Suggestions to help explain our passions?

375Fox

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I listen to a lot of podcasts while traveling to and from work. I found this one really interesting. You’ll have to fast forward to the relevant part (the host can’t shut up), but it’s a very good podcast and very relevant to your question. It is Lone star outdoor show - Ivan carter on anti-poaching/changes in social perception towards hunting.
 

Tbitty

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Watch the reaction of the obviously anti hunting crowd to the presenters HOME TRUTHS about the realities of Africa.
The only problem with this video is is still labels hunting as "the lesser of two evils" and carries an anti tone from about 9:15 mark on. It is unfortunate that even someone who had first hand seen & realized the BENEFITS of hunting, maintains a position that it is somehow bad. What that should tell us hunters is that we are fighting an uphill battle and having a well thought out position is imperative.

I actively share my experiences with anyone who will listen. I proudly share pictures or show off the trophies in my home. And yes, I am absolutely always wanting to bag "the biggest trophy" I can, but everyone who knows me or listens to my stories also understands that is not the sole nor even primary purpose of my hunts. I have a deep freezer full of game meat and share it frequently. Plus most of my best stories revolve around the experiences and who I shared them with far less than the "size" of the trophy taken.

Luckily, I grew up in rural America where hunting is a way of life with little opposition or degrading anti's. I now live in Texas (Dallas suburbs) where it is nearly as well received. But when I do find myself in a position to defend hunting against someone that is dug in against it, I am well spoken with a gift for argument and come armed with an arsenal, pun intended, of facts that most aren't able to equal or overcome.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where reasoning rarely changes anyone's mind. And to reinforce that point, it doesn't matter how good of an argument someone were to make to me against hunting, I'm not going to say they are right or stop hunting (and I'd bet that the vast majority of you are the same). The critical part is for us to ensure we do not allow our rights to be infringed.

Finally, I have never blurred/blacked my face from a hunting photo. I have done so for others in my online photos because it is not my right to post their pictures without permission, but not to hide from anyone. I'm fortunate to have the "I don't care what you think" personality, and actually enjoy a good argument because it entertains me.

I'll get off my soap box now.
 

Newboomer

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I don't and won't hide my face in hunting pix. I worked for that animal and I am proud of the result. I am not ashamed in the least to let others see me with my prize.

When people ask me why I hunt, I explain that we take only the old and infirm which are past breeding stage and have nothing to add to the gene pool anymore. By taking them out it gives the young breeders a better chance without having to fight an old bull. I tell them about all the uses the parts of the animal contribute to the welfare of the local people and that nothing goes to waste. We bring home only hide and horns. I explain all the financial benefits of hunting and the good the money does toward anti poaching. Most non hunters have no idea that hunters contribute so much to the welfare and propogation of species. By mentioning some of the sportsmens associations and what they do really turns on the light. They don't realize that RMEF, DU, and all the others are responsible for the survival of several species.
Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Some are receptive and others don't want to hear another opinion than their own. It does feel good to impart some facts and information.
 

Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy

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DSC and DSCF have well done videos. I'd recommend "The Unheard Voice" or "The Response" both available here - https://dscf.org/video-library/

I travel a fair amount for work and it puts me in big cities with urban people to whom hunting is foreign. A lot of them are actually open to the idea, just misinformed. We don't need everyone to be converted to a red blooded hunter, but they should understand how hunting benefits them. Two no brainer facts for me are: 1) by preserving swaths of wilderness and wetlands we are improving the water quality for everyone. 2) hunters are paying to maintain the wild public land that we all are able to enjoy.

Everyone needs water - not everyone wants to eat meat. Going for the low hanging fruit here...
 

Cam Moon

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I find it interesting that I can not remember a single time that I "had" to explain or justify my interest in shooting or hunting to anyone.
I don't find that I have to, I find that I want to!
I want to educate people about all of the benefits that hunting provides. Not only with trips to Africa, but with hunting at home as well. Everything I have ever hunted in Alberta has been free range, and I've also eaten everything I've hunted here. I do seem to be able to have people understand my reasons for hunting at home without too much difficulty, but I've found resistance to my explanations regarding hunting in Africa. I don't really need to justify my actions to anybody, but I do feel that the more people are properly educated the more it benefits us. If I can have somebody who chooses not to hunt understand the advantages and benefits of hunting, and how incredibly important it is to maintaining habitat and wildlife, then that person then becomes someone who is a powerful ally. I believe that a non-hunter who is willing to step up and defend us hunters against the anties can often have more of an impact than we, as hunters, can.
I do realize that there are those who are not open to being educated about it and will hold their ground with a closed mind, but I do think that there are many others out there who are relatively impartial. It's these people that I want to be able to educate. Even if it won't make them stand up to the anties, at least they wouldn't be easily persuaded to become one.
 

Cam Moon

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@Cam Moon - you mentioned that you were going on a photo safari initially?

Possibly the research you found on “trophy hunting” and why you decided to add hunting to your Photo Safari trip could be shared here.
I just went online and started to read whatever I could find. I found some articles for and some against. I just tried to piece things together and educate myself as best I could. I took a lot of time to gather information because I wanted to learn. I'm looking for something that can easily and clearly show the advantages of hunting without taking up too much time. If someone doesn't have a true interest to learn about something, you will only hold their attention for a limited time, but I see a huge benefit to giving them that information.
 

Pondoro

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"Blacking out" your face on hunting pics is sending the wrong message...it implies that you somehow are guilty/ashamed of what you do.. I will never do it..
 

Dreamhunter

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I just went online and started to read whatever I could find. I found some articles for and some against. I just tried to piece things together and educate myself as best I could. I took a lot of time to gather information because I wanted to learn. I'm looking for something that can easily and clearly show the advantages of hunting without taking up too much time. If someone doesn't have a true interest to learn about something, you will only hold their attention for a limited time, but I see a huge benefit to giving them that information.
I’ve found that “almost” everyone here, will answer this “newbies” questions. I appreciate the willingness, support and understanding that is shown to anyone who shows an interest, no matter their experience or understanding. That is why I joined this site, to Learn and gain New information, and live vicariously through each of the hunting reports. & because searching online can provide you with information that can be biased...
 

Vintageguy

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I realized after some thought that my response didn’t answer why I do it only tried to justify with the benefits.
For me it’s the love of nature, being “out there” seeing new places, morning frosts, the sounds and smells. I’ve heard it’s “in your blood” maybe it’s from birth but I think it’s from being exposed to it probably more or perhaps that just brings it up in you. It’s the challenge and the satisfaction of a meal of game and the memories of what put it there. It’s the relationships with those we share those precious times with and memories and traditions of those who’ve passed on, I choke up on that one too many now at my age. It’s knowing with my love for it I couldn’t hurt it and I want the experience to get better for myself and others and those to come. Too many think conservation is putting it on the shelf, locking people out, but what good is that? That only ensures that people won’t care, won’t ever have what’s in their blood awakened. It’s like my love for firearms is similar to someone’s love for paintings. To me they, the good ones, are art, functional art. I like looking at them, handling them, and in my case with many antiques, wondering “where have you been and what have you done”? It’s love and passion, what makes life worth living.
 

Dreamhunter

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I realized after some thought that my response didn’t answer why I do it only tried to justify with the benefits.
For me it’s the love of nature, being “out there” seeing new places, morning frosts, the sounds and smells. I’ve heard it’s “in your blood” maybe it’s from birth but I think it’s from being exposed to it probably more or perhaps that just brings it up in you. It’s the challenge and the satisfaction of a meal of game and the memories of what put it there. It’s the relationships with those we share those precious times with and memories and traditions of those who’ve passed on, I choke up on that one too many now at my age. It’s knowing with my love for it I couldn’t hurt it and I want the experience to get better for myself and others and those to come. Too many think conservation is putting it on the shelf, locking people out, but what good is that? That only ensures that people won’t care, won’t ever have what’s in their blood awakened. It’s like my love for firearms is similar to someone’s love for paintings. To me they, the good ones, are art, functional art. I like looking at them, handling them, and in my case with many antiques, wondering “where have you been and what have you done”? It’s love and passion, what makes life worth living.
Memories made with others are priceless.
 

baxterb

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I very rarely talk about hunting to non-hunting people. I try to build a relationship on something less contentious. When it's happened that we get in a conversation about hunting and I tell them I hunt, I am already standing on firm ground as a friend. This happened with an old boss of mine. She was a vegetarian and did not support hunting. One day I hung up a hunting pic on my office and that started a long conversation about hunting. She's not going to be a hunter, but I can guarantee you that when she thinks of a hunter now, I am the person that will pop in her mind..."I used to know a guy..." type of thing. I think that's the best way to represent hunting - just represent yourself as a human and a good person first - it goes a long way.
 

CoElkHunter

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Trophy harvested animal= meat for humans. Non trophy harvested animal= meat for humans. If they don't eat meat and/or aren't human and object to eating meat, they need to move to a country where the humans don't eat meat and/or aren't human? How complicated should this be?
 

Kevin Peacocke

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All trophy hunting in Africa is meat hunting, you are really just feeding the poeple and get the privilege of keeping the hides and horns.
i am not in favour of hiding my face, if you arent willing to stand up and fight for what you believe in you are already beaten.
 

BRICKBURN

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The only problem with this video is is still labels hunting as "the lesser of two evils" and carries an anti tone from about 9:15 mark on. It is unfortunate that even someone who had first hand seen & realized the BENEFITS of hunting, maintains a position that it is somehow bad. What that should tell us hunters is that we are fighting an uphill battle and having a well thought out position is imperative.

...........

To those Anti-hunters in the crowd - hunting is evil, as they are first world preservationists. The guy has to label hunting bad. (Certainly in that audience.)
That does not matter in my mind. He is one of them. He'd like to save ALL the Lions. Good on him.

The implied challenge he lays out to the crowd is to come up with something better, if they want to change the world to meet their utopian view!
Until then, you have to accept the evil. Some animals have to die to save others.
HUNTERS are the only ones doing anything to save most of the lions, etc.

Destroy hunting, ALL the Lions are dead! That is one hell of a pill to swallow for an Anti-hunting utopian preservationist sitting in the first world.

You are not going to change their minds with a warm fuzzy promo video.

Anyone seen Ricky Gervais and company buying up huge tracts of Africa to preserve everything?
That is the glaring hypocrisy you can point out. Rail all he wants, they have no solution to offer.
Destroy hunting, ALL the Lions are dead!
 

Alaska Luke

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I am pretty mild natured but I like to put people on the defensive. Make them justify their arguments.

When people ask why I hunt bears or whatever I say more or less "To eat them." Its to the point but I'm deliberately shifting the burden onto them. THEY need to justify why I should buy food at ridiculously high prices instead of eating a caribou.

I also point out that I'm often hunting with Alaska Native kids. Its sort of playing the "race card" but I think its justified. If you say my kids can't hunt you are really saying "hey let's go bully an indigenous culture and kick them while they are down just because we think are better then they are" Yes a few people are that dumb enough to say that but few would listen to them.

I've never tried it but here is an idea. Hunting bans are basically based on emotional dislike of something. If we're going down that road why don't we ban gay marriage, Miley Cyrus music and Barney movies? It was only a little while ago California (!) was voting to ban gay marriage. I can almost guarantee we could find more people in the US who want to ban gay marriage than hunting. Of course we'd find even more to ban either (or both) Republicans and Democrats from holding office. Or maybe banning everything we don't like is a bad road to go down?
 

BenW

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Go and have a look at Blood Origins YouTube Channel there is a series on "this is my why" with different perspectives on what makes us hunt/hunters as well as a few perspectives from non-hunters. Interesting stuff.

It is certainly a challenging topic - even over here in Africa where working a hunting season makes you think its all socially acceptable, understood and accepted. Just a quick visit to any city or meeting new people and you have to have your words chosen well and facts to back it up. Not to "convert" anyone, but rather just give a good account of why we do what we do.
 

baxterb

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I am pretty mild natured but I like to put people on the defensive. Make them justify their arguments.

When people ask why I hunt bears or whatever I say more or less "To eat them." Its to the point but I'm deliberately shifting the burden onto them. THEY need to justify why I should buy food at ridiculously high prices instead of eating a caribou.

I also point out that I'm often hunting with Alaska Native kids. Its sort of playing the "race card" but I think its justified. If you say my kids can't hunt you are really saying "hey let's go bully an indigenous culture and kick them while they are down just because we think are better then they are" Yes a few people are that dumb enough to say that but few would listen to them.

I've never tried it but here is an idea. Hunting bans are basically based on emotional dislike of something. If we're going down that road why don't we ban gay marriage, Miley Cyrus music and Barney movies? It was only a little while ago California (!) was voting to ban gay marriage. I can almost guarantee we could find more people in the US who want to ban gay marriage than hunting. Of course we'd find even more to ban either (or both) Republicans and Democrats from holding office. Or maybe banning everything we don't like is a bad road to go down?

Yes indeed to your first pgf.

we are often too eager to preach versus being Socratic and asking our opponents to explain their positions, how they came to that position, what evidence supports their position, etc. when you do that it will become very apparent that about 95% of the time their opinion is based on nothing.

however, we must also be ready for the Socratic inquirer and make sure our positions are sound.
 

Zambezi

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Yes indeed to your first pgf.

we are often too eager to preach versus being Socratic and asking our opponents to explain their positions, how they came to that position, what evidence supports their position, etc. when you do that it will become very apparent that about 95% of the time their opinion is based on nothing.

however, we must also be ready for the Socratic inquirer and make sure our positions are sound.
I am guilty of NOT doing this lately. I think it is a combination of world events over the last 12-18 months and the fact that one meets so many heart based thinkers these days, very little brain based people out there on the "opposing side". We (I) seem to attack to defend our position instead of getting them to defend their position using facts and not feelings... Good idea to get them to lay out their case and then gently pull it apart using facts, science and logic.

For those that are open to learning it will land on fertile ground. Those that are rabid will never listen anyway.
 

baxterb

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I am guilty of NOT doing this lately. I think it is a combination of world events over the last 12-18 months and the fact that one meets so many heart based thinkers these days, very little brain based people out there on the "opposing side". We (I) seem to attack to defend our position instead of getting them to defend their position using facts and not feelings... Good idea to get them to lay out their case and then gently pull it apart using facts, science and logic.

For those that are open to learning it will land on fertile ground. Those that are rabid will never listen anyway.

I once gave a presentation to my class at the University of Washington on elephant hunting via an interview I did with a friend. That turned into a long discussion about hunting and anti-poaching etc in Zimbabwe. these people I was talking to were VERY liberal. But the most common response I heard afterward was “I had no idea that was going on.” It made them think about something in a way they had no idea existed.

reasonable people can be allies, even if they don’t hunt. The hard liners are not worth our time, but I’ve found most people are more reasonable than not. One question I’ve asked people is “Even if you don’t personally support an activity, if that activity leads to the overall better health of an ecosystem or animal population, shouldn’t we be able to use that activity provided it gets us to our goal?” If they answer no, ask them why not. You will get no answer. Again, this is for reasonable people. People whose answer is always “it’s wrong to kill.” Are simply intransigent.

another fun response is when someone says it’s wrong to kill, I’ve often asked if they are pro-life then - they usually aren’t. I’ve often found that people feel strong when they are making arguments vertically, but when you expand that reasoning horizontally it doesn’t hold up because it exposes contradictions. Again, If you are pro-life you have to be ready to be questioned horizontally in the same way, but that’s something we should always prepare for, since as Socrates said “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
 

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