I'm Not A Hunter


AH enthusiast
Dec 13, 2014
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Tennessee, USA
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A "simple" article that eloquently expresses what we all know very well.........

Author: Heather Nutting
Groups: Tribe Stories
Categories: Hunts
Jun 23, 2015
Morning arrives. It’s fall, and I sit down to my laptop with a mug of coffee in my hand. The first image that greets me on the screen is the face of a smiling hunter and the deer he has killed. This image has been shared and re-posted, angry citizens calling for his head over the death of the deer. “Murderer!“ they write. “He deserves a bullet for this!” they type, angry, smearing bacon grease from their breakfast on their smartphone screens. “That deer was innocent! Just wait until I find that coward!”

As I shake my head and scroll through my newsfeed, I am haunted by that image and those comments. How can people do that? What kind of person calls for the blood of a stranger that way? What fuels their misguided hate? I don’t wonder about the hunter. I am not a hunter, but I know him.

He is the man in Texas, the one the state government has given a task. Deer are overly abundant in the area and collisions between motorists and animals are at an all-time high. Injuries are mounting and several people have died. He harvests the deer he is asked to, and as a result, has more meat than his family can possibly utilize. He donates most to the local home for abused and battered women and children. He is not heartless.


He is the farmer in Iowa, tilling the earth to make his living. He was raised to know the land, to appreciate and safeguard its abundance. He saw the deer grow season by season as he tended the crops under his care. He collected antlers where they fell each spring, and saw the young bucks grow them again over summer. He knew this buck. It never had growth hormones, was not genetically modified, and never slept in a cage. It ran wild and free until its last breath. As the hunter sits down to dinner tonight with his children, he knows where the food that nourishes them came from. There is no cruelty here.


He is the outdoorsman in Canada, watching animal populations rise and fall. This is not the natural ebb and flow of yesteryear. Habitat loss due to human encroachment has caused their numbers to fluctuate wildly and unsustainably. Our sidewalks and roads cover ground that was once theirs. The hunter knows, and never forgets. He put hay out last year when the snowfall was too heavy and the deer went hungry. When the predator population was too high, he thinned the pack. The hunter knows that the quick bite of the bullet for a few will save the suffering of many, and be quicker than Mother Nature using starvation and disease to thin the pack herself. The deer population is low from the stress of last winter and can’t support so many hungry mouths. The one deer he harvested is one of the many he saved. He is no monster.


The hunter is the safeguard of balance in a world that has been thrown madly askew by exploding human populations and urban sprawl. His passion is for the wild and all it represents. He admires the tenacity of life, and respects its cycle. He does not ask for compensation for the countless hours and dollars spent that keep life in the woods and on the mountains for us all to enjoy. He only asks that you not condemn him, and that you not threaten his sons and daughters for choosing to follow in his footsteps.


Where were you last winter as he labored through the snow, a bale on his back that he could have sold? Where were you as he tossed that brilliant hope of green onto the colorless ground so that the fawns of last year could live to see the spring of next? Were you home as I was, comfortable in your bed? Were you too struck by the uselessness of that posted photo? Deer are unaffected by impotent internet ramblings that don't put food in their bellies. What have we contributed to the very real life around us? I fear it is nothing compared to the contribution of the hunter. As I throw this letter into the void, I hope it can bring some understanding. I am not a hunter, but I can respect one.



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Thanks for posting. Well written.
thanks for that well worded ,insight .......
That was good. Thanks!
Wish more that don't hunt would have these insights. Gotta have population control along with the habitat. Bruce
Maybe we need more "population control" over the emotional tree huggers who are not willing to understand the FACTS of wildlife.

At least the re-educating of the masses as to the true facts and the consequences of different approaches to wildlife
That is a really great article! Thanks for sharing.
We need a season on anti hunters..... Sorry..
Good post!
This is great. Just cause your not a hunter you can still understand us and that we care.
This is a truly well composed articulation of our value to the land.

It reminded me of something I have thought about for a long time:
The rest of humanity needs us, the hunters, far more than we need them
Fantastic post, made the hairs on my arms rise...
so very true!!!
Thank you for understanding us as hunters, for nature itself is a lot more cruel than any hunter.
The author certainly did a great job of making a very important point in a concise and simple, but eloquent way. I only wish her article could be read by a wider audience, and the truth she writes be appreciated by non-hunters in a open-minded, and objective way. It's simple and to the point......hunters, and hunting, play a critical role in the management and conservation of wildlife. Not the ONLY role, but certainly a huge part.

As I tell my non-hunting friends in frequent discussions, you may not understand hunting, or wish to participate in it, but don't try and prevent those that do, because ultimately the hunters are the ones that create value for the wildlife that they pursue, and thus the funds, and passion to support the animals' protection. Hunters, in general, know and care more about wildlife than the vast majority of the public will ever hope to know. If hunting is banned, then those that perpetrated it will most likely find those animals they were supposedly trying to protect, non-existant. It sounds so cliched, but it's the simple truth. It applies to North America, South America, Africa, and anywhere else that wildlife and humans interact.

The inconvenient truth for so many of these animal-welfare, internet warriors is that they want wildlife abundant as long as it doesn't interfere with their creature comforts in life. Take away the hipster coffee shops, shopping malls, boutique stores, and gated subdivisions to protect that wildlife.....well, maybe an exception can be made....after all, the wildlife can just go elsewhere, and we need to all be reasonable. That's what national parks and zoos are for right? Once the hungry mountain lion, coyote, or wolf does what nature intended it to do, and takes Fido, Whiskers, or a young foal for a snack, well then that animal has to die........

I have no problem with those that passionately want to protect wildlife and nature. I am one of those people, as a hunter, and a conservationist. However letting emotion rule the day, versus science and common-sense.......that I have a huge problem with in the grand scheme of things. To those that like to spew hatred towards hunters and their families, I always say, put you're money (and principles) where your big mouth is...........as it is chewing on a big piece of steak.......and summoning your pet poodle over to the table to give it little pieces of meat (as Steven Rinella so aptly pointed out)........ Most of the time, the silence is deafening......
That was a great article. I commend the author. I wonder if I would get in trouble if I posted it on Facebook. Any thoughts, Brickburn, Jerome?

Unfortunately the anti's would just come up with an excuse that the writer was put up to it by the NRA or some other form of hunting body. The anti hunting slogan has been so ensconced into their heads that it wouldn't matter how right one is, you would always be wrong. Example: We see the daytime sky as blue but to the anti it would be what ever there great "Pooh-bah" says it is (thinking dictatorship here). But it's OK for them to drive a car (pollution, carbon footprint), live in a house that has probably been built on land once "owned" but wildlife, eat meat, fish, or poultry that has been "raised" commercially and is full of crap. Flown in a plane that pollutes the atmosphere, etc, etc, etc. People will put whatever "spin" on what they believe is right to make it right in their minds. As long as they get what they want it doesn't matter who it affects. What tarnishes the hunting industry is those who don't care and screw it up for others. The media is just waiting for stories like that to happen. They know appeals to the large "anti hunting" environment, because it sells papers, or generates "hits" on their website(s).
Anti's see a story where a moose or deer goes through a car windshield and injures or kills the occupants. To them it would be poor animal the driver should have avoided it.
They see an article where a hunter or PH is killed by the game they are pursuing. They think it is great fun to state that the hunter got what he/she deserved. The underlying fact is that the hunter probably had a family but that obviously doesn't matter. What they refuse to see (because they can't see the forest for the trees) is that the harvested animal would have been shared among the villagers or villages. They fail to recognize that tribes people have to eat so there's a pretty good chance the animal will be taken anyway. There's a good chance it would be taken with spears and bows vs a rifle.

The money spent on the trip feeds revenue to various organizations from travel agencies to those maintaining conservation programs in game parks. The important thing is that we know what it means.
Anyway I'm rambling.
Hunters are the "frontline" face of hunting. We are out there for everyone to see. It is up to us to ensure that the sport is maintained ethically and professionally.

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