Rebranding our Industry

Primo661

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I've recently begun to get involved in in trying to change how people see hunting since the whole Melissa Bachman outcry. Before that, it was King Carlos of Spain and more recently, Prince Harry has taken flak for shooting a water buffalo. I am entirely open to another opinions and I welcome different viewpoints. What shocked me was how uninformed and illogical many of the people who are opposed to hunting, with trophy hunting being the primary target of this emotion.

I have started this thread to create a platform to discuss what is being done and what each of us can do to contribute to introducing the world to the bigger picture and show how much is being done by the industry for conservation efforts. Ideally, it would become a sticky and then a subforum as the topic grows with links to academic works that show the immense value of hunting as a conservation tool and an employment creator and the positive effects this has on the people and the wildlife involved.

To get this off the ground, I'll put forward a few questions to discuss.
  • What pro hunting lobby groups are out there and how can the Average Joe like myself contribute?
  • How are we, as an industry, reaching out and educating the person sitting on the fence who would otherwise become an anti hunter thanks to the material put out there by anti-hunting groups?
  • Is it possible to counter the 'its morally wrong to hunt for sport' argument that is so often brought up?

I was encouraged by the 'AH under attack' thread that Jerome started. I take it as a compliment from the antihunting groups who drove the ddos attack. We have obviously irked them and they see us as a threat, lets keep this good work up!

What do you guys think? Does this concept of discussion and education have potential? Are there better ways of achieving our goals?

Cheers,
Andrew Pottow
 

enysse

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Andrew, I like your enthusiasm and educated approach to the subject but my cup is "half empty". I see wildlife management thrown out the door on a daily basis for political and economic reasons. I have learned to let go and try to retain as much of sanity as possible, because the good people of wildlife conservation crowd are outnumbered 5-1.
 

Primo661

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You see, with all due respect, I don't think we are. I think it seems that way because anti hunters are just more vocal. If we are indeed outnumbered, then it only gives me more reason to do something about it. In reference to the Melissa Bachman story, the Facebook groups created in support of her outnumber the groups calling to ban her by nearly 10 members to one, an encouraging thought.

As a side note. Who has the real story about her hunt? There are many people and lobby groups claiming the lion was canned. Canned hunting has become a massive marketing point for anti hunting lobbies with many under the impression that all lion hunts in SA are canned, which is simply not true. As far as I can work out, from the more reputable sources I dug up it wasn't a canned hunt, was it canned? Could it in any way be construed as a canned hunt? Edited to add, how much of the canned industry survives in SA? And how strict are the laws against it?

Also, I think its time we gave anti hunting lobbies a more neutral or even negative 'brand', its not a name that sticks and makes them seem more legitimate as 'anti' implies they are crusading against an injustice in my mind? Any thoughts on this?
 

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Hi Andrew,

Some Groups in the USA would be: Dallas Safari Club (DSC), Safari Club International (SCI), North American Hunter Club (NAHC), Ducks Unlimited (DU), Plus others. I am a member to these plus a few more.

The anti hunters are not about conservation, They are concerned about not hunting any animal period.

The Anti use group tactic to harass individuals that they select to target.

Logic is not in there forte.
 

SafariA

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Hi Andrew !

I think a very nice thread you started ! Obviously we have to deal with desk rangers on the one side making one sided uninformed decision about what can and what cannot be done and then the ANTI's on ten other side . The Anti's are only mouths and no ears . Go look at leaders of these groups .... They all thrive on emotion with no common sense present . They are also the people that would not be able to hold a regular job out there ! They make noise and get peoples emotions up so that they can donate to a cause .... Their cause to live off these donations and not to find a real job !

It is impossible to argue with the brainless . Like James pointed out there are a great number of good Organizations out there that we should support .

I have to come to a point that I do not want to explain and apologize any more ! WHY ? Us trying to reason with these idiots just cause more outcry ! We should put our money into conservation efforts like the RMEF , DU , MDF, DSC etc ! This is my way to proof that we put our money in the right places !

They only donate money to people who make noise ! And if they don't they actually have to start looking for a job !!!

We will probably never get to a satisfying conclusion .... Our worlds are just
too far apart .........

Happy Hunting !!!
 

enysse

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You are right James, the anti's don't practice conservation. To me they practice preservation in a "perfect utopia". They don't want any hunting, no forest management, no fishing etc.

The forestry system has been so mismanaged in the last 25 years that it's unbelievably bad. The whole idea of leaving forests untouched has screwed up many wildlife species other than the spotted owl which continues to decline.
 

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A home grown website with actual research and other useful information on the subject of conservation and hunting.

Conservation Hunting
 

enysse

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Most of the UK stats have to do with Fox Hunting with Hounds. Not a popular past time for the masses or with them apparently.

Good to know the majority of folks in the US have no issues with legal hunting.

Until you mention hunting lion, leopard, rhino, tigers, elephants and polar bears :).
 

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.......
[*] Is it possible to counter the 'its morally wrong to hunt for sport' argument that is so often brought up?

......

Andrew, what is your take on this one?
 

Primo661

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Get ready for an essay.

I don't think it is. Obviously morals are a very personal thing but I think we have a moral obligation to use our natural resources in a sustainable manner. I have only hunted antelope, warthog and bushpig and I know each of these animals has been used as close to its entirety as is possible from a carcass perspective. I know that none of them were the dominant breeding male in the herd(with the exception of pig as I've done a bit of population control for farmers). In many cases I shot older males past breeding age in an effort to get young blood in so a fertile male could keep birth rates up. In my mind this has been a constructive endeavour that promotes the health of the populations I hunted.

Trophy hunting also falls under this banner as far as I am concerned. The animals hunted provide massively needed funding for private conservancies and game farms and these farms make up the lions share of the wildlife habitat in South Africa. South Africa has proven that the sport hunting model we employ is the way forward with all legally and commonly hunted species thriving relative to populations in our neighbouring countries who do not follow our conservation model. Of course, many species have much less range and available habitat than in previous decades and this is a massive contributing factor to their lower populations BUT this is precisely why we should support sport hunting, to create habitat and replace that what was lost! If sport hunting leads to the sustainable use of our game as it does, then I am all for it.

Many people ask how hunters will fit in, in the future, if we get the funding we need to drive our conservation from the various state players and foreign funded conservation groups? Well, if this ever happens, we will be needed to manage wildlife populations as is done in the States when it comes to deer management. With more animals needing to be shot out of a need to control game population and once again, this is a sustainable use of our game and fits with my moral code. It is pure fact that hunters are and always will be a key component of conservation and wildlife management efforts.

When it comes to killing, I have no moral objection to that either. I do not kill because I enjoy it, many of you will know that sombre feeling that comes at some point after the animal has died when you look at that animal and know that you took its life. As far as I am concerned, if you feel like that at some point after the hunt, then you're the kind of hunter we need. We know it is not murder in any way but we also recognise that we must justify that kill within ourselves and this is a natural safeguard for me. I know that every animal I hunt is hunted for a reason and I have no problem with that, whether that reason is to fill my freezer, feed the staff on the farm for a Christmas party or if it is a cull. Don't get me wrong, I love hunting. It is one of the greatest pleasures in life(in my mind) but looking at the carcass after the adrenaline has gone is always a sobering moment. I hope to shoot a buffalo later this year in Tanzania and I won't have a problem with this either because I can justify it by my points above.
 

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If the hunting for sport argument is being presented by a subscriber of the vegan lifestyle, the argument may be consistent. I don't agree or subscribe to that but at least it is sensible compared to the store buying meat consumers that scream against hunting.

If they do eat meat and are anti-hunting, it is possible that they are against disrespect for nature or the commodification of animals. I often have to point out the uncomfortable(or worse) lives that domestic animals lead to be slaughtered for market, the environmental impact of sole reliance on factory farming, etc.

Sometimes the argument requires explanation of "real hunting". The Internet is full of misleading pieces on what occurs during a hunt. Wikipedia and Facebook info can be worse than ignorance. "It is better to be ignorant than to half know something".

The vast majority of hunters have a great respect for nature and their quarry. If this is presented to the person with the point of contention and he/ she is still holding fast, then it is likely that their argument is based on emotion. Unfortunately, this is usually the case. If emotion guides the argument then there is no reasoning.

The best argument and counter attack may be to lead by example and be a good ambassador for the hunting community.
 

Primo661

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This is an interesting lists of points for reference.

http://www.africahunting.com/latest...acts-about-hunting-industry-south-africa.html


I think what needs to be done is more of this but in an African context. We have places in South Africa especially where some species are locally overpopulated and much of the time there is little option for relocation, especially in the case of elephant and male rhino. Most people take endangered to be endangered everywhere when in fact even endangered species can exceed the carrying capacity locally and the population still needs to be managed, in these cases hunting would present a perfect tool being the double edged sword that it is, contributing to a healthier population through controlled and legal management while bringing much needed income into the conservation industry.

Rooihond, I must agree that many base all of their viewpoint on emotion but some are merely uninformed. Those people are never going to come around. I've carefully picked certain commentators on YouTube who seem to be ignorant rather than wilfully blind to see if they are open to the reasonableness of our endeavours and they usually are keen to learn through logical constructive discussion and can be won over. These are the people we need to educate to grow support for what we know is an effective conservation industry.
 
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rooihond

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This is an interesting lists of points for reference.

http://www.africahunting.com/latest...acts-about-hunting-industry-south-africa.html


I think what needs to be done is more of this but in an African context. We have places in South Africa especially where some species are locally overpopulated and much of the time there is little option for relocation, especially in the case of elephant and male rhino. Most people take endangered to be endangered everywhere when in fact even endangered species can exceed the carrying capacity locally and the population still needs to be managed, in these cases hunting would present a perfect tool being the double edged sword that it is, contributing to a healthier population through controlled and legal management while bringing much needed income into the conservation industry.

Rooihond, I must agree that many base all of their viewpoint on emotion but some are merely uninformed. Those people are never going to come around. I've carefully picked certain commentators on YouTube who seem to be ignorant rather than wilfully blind to see if they are open to the reasonableness of our endeavours and they usually are keen to learn through logical constructive discussion and can be won over. These are the people we need to educate to grow support for what we know is an effective conservation industry.

I agree, it is the individual that may be ignorant but willing to learn that can be won over. If the individual knows just enough to allow them the illusion of knowing everything, new information is usually not welcome. If the individual weighs information with emotion, facts and reasoning won't matter.
 
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shakari

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You see, with all due respect, I don't think we are. I think it seems that way because anti hunters are just more vocal. If we are indeed outnumbered, then it only gives me more reason to do something about it. In reference to the Melissa Bachman story, the Facebook groups created in support of her outnumber the groups calling to ban her by nearly 10 members to one, an encouraging thought.

As a side note. Who has the real story about her hunt? There are many people and lobby groups claiming the lion was canned. Canned hunting has become a massive marketing point for anti hunting lobbies with many under the impression that all lion hunts in SA are canned, which is simply not true. As far as I can work out, from the more reputable sources I dug up it wasn't a canned hunt, was it canned? Could it in any way be construed as a canned hunt? Edited to add, how much of the canned industry survives in SA? And how strict are the laws against it?

Also, I think its time we gave anti hunting lobbies a more neutral or even negative 'brand', its not a name that sticks and makes them seem more legitimate as 'anti' implies they are crusading against an injustice in my mind? Any thoughts on this?

The success of the game populations in countries such as RSA & Tanzania prove that hunting ensures the game survives and the decline of game populations in countries such as Kenya & Uganda prove that not hunting causes immense damage to those same game populations and a good book that proves that point is 'The End Of The Game' by Peter Beard but quite honestly, it's not often the antis listen to reason in these debates so you're probably wasting your time presenting the arguments.

As for Miss Bachman and the lion........ your question really depends on your definition of canned and that definition is going to change from individual to individual but I don't think there's much if any doubt that the lion was captive bred and released shortly before she shot it....... I'd further guess she may well have been unaware of that fact beforehand.

Which is just one of the reasons I'm so vocal and critical of the lion breeding industry in RSA and other parts of Africa.

I appreciate my opinions on this put a lot of noses out of joint but I think the future of hunting is at stake and I'd rather see a few out of joint bugles than see African hunting disappear.
 

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Sorry for being redundant. That's what happens when I read and respond in a hurry with my phone.
 

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As I've mentioned else where on this board, I was truely impressed with the quantity and quality of wildlife in the East Cape... And equally impressed by the whole system that is in place in the conservancies we hunted on. We live in an area of the US where hunting is still a big part of the culture... Our local paper still prints reports of the biggest deer harvested each season. However there is a smaller and smaller portion of the population that hunts, even in our rural area. Most of them are generally indifferent.... Until they hit a deer with their car! Or until they (or their kids) move to the big city and get that much further removed from nature.

I have friends, relatives and associates who do not understand hunting. When we told many of them that we were going on a safari, most assumed it was to be a photo safari. In fact one guy in particular who has on a couple occasions told me hates guns, asked me "why do you need to shoot them? can't you just take pictures?" But this guy has a scientific background and is open to reasonable explanations. And I had other people who have been to Africa on Photo Safaris tell me how great it was and kind of insinuate that a photo safari gave them a full expieriance and that it was better thsn hunting.

But instead of being timid or defensive, I took the oppertunities to explain how the situation for wildlife is in the hunting areas we visited. And how even in the realitively large acreage (but high fenced) photo safari parks, the wildlife is really not all that "wild". They really seemed a lot like the animals in the Minnesota Zoo...... I don't think anyone wants to only have wildlife in that sitsuation.

So I gave a couple explations to these people on why hunting is absolutely nessasary to the survival of wildlife in the "wild", and esspecially to dangerous and destructive wildlife. How hunting benifits the local landlowners, and well as local people employed by hunting... And much more so how Lion and Elephant hunting esspecially puts a high value on those animals while offering control of problem animals and populations of them so that they can co-exist in some level of balance with the local people. These explanations were very well recieved... In fact Mr. gun hater even went out of his way a few days later to tell me how he can now see that Lion and Elephant hunting is indeed nessasary.

I think the best thing each and every one of us can do to combat the lunacy and hype of the anti hunting movement it to give rational well thought out explanations of conservation through hunting and science. One person at a time if need be! Hopefuly the next time they are at a party or just associalting with their non hunting friends, if the topic comes up, they may just relay some of this info. And just "maybe" we can spread the truth a little bit further.
 
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Norwegianwoods

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Most of the UK stats have to do with Fox Hunting with Hounds. Not a popular past time for the masses or with them apparently.

Good to know the majority of folks in the US have no issues with legal hunting.

Having been in UK and hunted sometimes, my impression is that most of the reason for the UK stats is because most people regard hunting in general as a sport for the royals, nobilities, rich and famous and not so much for the common people.
You have the same problem, but even much worse in Holland where hunting traditionally only has been a sport for the nobilities and royals.
Here in Norway and in US it has been a way for common people to put food on the table for generations, making it much more acceptable for the masses.

I think we have the best chance ever these days to turn the general public more positive to hunting with the new trend of the Paleolithic diet.
It is the same people that might form an opinion(for or against) about hunting that would most likely jump on this new trend.
Sustainable and healthy are two key words for these people.
It can be difficult to make the public understand why we enjoy to hunt, but I think the Paleolithic diet trend has the potency to make our hunting much more acceptable to them.
 

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As for Miss Bachman and the lion........ your question really depends on your definition of canned and that definition is going to change from individual to individual but I don't think there's much if any doubt that the lion was captive bred and released shortly before she shot it....... I'd further guess she may well have been unaware of that fact beforehand.

Which is just one of the reasons I'm so vocal and critical of the lion breeding industry in RSA and other parts of Africa.

I couldn't agree more shakari. When I see lion hunts conducted in SA a big red flag goes up in my feeble mind. I would differ with you a little though.....I think these clowns on TV know full well they're hunting captive, and sometimes drugged lions for their shows. I've seen 3-4 shows where bowhunters "hunted their assses off" and stalked within 25 yards of a lion in the shade under a bush. The lion never moved until the arrow connected.
 

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