By: Adam Parr
So here I am, sitting at the library on a rainy Saturday afternoon pondering the question I ask myself on a weekly basis: “Why do I hunt?” There are many reasons as to why hunting has become an integral part of my life but I opted to do a quick Google search to see why others also partake in the lifestyle I love.
The original intent of this article was aimed at highlighting the reasons why I hunt but after discovering an article on the first search page, my angle quickly went the other way. The article I am referring to is a blog post slamming hunting related activities and positioning us hunters, and the activity we love in a negative light. I would truly be upset if young boy or girl, or anyone on the fence who is looking for information related to hunting, to find that article and have it push them the other way due to false portrayal. It makes me sick to think about so I am choosing to offer an answer.
I’m not writing this article to bash PETA; we all need to have a cause. What I don’t like is people who are associated with PETA, spread slander to portray hunting as something that is a horrible activity to do. What makes this article even worse is that it was written by someone, who I can guarantee, has never hunted in their entire life, meaning they have absolutely no clue what they are writing. This is where the problem lies; spreading negativity and making assumptions on a topic you clearly know nothing about. Again, this article is not intended to start a war. The purpose of this article is to protect our hunting heritage, to help combat the negativity surrounding our community, and to help someone with their own rebuttal should they be confronted with misconceptions about hunting.
I am not posting the link due to it helping drive search traffic, which in turn helps the article gain more popularity. Fair warning…this post is a bit long winded but none the less, here is my rebuttal.
“Hunting Causes Pain & Suffering”
The article states “Hunting causes pain & suffering.” as well as “Quick, ethical kills are rare.” In my opinion, 99% of hunters in this world make it a number one priority to be as ethical as possible when taking an animals life. Taking a life is not something to be taken lightly and we, as ethical sportsmen and women strive for a quick and humane kill every time we fire our weapon. We practice year round to become better marksman and to hone our skills at getting closer to game to increase our odds of a quick kill.
On a different note, an example I like to portray is this: We’ve all seen videos of lions taking down a gazelle, or a pack of wolves running down a young bison, or a crocodile latching onto a wildebeest at a watering hole. Whether you like it or not, this is the reality of the wild. Some animals get away with minor scratches, some are mauled and forever scarred. Some animals die slowly and some die quickly, but what’s important to realize is that nature doesn’t care. Let me repeat; Nature DOES NOT CARE. Nature is cruel. Nature is survival of the fittest and the furthest thing from a fairy tale. Nature is death and nature is new life. It doesn’t mean this is a bad thing but it’s most important to understand that this is a normal part of the circle, and hunters, as mammals, are part of that chain.
“It’s Not About Conservation Or Population Control”
This statement could not be further from the truth. Hunting is conservation for many reasons and a perfect example is sustainability. Let’s take a step back and think about this for a second: Why would I as a hunter NOT want to sustain the animals, as well as the habitat they need to survive? Why would I not care about something I truly love? Anyone with an IQ higher than 20 recognizes that every resource, whether it’s a plant or an animal, is a LIMITED resource and without proper conservation practices, all would become extinct, polluted or useless. Hunters recognize and think about this often because animal population and habitat preservation affects our way of life more directly than the anyone else.
Hunters are in touch with population control because we are the ones who are out in the field actually monitoring this resource. Above and beyond state game agencies, land managers establish their own regulations which can be far more conservative in times of lower population and more liberal in years of abundance, yet still adhering to the laws set forth by game agencies. Why do they do this? Because they are in tune with what healthy population levels of animals should be in order to CONSERVE and MAINTAIN the resource for their specific property.
If you need more reasons why hunting is conservation, be sure to check out this article from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
“Hunting Is Not A Sport”
I no longer refer to hunting as a sport and I don’t think anyone else should as well. I think classifying hunting as a competitive sport portrays hunting not necessarily in a negative light but in a way that paints a limited picture for people who don’t understand hunting. Hunting considered a sport illustrates it as a life or death, cutthroat competition between man and animal, which is simply not true. Hunting is much more than that in many ways.
Hunting to me is enjoying nature and having reverence for the animals we pursue. Hunting is time spent with friends and family and creating memories that last forever. Hunting is the opportunity to experience epic sunrises and sunsets, and to get off the beaten path to push ourselves further than we’ve ever been. Hunting is providing lean, organic food for friends and family, and knowing where our meat comes from. Hunting is telling stories about the successes and the ones that got away. Bottom line, when I think of the word “hunting”, it is an activity that simply cannot be entirely explained, only experienced.
“There Are Few Regulations”
The above statement is false and in fact, its the exact opposite. There are so many rules and regulations for hunting that it can almost be almost comparable to reading a dictionary. There are 50 page thick handbooks for each state and species that list all regulations and laws for the current season which usually change from year to year, with new laws being implemented on a regular basis.
In addition to all of this, each state has limited seasons and bag limits where there are regulations on what equipment you can use, what areas of land you can hunt, and how you can access it. To ensure people are abiding by the laws set forth by state game agencies, wildlife officers patrol and enforce these regulations, which is majority paid for by hunting.
“It’s Profit Driven”
Long before hunting became commercialized, it was a past time for people to provide for their families and enjoy nature. Although some of us make a living in the hunting industry, we do it for the passion and it generates a profit as a by-product because the animals have value and therefore, people care. It’s important to understand that if there is no value, whether it’s an animal, plant or any other natural resource, there is no protection or regulations. Let me rephrase that; If something is worth nothing, nobody gives a shit!
Hunting related activities generate more money for wildlife conservation than any other activities combined. That’s right, you heard it and let me rephrase that too; Hunters generate more money for wildlife and conservation than all other anti-hunting organizations and PETA combined. In fact, the dollar amounts aren’t even close. All of the wetland restoration and habitat improvements set aside for wildlife, the majority of that is paid for by hunters and anglers. All of the public land trail systems, camping areas and national parks are majority funded through hunting and fishing related activities.
According to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, “All together, hunters pay more than $1.6 billion a year for conservation programs. No one gives more!”
“It Claims Other Non-Target Victims”
The article states that “Hunting activities cause injury or death to horses, cows, dogs, cats, hikers, and other hunters” and that “Thousands of human injuries are attributed to hunting related activities in the U.S each year.”
I just have to laugh at the above statements because they portray hunting as a dangerous activity, when in fact, it’s just the opposite. Hunting has become one of the safest activities through improved technology and mandatory hunters safety classes. In my home state of Michigan, which has more deer hunters than any other state in the country, just recorded a second consecutive season without a hunting-related fatality! Read the full article HERE.
Over 32,000 die each year in the U.S from car accidents. Should we ban driving cars? Over 9,000 people are injured from fireworks each year in the U.S. I don’t see the 4th of the July going away anytime soon! Hunting is safe and the numbers don’t lie.
“Violence Against Animals Can Lead To Violence Against Humans”
This is a very bold statement for this author to make by attempting to group all hunters as violent killers but it does not surprise me. Antis will use any tactic they can think of to promote anti-hunting. Furthermore, this section then crosses over to state that “Hunting activities cause violence against other animals and humans; which result in injury or death.” This is another blatant lie.
The bottom line is this; there are bad people in the world and you can’t stop crazy. There are people out there who want to hurt one another for the sole sake of doing harm. This hatred was caused due to bad parenting or a predisposition of some sort and I can guarantee was not created through hunting related activities.
We humans are mammals, and although we are at the top of the food chain, we are indeed PART of the food chain. A very large portion of the world as of current day rely on hunting as a means for survival and to feed their families. People need to wake up and realize that not everyone lives in middle-class suburbia wonderland where we have 5 grocery stores within a 10-mile radius. If you haven’t listened to the Wired To Hunt Podcast with Shane Mahoney, I strongly urge you to do so. It will open your eyes to hunting and how that plays into the bigger picture on a global scale.
Furthermore, for anti-hunters to think that they have zero footprint on this Earth is dead wrong. The pasta dish they scarfed down last night originated from a farm field of grain, which was harvested with a combine that killed many animals in its path of destruction. The house or the apartment that they live in did not magically grow from the Earth; it used to be an animals home, which has now been destroyed. The car they drove to work today is polluting our air and water. And god forbid, I hope they have never killed a mosquito because they too are living, beautiful creatures! Another great podcast episode to listen to is Joe Rogan Experience #759 – Cameron Hanes.
What some people fail to realize is that they too are responsible for animal deaths, whether they know it or not. Hunters, in my opinion, recognize this more than anyone because we have reverence for the animals. In the circle of life, it’s all about balance and hunting is a necessary part of that balance of keeping population levels in check and controlling the spread of disease.
Be Prepared to Defend Yourself
If you are an avid hunter, there’s a good chance at some point during your life that you will be trolled or attacked for being a hunter. Social media plays a huge role in bringing out the keyboard junkies who like to attack hunters for their way of life, so you must be prepared to hit them with the facts. If you need a quick rundown of good talking points, make sure to read this article from Wide Open Spaces.
Another powerful video I came across was the story of Tovar Cerulli and how he went from a vegan to an omnivore diet which included hunting for wild game. This video may strike a chord with a vegan who does not support hunting and get them to understand hunting from a different perspective.
Once again, I am not trying to stir the pot of anti-hunters with this article. This is meant as a rebuttal for the people who have no clue what hunting is, who are spewing slander across the Internet, which in turn affects our image in a negative light to the general public.
Hunting is something I am extremely passionate about and if you are as well, I urge you to share this article. Doing so could help someone to better understand our way of life and see it as the positive activity it truly is!