Rebranding our Industry

Velo Dog

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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.

Norwegianwoods,

I totally second what you have said here.
And I wish I had been able to put it into concise words like you have done.
A few short years ago, the semi-famous Hollywood Actress, Suzanne Sommers "came out of the closet" by endorsing the eating of wild game meat and wild caught fish, home-grown fruit and vegetables, for good health / good nutrition.
And, she went so far as to publish a warning about the eating of farmed eggs, meat and produce (she is a cancer survivor).
In other words, she was pitching The Paleo-Diet, probably much to the horror of her former Hollywood employers (her former Hollywood Masters).

Regards,
Velo Dog.
 

Red Leg

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With respect to why we might have any chance at all, I think we have two lines of attack. The first is the sound conservation model. I don't think we are necessarily "winning" with that argument, but we still have significant allies in the scientific community who see wildlife as a sustainable resource supported in large measure by hunter dollars. Those dollars are not likely to show up from any other source. Also, in large urban pockets like the Washington DC area, Joe citizen sees the impact of deer over population every day splattered across the highway (or his bumper and hence his insurance bill) and in the remnants of his hostas and tulips. There is surprisingly little outcry for poor bambi in this area, in spite of the ever "bluing" political environment.

In North America I suspect that the hunter as conservationist is most endangered by the march of urbanization, and the reintroduction of large predators (read the wolf) into our wilderness areas. One of the pillars of large herbivore management has been the need to prevent over population. We are discovering that wolf packs are pretty good at what they do across a broad swath of the northern mid-west and west. Fortunately I suppose, cattle and sheep taste pretty good to wolves as well, and the ranching community is starting to complain.

Regrettably, none of this helps us much with the citizen who defines his or her life by Facebook and the "twitterverse." And so our second line of attack must somehow target these people. This is one reason why I rejoice in shows like "Swamp People" and "Duck Dynasty". I can't watch them, and as a South Louisianan by birth, I am a little put off by the characterization of "my people", but as a way to make an urbanite comfortable with killing an animal, those shows probably do more good than the entire public relations efforts of every hunting organization combined. My cable company now carries three networks devoted to hunting and fishing. Four fifths of that programing is essentially "redneck TV." But this programing is viable or it wouldn't be there, and we had better figure out how to maintain common cause with the large numbers in our sport who define themselves by "the Bone Collector" and its ilk. Even there, African hunting can get blasted as Tony Makris discovered in the reaction to a recent elephant hunt, and the resulting dropping of his show.

In North America, we still have a reservoir of toleration because of the aspects of our culture we do not share with Europe. As our Norwegian friend notes above, hunting (and gun ownership) were both a means to put food on the table and to enjoy sport among the average citizen. The strong sense of "shoot it and personally use it" is seen as a cornerstone of ethical hunting by many in this country. It is also a reason why trophy hunters do not have the universal support by the broader hunting community, much less the non-hunting urbanite.

Right now I think we are just maintaining an narrow equilibrium with the antis. I am concerned that maintaining that equilibrium is going to be hard. To do so, we have to figure out how to even get to the vast ambivalent majority who will never read a reasoned defense of the sport. Our opponents operate in their world with ease.
 

Primo661

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Primo661

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I saw that too, I thought the writer as a non hunter did a pretty decent job of taking the emotion out of his writing of the encounter.

It is one of those things that makes the anti hunters go 'you see! They're barbarians looking for a high and take pleasure in killing' when in actual fact it is nothing of the sort. On the contrary the vast majority of hunters will tell you that if you enjoy killing, you need to get your head read because you have a screw loose.
 

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