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Hunt Quietly Podcast 84: Q & A

Nameless Range

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It’s tough to spend such beautiful Montana weekend out of the hills, but this is my last weekend of call for work for the season, so I did chores around the house and listened to this podcast episode this morning.


I know Matt Rinella and his perspective has been discussed many times on here, and I’ll admit to only having listened to a couple of his podcast episodes prior. I actually really enjoyed this one, and he clarified some of his positions that I had preconceived notions about. I feel that many of the criticism he generally levies at hunting personalities, don’t really apply to the purveyor of this site. That said, these were some things he mentioned that made me think:

-He mentioned that what he sees as the chief issues modern hunters face in terms of their experiences are – animal numbers, tag allocation, and land on which to hunt. One thing he said was that conservation organizations don’t have the average sportsman, in mind with their work. His claim was that the number one constituent of most conservation orgs is the hunting industry. I don’t think this is always true – for example, I think the 3 R effort on-net hurts the average sportsman, but some of the orgs pushing for that are also some of the few orgs out there speaking up for the tag allocation of the average sportsman. On the other hand, it sure seems that some orgs have been captured by $. It left me thinking that, of the 3 issues he mentions, a lot of orgs may work on one or two, but rarely do they work on all three.

-Another thing he spoke about was the impact an individual who shoots a dozen big game animals a year has on the opportunity of others. Not in terms of actual population loss, but in how it may motivate others reasons for hunting. Personally I have a gut reaction to someone taking more than they “need” in terms of elk or deer and it isn't good. But then again, I don’t “need” even one elk.

-He spoke to the perception of how folks think he is anti-social media in hunting. He clarified that he thinks there should be more hunting related social media surrounding advocacy. Hunt quietly. Advocate Loudly. Thought that was interesting.

-It was asked of him what would look like success to him if his “movement” were successful. One thing he mentioned that would be good would be that: It should be widely acknowledged that hiring an outfitter to take you out and show you a deer or elk that you then shoot is in no way an accomplishment. I couldn’t agree more.

- Another thing he talked about was the hypocrisy of GoHunt and OnX. I can’t really speak to GoHunt, but he did mention how weird it was that the owner of OnX bemoans landlocked public land, but then advertises his hunts on land that locks the public behind it. Maybe there isn’t a contradiction there. My own story with OnX was at a conference a few years ago. Someone, who if I recall right was the VP there, gave a presentation on their secret study of inaccessible public lands, and the millions of acres that are. I approached him afterward, and told him that they oughta let the public know which lands they have deemed inaccessible – maybe put it in the app. They could then crowdsource either existing access their automated process didn’t identify, or even crowdsource solutions by mining local knowledge. I was told, “That would upset a lot of landowners”….

There was a lot more. In the end, I don't agree with him on everything, but it really seems his goal is to get hunters to reorient their own hunting motivations, and I found myself thinking he made a lot of good sense, and maybe I hadn’t really grasped his positions entirely. Worth a listen IMO.
 
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Matt is barking up the right tree, the hunting industry has really hurt a lot of hunting opportunities. And nobody should have the right to kill a dozen or even a half dozen animals a year unless you have a really large family and can use all the extra meat. I haven’t listened to his podcast in a while but have enjoyed them. I like it that he doesn’t pussyfoot around difficult topics and speaks his mind. Preston
 
Matt is barking up the right tree, the hunting industry has really hurt a lot of hunting opportunities. And nobody should have the right to kill a dozen or even a half dozen animals a year unless you have a really large family and can use all the extra meat. I haven’t listened to his podcast in a while but have enjoyed them. I like it that he doesn’t pussyfoot around difficult topics and speaks his mind. Preston
So I guess the 7 feral hogs, 2 turkeys, and black buck I killed in a weekend in Texas shouldn't be allowed?

I disagree.

I also think a lot depends on the State. We have many areas where cow/calf elk tags are leftover with elk numbers several thousand over objective. Any hunter that wants them has ample opportunity to draw them, twice, and buy them again OTC.

As long as the animals are utilized, why shouldn't hunters be allowed to shoot 3 elk a year?

Matt's view is narrow, he's just pissed he doesn't have the woods to himself.
 
Listened this morning. I really enjoyed it.

It was obvious from some of the questions that a lot of people have some misconceptions about his actual goals and motivations. If he strikes you wrong, take some time, do some research, and try to understand exactly what he's advocating for. I don't think he's right about everything, but he's right about some things, and he's a pretty valuable voice in hunting right now.
 
So I guess the 7 feral hogs, 2 turkeys, and black buck I killed in a weekend in Texas shouldn't be allowed?

I disagree.

I also think a lot depends on the State. We have many areas where cow/calf elk tags are leftover with elk numbers several thousand over objective. Any hunter that wants them has ample opportunity to draw them, twice, and buy them again OTC.

As long as the animals are utilized, why shouldn't hunters be allowed to shoot 3 elk a year?

Matt's view is narrow, he's just pissed he doesn't have the woods to himself.
100%. If you hunted all available seasons and regions of TN you could kill over 30 deer and they still have overpopulation issues.
 
100%. If you hunted all available seasons and regions of TN you could kill over 30 deer and they still have overpopulation issues.

My sense is that Rinella is being critical of those who go shoot half a dozen elk over the course of a season - be it for experience or content creation- but not for meat for themselves. To me personally, it would be weird to shoot an elk without any desire keep the muscle, even if one donates the meat.

That said, as I mentioned earlier, practically no one in modern America "needs" wild game meat, myself included, and there have been multiple seasons of my life where I killed a couple elk and a couple deer - all of which got ate by my family.

However one feels about it, I don't think it is the most important part of his message.
 
I think that counter-points to mainstream social trends are most often a good endeavor. Matt's messaging has developed/evolved over Hunt-quietly this past few years - and I enjoy listening to the podcasts. I haven't caught this one yet - but will do so. His podcast is rarely "mind candy" and I enjoy that (as much as I like easy to digest info).

On the topic of "too many animals" - I usually look at the intention of the hunter. If the hunt is simply to generate content for Social Media - then I think there is merit to the argument. The "needing meat" or "how many animals per year do you need" arguments are not strong points - as there are many avenues for using the meat from any hunt (charities, folks in need, food banks, elderly neighbors).

Other attributes from the hunt that I always "need" include: going out in the field in pursuit of prey, spending time with family, teaching my kids and nieces/nephews on all aspects of hunting and stress relief from work are all part-and-parcel with my reasons.
 
I have 4 kids, so we can eat a lot of meat in a year. In '21 I killed a mature bull, and 2 whitetails, as well as a turkey, and we used almost all of it. I rationed the elk meat a bit, as I knew it would be a couple years before I went west again, other than that it would likely have been wiped out. I've had some pretty good years, and I've always found that my desire to kill stuff tapers off as the freezer fills up. I still go, and some of my most fun hunting is probably in that state. It's hard to imagine that someone with a stewardship ethic wouldn't have similar feelings, unless there are unusual factors at play. If the killing is just to sell bino harnesses and supplements, that's a little hard for me to stomach.

What's "enough" is probably a bit of a spectrum, and the status of the resource is a huge part of that argument. I know that if someone laid out $500,000, and killed 5 sheep in a year, I'd be a little peeved. 10 whitetails off a farm here in MO would hit me completely differently.
 
i haven’t listened to this podcast, but from what I’ve heard Matt say I don’t think he’s really aiming at the average Joe that shoots a half dozen animals a year.

He’s taking aim at the folks selling merch whose business model depends on knocking down around a bakers dozen animals a year and 80% of the meat gets portioned out to videographers and staff because the trigger puller can’t possibly eat that much. Are they hunting cause they love it or are they hunting for money? And if the latter like we all suspect, is that what’s good for hunting?
 
Hmmm I’m not sure why it matters who eats the meat. As long as someone is taking the meat then I don’t care who kills it. This seems like a non-issue to me. If the tags are available and someone legally harvests’ an animal then there is nothing to talk about.

I hear about these people that “only hunt for content” but I’ve never really seen evidence of it. There are a lot of hunters that hunt multiple states every year and shoot animals without filming them. If these people decide to start filming their hunts it doesn’t mean they are doing it for content. I believe the vast majority of hunters that film hunts were doing the same thing long before they started filming them.

I agree with Matt about his stance on R3. I think R3 is a bunch of garbage and does nothing more than cause crowding, worse draw odds, and allows influencers to grow their “fanboy” clubs. Other than R3 I believe Matt is in left field.
 
I hear about these people that “only hunt for content” but I’ve never really seen evidence of it. There are a lot of hunters that hunt multiple states every year and shoot animals without filming them. If these people decide to start filming their hunts it doesn’t mean they are doing it for content. I believe the vast majority of hunters that film hunts were doing the same thing long before they started filming them.

spend some time on peter panda's insta and you find a great modern example of a dude who's in it for the content. it's not about the number of animals necessarily or the ultimate mouth or freezer it ends up in. it's the motivation for killing them. which is, admittedly, very difficult to quantify.

but if we really do care about the motivation, the reality is i would suspect an alarming number of average joe hunters are out there for the wrong reasons. i hardly personally know a person in real life who truly, honestly, cares much about the meat or even the pure joy of being in wild places and enjoying the hunt. they all pretty admittedly want horns on the wall and will take the easiest way to get them if they can and they throw out a lot of freezer burned meat. luckily none of them are very serious and have little of either to show for it, which is telling.

so, i dunno. but i do agree with matt the content creation culture and this motivation to kill to put up "sick content" just really isn't a good thing. is it the worst thing for hunting right now? i'm not sure. but it ain't good.
 
I don’t think the folks harvesting multiple big game animals a year are the crux of Matt’s message, and maybe I muddied the water by bringing it up.

That said, imagine someone who hunts, but doesn’t eat big game meat at all. If the meat isn’t being wasted and the animal is killed legally, as Carnage rightly points out, I don’t suppose there’s much to be done.

But hell yes I’m judging that person. Negatively.
 
That said, as I mentioned earlier, practically no one in modern America "needs" wild game meat, myself included, and there have been multiple seasons of my life where I killed a couple elk and a couple deer - all of which got ate by my family.
I think I disagree with you on this. Or at least the black and whiteness that I perceive in your argument. I absolutely need meat. And this is the best, most environmentally sustainable meat that exists, so yes, I need it. But when I can't get it, there are inferior alternatives.
 
I don’t think the folks harvesting multiple big game animals a year are the crux of Matt’s message, and maybe I muddied the water by bringing it up.

That said, imagine someone who hunts, but doesn’t eat big game meat at all. If the meat isn’t being wasted and the animal is killed legally, as Carnage rightly points out, I don’t suppose there’s much to be done.

But hell yes I’m judging that person. Negatively.
There's another whole issue not being considered.

I apply for elk tags in, most years: UT, NV, AZ, WY, CO, and MT.

Odds are garbage in any of them. I can tell you, one year I snagged a great elk tag in MT and another great tag in WY. Another year I had one in AZ and WY. I want to hunt other states for elk, I don't care if Matt Rinella thinks I shouldn't shoot more than one elk a year. I don't know when I'm going to draw with a random system, or even with points I have no idea.

So Rinella thinks I should just for-go hunting one of those tags because he doesn't think I should hunt more than one elk?

I tend to agree somewhat with his message in general regarding the whole hunt quietly thing. But I think he's falling victim to his own hypocrisy, he's producing content to stir the pot without really putting thought into what he's doing and saying. Telling someone how many tags a year HE thinks another hunter should have is really none of his business.

For Pete's sake, they're thinking about passing legislation in Wyoming to kill elk from helicopters and leaving them lay to keep the numbers in check. They already paid 2 guys to kill 129 elk here last winter. Oh, but high horse Matt thinks I'm a monster for killing 2 additional elk out of that same mountain range, with essentially OTC opportunity for anyone that wants to?

He needs a new tree to bark up...and something new to be faux outraged about.

He ought to take his own advice and keep his mouth shut sometimes.
 
I don’t think the folks harvesting multiple big game animals a year are the crux of Matt’s message, and maybe I muddied the water by bringing it up.

That said, imagine someone who hunts, but doesn’t eat big game meat at all. If the meat isn’t being wasted and the animal is killed legally, as Carnage rightly points out, I don’t suppose there’s much to be done.

But hell yes I’m judging that person. Negatively.

but on the other hand, at the same time, it is the crux of matts message.

are people killing for themselves or for others? and if others what is it they are getting in return? money? attention and followers, i.e. fame? and the conclusion from that is hard to argue with: we have modern day "market hunters" all over again. are they gonna decimate the tightly regulated populations? no. but are they for all intents and purposes market hunters, securing a product for a profit, and doing many times over to increase the profit? hard to say they're not.
 
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I think I disagree with you on this. Or at least the black and whiteness that I perceive in your argument. I absolutely need meat. And this is the best, most environmentally sustainable meat that exists, so yes, I need it. But when I can't get it, there are inferior alternatives.
In a way I don't disagree with you, but having been to several 3rd world countries, including spending 3 years in the Phillipine Islands when I was young, a huge part of the world exists on a tiny fraction of the protein we are used to. Don't get me wrong, I want my wild game too, but it's hard not to view the quantity we eat as a luxury.
 
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