Stop The Hunter On Hunter Hate
Stop the hunter on hunter hate
Are you First Light, Kuiu, or Sitka?!
Bow or Rifle?!? Compound or Traditional?!
Tree Stand or Ground Pounder?!
What kind of optics and what power?!
Backcountry or Road Hunt?!? Public Land or Private?!
Are you an out of stater?! If so Keep Out > For Locals Only!
Whoa! Wait! Stop! We all hunt!
There are many reasons why we hunt… Tradition, food, sense of purpose, accomplishment, conservation, and more. But the one thing hunters need to do in my opinion is stop the hunter on hunter hate. One way of hunting does not make another way wrong. You do not have to agree with another method but it still does not make it wrong.
I recently read an article online for a hiking magazine, written by a hiker, supporting hikers starting to do their fair share of support and funding as hunters do. The comments were overwhelmingly that hunters don’t do anything! That we take from the environment and the fees paid are minimal to none at best. “Wait what?!?” was my thought. I contribute to no less than 3 or 4 conservation organizations yearly, volunteer my time and energy to another, not to mention all the money spent on gas, food hotels, supplies etc. that support communities.
I also saw an Instagram post from a rather well-known elk hunter and mentor to many who rented a truck to hunt elk Over the Counter in my home state. He received a rather pointed noted “For Locals Only”. This type of interaction not only infuriates me but also only serves to segregate and devalue our community. I am a hunter education instructor as well… What type of message does this relay to possible future hunters who see such on social media or receive such disparagement.
In Oregon where I am from just over 83000 hunting licenses sold in 2018 (of which just over 13000 were sold to non-residents) in a state of 4.191 million people. So just around 1.75% of the resident populace bought hunting tags in Oregon. While I know other states are different and have higher numbers my point is still the same. Hunters cannot afford infighting when we are already vastly in the minority. Fortunately, much of the public is ambivalent about hunting. However, we need to keep them either neutral or encourage them to be on our side. Seeing infighting certainly does not help this as it perpetuates stereotypes of gun toting buffoons. Whether you are an out of stater, an archery hunter, a rifle hunter, heck (if legal) I don’t care if you use a club… You do it because you have a tie to hunting. So do I. Our ties do not have to be the same. We do not have to use the same gear, hunt the same way, or even be from the same state. We do need to recognize each other even if in passing. We’re part of an ethos and culture that most are not. It’s not meant to be exclusive but it often is. Many don’t understand the sense of freedom, pride, and accomplishment and likely never will. We don’t need a secret handshake or code words (unless you’re telling me about your secret spot) but we do need to focus our efforts on engaging each other and the public. At the least do not give ammunition to those that would limit or extinguish a part of who you are.
I can honestly easily see a future where all hunting is illegal. I think this is likely after I am gone but that does not change that to me terrible thought. Stop the hunter on hunter hate. We can only serve our community by strengthening and unifying.
Okay I’ll step off the soap box for now. Thank you for reading. All in good understanding with my best muddy boot forward.