Best post of all.I view all of this just like I view tattoos. (hear me out here)
What you post on the Internet are like tattoos. It's your life and you are able to make permanent decisions with your own life. However, if that tattoo (or hunting photo) injures your ability to go to a particular club to close a business deal or prevents you from getting a job to improve the quality of life of your family, then that becomes a problem.
Unlike a tattoo that only follows you in your life and is your 100% right as an American, there is a bit of a difference.
The hunting photos are going to end up being like pictures of you wearing a white robe and burning a cross, or goose-stepping to the songs of Wagner. This isn't just your life you're playing with at that point, its something that may haunt your children in the future. That's the problem if you have kids, the "sins of the father" may haunt them in the future. EVERYTHING on the Internet is forever. (go to the waybackmachine.org) It's what can happen to your progeny in the future for your choices that may live on after you die.
It's not that I agree with the antis, nor that I've given up my values, its that I don't want pictures to be my Internet legacy in 500 years. I want my words to be my legacy. I try to make reasoned arguments and thoughtful comments so that what I say is what must be quoted rather than a picture that is sensationalized to harm my heirs for things they did not do.
Please understand that I'm not judging anyone, or even judging tattoos. I'm a libertarian-leaning freedom lover that relishes that people have the right to do whatever they want provided it doesn't hurt anyone. My point is that we have to be careful when exercising our rights injures our families. Be careful. Be thoughtful.
Well... I do. I even send emails and I've signed petitions in not just my state of California, but other states as well. I was a big supporter of trying to shoot this California sb1175 down and thats the only reason I agreed to speak with the LA times as it was meant to be about how this bill doesnt do anything for wildlife and habitat. Unbeknownst to me, it would seem LA times and pEtA were in kahoots and released all this mess about me and my ordeals at exactly the same time literally days before the bill was to go to vote. I tried standing up for us and look where it got me. Do I regret it. Nah... because if I dont stand up, then who will?!While PETA and all those other organizations are doing their part in writing their state representatives, and pushing to ban what we love dearly. What are the organizations we support doing? Why are they not doing the same thing? We have great discussions here, and have great ideas, but we always seem to blame the hunter for doing this and that, or how stupid that was, etc, etc, etc. But what happens after we logoff from this or other forums? Do we write a letter to our elected officials, do we call to defend what we love, or try to defend the hunter who killed the elephant??? No, because we believe what we read. That my friends is the problem we have. We sit on our a$$es and do nothing, and that is why they are winning and gaining ground every day.
I believe the concept of "trophy hunting" may be a root cause of public relations with the non-hunting public. Does is really matter that my elk rack, or kudu mount, or elephant tusks are bigger than yours? We might all be better off if Rowland Ward, Pope and Young, etc. did not even exist. I am not suggesting that as hunters we should not record our hunts with photographs, mounts, etc. Instead, emphasize the experience. It's the journey, not the destination.
It may have been said by others in the thread. However if we truly wish to combat these things we need to have education campaigns of our own to combat the lies and attacks they perpetuate. It’s not enough to give the information that what we do helps conservation or feeding villages after the fact. Not when every day school children are targeted in ad campaigns that we are murdering the last of everything. When was the last time you saw a SCI commercial on TV? Now think about the last one from The animal Foundation, Humane society, or PETA. We need to stop with the damage control and start before hand on the benefits to the entire system as a whole. Get actual numbers of game animals out in the eye as compared to there viable habitat. That would help the since 1950 the worlds elephant or lion or leopard or whatever animal they speak of has fallen this much and this person shot one.
We do not have a marketable product to advertise. You cannot tell the general public about SCI supporting conservation without an immediate rebuke from the left that is much more appealing/sensible to the average non-hunter.
SCI charges people $35 to enter animals in a record book. If you add enough items into that book proving you've killed as many animals as possible, you can pay SCI for trophies and receive them at award ceremonies. (you pay to go to the award ceremony, you pay for the awards, you pay for the book entries). This is not a winnable topic with the public. Saying that some fat old white guy paid $27,000 to nominate himself and BUY himself a plaque and then PAY for himself to go to a dinner to PAY a firm to let him come on stage to receive the awards he self-nominated, self-identified, and self-purchased is not a winnable conversation to have with anyone.
But that's where the bulk of SCI's money comes from. So long as that is the source of funds, SCI will ingratiate themselves with their benefactor even if it means flushing the sport down the tube. That's the conflict of interest that causes SCI to be unable to have a dynamic public outreach in mass media.
SCI's methods of gaining the revenue to operate will never be acceptable to the general public.
Understand and when put in that light very poor choice to spread the message, someone else can spread the message I simply used them as there kind of the big one as a result of years doing it. While it may look like SCI doesn’t care about more then money to the average joe. Ive seen first hand people’s opinions change regarding hunting when they realize that it’s not just about that trophy like they paint it. We can’t win any support from people if they don’t get the information. All of the benefits hunting has is lost on the average joe because they’ve never heard about it. Managing heards for success, money put in the economy, food on tables, people with jobs who otherwise wouldn’t have them. Pointing out the average hunter does in fact care about more then just the head on the wall.
ETA: Of course the fanatics who think killing people to let animals thrive is a viable solution will never see light and will never gain support from them.