When we as hunters consider what we love to do, which is hunt, we must think about the messages we send out to the non-hunters who vote for that right. Hunter PR is very important.
We must be conscious of the way we speak about our sport at all levels. One area that I hear spoken about often is the area of different ways we hunt and putting value on one over the other. We are a group that will speak very poorly about how another person hunts and that habit is hurting our cause and dividing the ranks among our own team. Bow hunters criticize rifle hunters, “D-I-Y” hunters talk poorly of those who hire guides etc. Other issues are high fences, baiting and the use of ATVs to name a few. We all have our opinions and we have a right to them, but if it falls into the hunting category we need to support it in our conversations with non-hunters, almost no matter what it is.
We need be a part of the cause to stop the misinformation that is aggressively spread by the bunny huggers. Don’t talk poorly within earshot of a non-hunter about someone’s hunting technique. It hurts the cause.
In fact, I find in conversations with non-hunters that they always say after finding out I’m a >bow hunter things like, “well, at least you don’t go out and shoot anything that walks at 300 yards with an assault rifle.” I then take that opportunity to explain to them that I don’t know anyone who does that. I also explain that in any social group it is always the one who does it wrong that gets the press. Most hunters harvest with respect and hard work, but they don’t know that unless I educate them. If I took the easy road and said, “Yah, those rifle hunters are cheaters,” then I would be hurting my own cause.
In conclusion, we all need to be supportive of one another. What we love to do is under attack. The wolf release here in my home state of Idaho is an example of an attempt to replace hunters with a large predator. If you think what I just said is hooey then in my next guest blog I’ll tell you a story about a conversation I had with an Australian biologist who is a player in the International movement to eliminate hunting and gun ownership. It will make your hair stand on end. Don’t give them what they want, which is a divided front. Speak well of all hunters and spread good hunter PR.