Hunters need a new public image

SaskHunter

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Aug 7, 2018
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1,306
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Saskatchewan
We don't need a new poster child. What we need is to make the anti-hunting crowd realize that what we do is completely normal and ethical. But it will nevwr happen, people will continue to hate us as they always have.
 

Ben Sellers

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Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
546
How many times have you seen someone holding up a prizewinning backstrap? Viewed out of context, any picture of gutting and gilling could look bad to the general public. The reaction to this picture is people looking to be outraged in my opinion.
 

Dave N

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Feb 20, 2013
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Illinois
The part that stuck out to me?

"One day, trophy hunting will be listed as a sign of a psychiatric disorder, as it should be today."
 

RobertD

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Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
109
The part that stuck out to me?

"One day, trophy hunting will be listed as a sign of a psychiatric disorder, as it should be today."
I like referring to the giraffe as "her seventeen year old victim"
 

Hydrophilic

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Feb 4, 2021
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Oregon
How many times have you seen someone holding up a prizewinning backstrap? Viewed out of context, any picture of gutting and gilling could look bad to the general public. The reaction to this picture is people looking to be outraged in my opinion.

It doesn't bother me but I'm not the problem. Hunters represent less than 4% of the total US population. That's a pretty small minority group. The rest of the country has a certain outlook on the ongoing biodiversity crisis and they want to see Geoffrey the Giraffe eating from a tree, not being hugged by a hunter who just shot him...even if it was completely legal! They aren't looking to be outraged, they have different views and expectations. Fighting that fact doesn't change the reality of it.


For example:
11.5 million hunters
14 million wildlife watchers (traveling for this purpose)
16.3 million bird watchers! (traveling for this purpose)

A bigger threat is the anti science culture prevalent in hunting. I deal with this regularly. The hunter who says he wants science based management but spends his time dismissing his wildlife agencies research which doesn't coincide with his narrative (which is usually maximum amounts of huge deer and elk, at the expense of anything, for him to shoot)...while he simultaneously argues against climate change, COVID science, and environmental issues on facebook, etc. What user group wants to reach out and work with such hunters? And what leverage do hunters have on their own to kick aside science and other user groups, many of whom are more powerful and have more money?

Here is a paper on conflict resolution between Colorado (CDOW) and sportsmen. Hunters refused to believe the state biologists estimates of a mule deer population. The hunters argued the actual mule deer population was much lower than what the state pegged it at. The state biologists invited the hunters to help develop a method to verify their results. The hunters, and other stakeholders, designed a method to validate these results and found Colorado bios were correct. Hunters still refused to accept the results and their credibility plummeted among other stakeholders.


For these reasons and more, hunters need to get their act together.
 

SAJ-99

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Joined
Jan 5, 2019
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1,280
Location
Montana
I cringe every time I see a grip and grin. Not that I’m against them exactly. I just think the internet is becoming a playground for narcissists. The people who are outraged aren’t all that different when viewed from that lens. And the people outraged at the people outraged...rinse and repeat.
sorry, probably off topic.
 

Hydrophilic

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Feb 4, 2021
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Oregon
No matter if you rebrand or package it all up in a nice shiny paper it doesn't change the core fact that hunters kill animals and eat them....i say again hunters kill animals and eat them. No way to make that warm and fuzzy for people that don't like hunting.

Sure there is. Most people eat meat. More and more people want to know where their meat comes from. There’s huge potential right there to grow hunting.

Hunting gives the opportunity for high quality, often Organic, meat. And you can source its origin. It’s one of the best kept secrets in this country.
 

OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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One of the big ranches I hunted in South Africa has a girraffe problem. Way too many. Though the owner kinda likes them, he acknowledged they're doing too much damage and some will have to go. I expressed an interest. Thought the hide might make a neat bedspread but my PH says their skin is too thick. Apparently they were hunted heavily in former times specifically for the hides to make bullwhips for driving the oxcarts ... and "discouraging labour unrest." A clever way of putting it.

Culling giraffes goes on just like any other species over there. It IS a management tool and the hunting industry DOES provide a major source of employment, especially for labouring class. My lodge was a smaller operation and I'm guessing at least forty locals were working there full time. Meat all goes on the market and is critical and affordable source of protein. The climate and terrain where I hunted didn't lend itself well to cattle (the few cows I saw were a scroungy looking breed developed to exist partially on brousing brush). Game animals make a more efficient use of the land as a food source ... and there's the added income from selling hunting. A win win situation for everyone including the animals. They get to die quickly at home rather than rounded up, prodded into a truck, and hauled across the country to a feedlot where they wallow in their own excrement till fat enough, then jammed into a truck again and hauled to a processing plant. Don't kid yourself, they can smell the blood when they get there. They know what's about to happen. That old girraffe was a much luckier fellow.

I think the photos were a bit tasteless but nothing terribly unusual. I wouldn't pose with a girraffe. Not a very attractive photo. Given their size and shape, it is hard to pose them to look anything but goofy. And they deserve to not look goofy. My animals were all posed (it's the way they do things) but I preferred to take a photo of just animal and my rifle.
 
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Dougfirtree

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Jul 27, 2016
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1,174
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Adirondacks
You know what I do when a video (hunting or not) doesn't sit well with me? I turn it off. Novel concept in this cancel culture we live in.

I'm not interested in bending a knee to groups or individuals that will never move off of their position, let alone meet me half way.
I don't want to bend the knee to PETA either, but I think Hydrophillic's point isn't about them. It's about the the other 90%(?) of non-hunters who don't really have a problem with hunting common animals for food. They will meet us more than half-way and they are ultimately the group that decides this stuff. Living in NY, I have a front-row seat to this dynamic. I know tons of liberal, gun-control advocating non-hunters, who have no connection to hunting. The vast majority think hunting deer for food is not only ok, but pretty cool. Shooting coyotes, or woodchucks because they're "vermin." Not so much.
 

Buffs35

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Jan 30, 2019
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Highlands Ranch, CO
I don't want to bend the knee to PETA either, but I think Hydrophillic's point isn't about them. It's about the the other 90%(?) of non-hunters who don't really have a problem with hunting common animals for food. They will meet us more than half-way and they are ultimately the group that decides this stuff. Living in NY, I have a front-row seat to this dynamic. I know tons of liberal, gun-control advocating non-hunters, who have no connection to hunting. The vast majority think hunting deer for food is not only ok, but pretty cool. Shooting coyotes, or woodchucks because they're "vermin." Not so much.
Agreed, but those open-minded folks you are describing aren't the ones I'm describing in my pithy post.

More seriously, how are we going to reach reasonable folks if we are browbeat into tiptoeing around our passion and excitement? I'm not going to gut a deer in an elementary school parking lot, but I'm also not going to tarp the bed of my truck to hide a well earned animal from "sensitive" eyes.
 

4ohSick

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Aug 28, 2020
Messages
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Location
Helena, MT
How many times have you seen someone holding up a prizewinning backstrap? Viewed out of context, any picture of gutting and gilling could look bad to the general public. The reaction to this picture is people looking to be outraged in my opinion.
I think there's some difference between the backstrap,etc pics and this situation. Is anyone making the argument she's going to eat that heart? Someone will eat it but not her. And it's pretty clear by the one sport of blood (or maybe dirt) on her knee that she was not the one who cut it out. Final point, her attire in general doesn't convey that this was a "hunt."

I understand the conservation benefit of culling this old bull, but the anti's don't. Sometimes it can be helpful to try to construct a legitimate argument for the other side - it forces you to recognize that a rational person who hasn't had your experiences could come up with what they believe are entirely reasonable positions. I have no problem with this kill, but I can see how the optics aren't great and the uproar isn't advancing the interests of hunting.
 
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