By Adam Parr –
Unfortunately, I’ve recently been at the forefront of negative comments and messages for posting a video on YouTube of shed hunting. To view the video, click HERE. Although it was a low budget production, it was a video I thought everyone would enjoy, especially fellow hunters and outdoorsman because it was an epic day on the mountain picking up shed antlers. I understand that putting yourself out there online is bound to bring scrutiny from select individuals. You can’t please everyone and I totally get that.
I won’t get into the particulars as to what was said or why people were sending me negative messages but I want to highlight an important takeaway; it doesn’t do us as hunters any good to spew hate between our close-knit community.
At this very moment, there are anti-hunting groups that are fighting every day to destroy our way of lives and are trying their damnedest to take away our hunting privileges. There are politicians introducing bills that support state and federal property being sold off to private individuals, which will result in loss of recreational land access. And last but not least, state wildlife agencies are underfunded due to declining hunter numbers, which means there are fewer resources and personnel to manage the animals and lands we hunt. Can you see why our hunting heritage is at threat?
So before you go spreading negativity to fellow outdoorsmen online, here are four agendas that you can put energy towards that will help, not hurt, our cause.
1. Educate Non-Hunters
Talking about hunting as a lifestyle to non-hunters is a way to help promote hunting in a positive light to people who may be unsure or confused about hunting. Many media outlets often showcase hunting in a negative light so it’s important to take the time to educate non-hunters on the real reasons we hunt so that we can portray it as a good thing.
2. Be A Wild Game Provider
I can’t tell you how many people I have given packages of venison to over the past few years but I can tell you it’s a lot. Many of these people don’t hunt or never plan to, but I believe my generosity combined with the irresistible deliciousness of a perfectly cooked, medium-rare elk steak can reflect a very positive image in their minds about hunters and sportsmen.
3. Contact Your Elected Officials
Public lands are at threat not for only hunters, but for all outdoor enthusiasts including; hikers, bikers, campers, skiers, and anglers. Do your part to call, email, and contact your state and local representatives to let them know your opposition on public land transfers and introductions of silly bills such as H.R. 621.
4. Join Conservation Groups
There are many organizations to choose from in today’s era but joining forces and becoming a member of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA) and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) is a good place to start. The money that is received through memberships and donations help with conservation efforts in the form of habitat preservation and public land access.
Let’s Unite In The Fight
If you don’t have anything positive to say, what’s your point? What are you trying to prove by putting someone else down? In my mind, we as hunters are all batting for the same team and the day we become divided, is the day we fall and lose our hunting way of life. Let’s focus our energy, hand in hand with all outdoor recreation groups to help grow our voice and preserve our heritage for many generations to come.
What have you done to make a positive impact in the hunting and outdoor community? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.