Well said, I'm incredibly lucky to have spent an inordinate amount of time outdoors, and to continue to spend at least part of almost every day out in the mountains, there's just something different about hunting that hits the soul differently than all the other pursuits, and I'm by no means a religious person...

I can't for the life of me explain why it hits the way it does, but I know the current outlook has me feeling like no matter how much hunting means to me I'm powerless to stop the inevitable decline in opportunity to do the thing I love most, I'd be the first in line to help in any way I can, but I feel like there isn't a really clear direction to channel that energy right now, I submit public comment on every hunting-related legislation, I show up at meetings, I try to influence as many people as I can in person, but boy, does it feel like the boy with his finger in the hole in the dike...

I was really hoping that there would be a clearer way forward for those of us who love hunting so much but feel like we are losing it in the podcast, but unfortunately, I don't think it is that simple, I think the message that hunters need to quit fighting within our own ranks is key, but boy, that seem a hard ask right now, I just browsed a thread on wolf reintroduction on a different site and I'm not sure we are all even on the same planet...


From my experience talking face-to-face is by far the best way to actually change minds, if you are not what people have in mind as the stereotypical "hunter" and have your position well thought out so you can speak well I think you can change the perception of all hunters a lot...

I've run into very few people who maintain an anti-hunting stance that I interact with regularly, I think a significant percentage of anti-hunters are uninformed, and look at the worst of hunting, the "smoke a pack a day" or maybe worse, the "keep hammering Bro" crowd as what hunting is, because they can be louder than the majority of us who place a love of wildlife and wild places first and foremost, being a good representative for the sport has never been more important IMO, but it gets tricky when it gets beyond the in-person setting, perhaps it's just tough to describe why something is so meaningful on a spiritual level and have it come across well when you aren't looking the other person in the eyes?
I hope we're are the same planet. I agree with everything you said. I would add one thing: I personally think anti-hunting people are inherently more outspoken, forthright and vocal compared to most outdoorsman.
 
I mean you and I both peach loving wildlife but then plowed up perfectly good wildlife habitat to create our own human habitat.
Yes. Ugh. This is true. It makes me uncomfortable to acknowledge, but it’s true. But damn, all I have to do now is step outside and I’m in the real world (nature, that is) and my god what a difference that has made for my soul since moving out of the city. Maybe it’s a cop out, but the whole point of moving where we did was for that sense of connection. Not saying it justifies it, but that was the motivation.

Have you noticed that much of the environmental bend of the left centers around how terrible human's are, yet how majestic nature is?

Totally. But are the people with the extreme views the ones we need to worry about convincing of the absolute validity of hunting? My best friend more or less thinks that way, and used to be somewhat confrontational with me about hunting. Over the years though, I think he’s grown to respect it, at least as far as it goes for me, likely because of the stories about it that I tell about that connection piece—rather than just whack ‘em and stack ‘em stories.

Whatever comes, I’m sure glad critical thinkers like you are advocating for hunting and wildlife. I’ve got a ton to learn and need to get more involved beyond just writing letters and stuff.
 
but, i think there are ways to help the non-antihunting-non-hunting crowd get a sense of this. perhaps at least an appreciation. which always full circles me back, IMO, to probably our exhibit A and widest audience presenter of such a intangible spiritual view of hunting: steve rinella
What do humans want more than anything? A sense of connection. With each other, with the world. To know and be known. Why should hunting, and all its pursuits, be excluded from that? It is as much a part of who we are as being in a community, or a family. Because love is love, right?

We take, but we also give.

That may be half baked and need some work. But it’s the best I’ve got while all hopped up on ni-quil with a head cold…
 
What do humans want more than anything? A sense of connection. With each other, with the world. To know and be known. Why should hunting, and all its pursuits, be excluded from that? It is as much a part of who we are as being in a community, or a family. Because love is love, right?

We take, but we also give.

That may be half baked and need some work. But it’s the best I’ve got while all hopped up on ni-quil with a head cold…

is there a way to put that on a bumper sticker?

but in all seriousness that is getting a good angle on it. the natural sense of humanity and our place in the world. when it is sustainable and natural why should we deny ourselves or others of that humanity?

and gosh dang man, why does every other direction i look someone has a cold? our whole house is like 3 days into finally being mostly normal again.
 
Lots of great points made in this thread. I wish I had answers to all of the questions we face. I don't. But, we do know things that work and we know a few things that don't work.

And none of it is binary; you're either this or you're that is a lazy/common approach to problems solving in the area of human dimension. Reading this forum makes it pretty clear that the hunting demographic has the same diversity of opinions as the rest of society.

I like @neffa3's analysis of the religious parallels to this discussion. I have a lot of those same sentiments.

I wrote a dissertation last night trying my best to explain my thoughts and observations. I slept on it and re-read it this morning. It needs more work. It is hard to explain a lot of these ideas bouncing around in my head. We are traveling into a new time and a new context within which these issues are going to be settled. We've been warned that hunting and our human-animal relationships have always been decided by the social constructs of the public. I think we are seeing that. I think we are also seeing how well some play that social construct game and how poorly we play that game.

Not sure when I'll have my thoughts organized well enough. It is obvious why Andrew and I spent a year working on this and we still thought it was incomplete. I'm thankful for his editorial and communication experiences that forced me to accept the plan that we publish some digestible pieces that could be helpful rather than wait until we have uncovered the silver bullet.

Thanks to all who have listened to those episodes.
 
...means we have to pull ourselves out of the circle of the natural world, just that we must take great care to treat it with respect and, here’s that word again, love. What gives the wolf more of a right to maintain her nature than you?
I think it is important to remember that the vast majority of Americans can step out of their front door and be in Nature. It requires a conscious effort and probably a drive of some distance. I do think that post pandemic more have found the soothing benefits of nature, for both good and bad impacts. This is the group that you can probably convince to agree with you in some way. I struggle with the exact message, but I don't have some emotional connection with hunting per se. I do not define my relationship with nature solely through the act of hunting. It is just an activity. But that activity does fund a lot of conservation.

The wolf doesn't have rights, per se, but if I were it's defender, i would say the relationship between wolves and elk is pretty much the same now as was it was pre-human. I don't think I can say the same about the elk-human relationship. Jumping on an ATV to drive trails and shooting something from 400yds away isn't a great basis for an emotional defense of hunting to someone that doesn't do it.

Hopefully that makes sense. Like I said, I struggle with this and find myself easily going down rabbit holes.
 
If you read through this post you can see why some people want to keep hunters out of wildlife management.


We need to self police as the hunting community in order to keep our credibility as conservationists.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
111,055
Messages
1,945,113
Members
34,992
Latest member
bgeary
Back
Top