The Plunge Toward PC (Politically Correct)

BRICKBURN

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I have long held the belief about Trophy Photos needing to be respectful. To over simplify: the limited blood, and a “no drama” version of trophy pictures. No poses with someone sitting on top of the animal, standing on it, etc.

Some of the video shot while hunting and then posted to the Web can be the worst. Often there is no thought whatsoever as to what is being shared, who will consume the story and, indeed, what “story” will be made of it.

The world has many different tastes and plenty of different cultures that will view the various materials from their own perspective. Suffice to say, disrespectful offerings are universally abhorred by the majority, both hunters and non-hunters.


It does not matter the country of origin; every Outfitter has a business to run and must be able to attract customers to obtain their business and then keep it. All form of media platforms have been used in this day and age: Hunting Shows, Hunting Conventions, Meet & Greets, Home pages on websites, newsletters, FB, Instagram, Twitter and of course the Forum where you get to interact in a timely fashion with a huge range of people in the community from around the world. Some of these methods take more skill and resources than others.


There was a Thunderclap in July 2015 in the World Media (they love to say it’s the world, it’s not really) when someone purported an illegal hunt of a Lion in Zimbabwe.

The words and phrases: Zimbabwe’s most Famous, Killer, Poached, Illegal, Endangered, Brutal killing, Outrage, Tragic, Cruelty, Cowardice, Lured, Beloved, Revenge, etc.


The illustrious (then leader) of the USFWS proceeded to head to the media and do exactly opposite of what his agency claims to be doing; “Following the facts”. How is a legal hunt tragic? The only tragedy was his abuse of power and authority.


“Ashe, in a post on Twitter, called the killing of Cecil the lion 'tragic' and said his agency will 'go where facts lead' in its investigation of the lion's death.”



Then SCI threw the hunter, an SCI member, under the bus very quickly without benefit of a hearing.

“Safari Club International is suspending the membership of the Minnesota hunter accused of illegally killing a protected lion in Zimbabwe and wants a "full and thorough investigation" into the lion's death.”

The hunter was NEVER charged, never mind convicted, of a wildlife crime in the case.

Then the public relations campaigns started: Announcements about banning the transport of “trophies” by major airlines. Although, the clear majority had never transported them in the first place. One more mob joined to feed the frenzy.

The Calgary Zoo, which was renting a facility to a local SCI fundraiser, was attacked under the guise of this big bad hunter’s association with the group.
“The Calgary Zoo does not have a relationship with Safari Club International. We are renting space in one of our venues to the Calgary Chapter of Safari Club International for their yearly fundraiser. As a public facility, we are open to all walks of life, industries, religions, and cultures; we do not discriminate against who can rent or attend events at our facilities.”

Nugent said: “The whole story is a lie. It was a wild lion from a ‘park’ where hunting is legal & ESSENTIAL beyond the park borders. All animals reproduce every year & would run out of room/food to live w/o hunting. I will write a full piece on this joke asap. God are people stupid.”

Zimbabwe will not charge American dentist Walter Palmer for killing a prized lion in July because he had obtained legal authority to conduct the hunt, a cabinet minister has said.

“We approached the police and then the prosecutor general, and it turned out that Palmer came to Zimbabwe because all the papers were in order,” the environment minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, told reporters, adding that the American could not be charged.

https://www.theguardian.com/environ...will-not-charge-us-dentist-killing-cecil-lion

“The intensity of the backlash over the trophy killing has triggered a counter-backlash. Why, some are now asking, do people care so much about the death of a lion when so many human beings are suffering and dying? The surge of sorrow for a dead lion, they say, when compared to the relative quiet about other wrongs, reveals a moral flaw in our humanity, a defect in our moral compass.”

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/31/opinions/ghitis-cecil-outrage/


“The Digital World leading to mobs to judge and shame.”

It was time to go after women.
Even though Zuckerberg hunts: “Teenage cheerleader turned hunter has trophy pictures removed by Facebook”

Some of the victims of the witch hunt, in fact Bullying:
Jones
Francis
Argys
Koeshall


“Bullying – use superior strength or influence to intimidate, typically to force them to do what one wants.”

In North America, there is great concern about children being Bullied. It appears that it is not just children who are the focus of this behavior. Any minority, that can be readily identified and whom some find to be disagreeable, can find themselves as the focus of this intimidation.

What is Bullying?
Many children have a good idea of what bullying is because they see it every day! Bullying happens when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending themselves. So, everyone needs to get involved to help stop it.
Bullying is wrong! It is behavior that makes the person being bullied feel afraid or uncomfortable. Some of these include:
Spreading bad rumors about people
Getting certain people to "gang up" on others


The most common types of bullying are:
Social Bullying - mobbing, scapegoating, excluding others from a group, humiliating others with public gestures or graffiti intended to put others down.
Cyber Bullying - using the internet or text messaging to intimidate, put-down, spread rumors or make fun of someone.

https://www.bullyingcanada.ca/what-is-bullying

It reminds me very clearly of other abusive and illegal behavior that is of major concern.

“Does someone do this to you:
  • Embarrass you with put-downs?
  • Control what you do, who you see or talk to, or where you go?
  • Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
  • Make all the decisions?
  • Tell you that you're bad or threaten you?
  • Prevent you from working?
  • Act like the abuse is no big deal or is your fault, or even deny doing it?
  • Destroy your property or threaten to kill you?
  • Intimidate you with guns, knives, or other weapons?
If any of these things or other types of abuse are happening, you need to seek help.”


Is no one recognizing the mob and its abuse, or addressing the problem or seeking help?

I had first gotten wind of what I call the "purification" a couple of years ago. Outfitters/ Professional hunters starting to advocate that ALL trophy pictures be removed from the industries’ websites. This was obviously a reaction to bullying that was occurring in the media.


Not to single John out, he is apparently a hell of a hunter and a gentleman, but, if you would like an example of a purified website:

js new home page.jpg


The only whiff I can find that you might be able to hunt with John is a picture of John with a rifle on his shoulder and the button "Hunting in Africa". No Gallery.

This was the old website’s Home page:

js old.jpg




This might be all well and good for those long-established outfitters that have hunted for thirty years and are soon to retire, but what of the others trying to gain recognition and indeed prove they can hunt.

Do we now have to request trophy pictures from the Outfitter?


Still, others have trophy pictures on their sites but you will notice a pattern emerging: Where did all the Lions go? Cheetah? Leopard?

This was from another long-established Outfitter. Their Homepage below and the “Gallery” went missing during the first wave of purification.



wtr intermediate Home Page.jpg


But more recently there has been a move back, by some, with the revival of their Photo Gallery. No longer a totally purified site, but the Lions are gone.


wtr latest .jpg





Where is the problem?

No bloody wonder Outfitters get confused with mixed messages like this.

Namibia Professional Hunting Association (NAPHA)
NAPHA Newsletter 18 March 2016
“Social Media
Given the tumultuous activities on Social Media, NAPHA requests its members to refrain from participating in online discussions, mudslinging and enhancing any debate. We furthermore ask members to refrain from posting of images with hunted trophies.
We rely on the cooperation of members in this regard.”



I encountered other Outfitters starting to move toward a "Conservation" message and considering removal of all trophy pictures from their booths at hunting conventions. Some have already done this and have landscapes or just one live animal, or a herd, in the booth backdrop.


At the African Professional Hunters Association AGM, at the SCI 2017 convention, it was being touted as the new philosophy: Remove the trophy pictures from Social Media.


I spoke with Cliff Walker, an Outfitter, PH, and a member of APHA, at the 2017 SCI convention, and asked about his web experience. Cliff has trophy pictures up in his booth at SCI and on his FB site. He told me his FB page is bombarded with "comments" (Bullying and Abuse) constantly about the Lion pictures, never the Crocodile pictures. He no longer even bothers to respond to these comments. He used to make an honest effort to engage these people and educate them. It was obviously a lost cause. The delete button is now used generously. I doubt Cliff will be dropping the trophy pictures from his media any time soon.



Africahunting.com has Outfitters operating in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique, Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo, USA, and Agents operating everywhere. I was curious to see if the purification campaign had reached the Sponsors of AH.

To determine this I decided I would review a few quickly observable factors on their websites:

Lions – Pictures present when I know they hunt lions.
Gallery- Trophy Pictures
Home Page - presence of hunting pictures
Entry- require a second link to enter the site
Faces – Faces are blurred in the trophy pictures
No trophies – No pictures


Then a couple of other points of interest as a side bar.

There were THREE Outfitter webpages that were not operational. What’s going on guys?
There was ONE that has not been kept current for 6 years! Outdated material.


Only FIVE homepages did not have trophy pictures. The rest, the clear majority, still have trophy pictures on their homepage somewhere.

There were THREE that had no Lion pictures, that I know for a fact hunt Lions. One is merely because they have just opened hunting. At the moment, they have no trophy pictures.

FIVE web pages require you to enter the site to actually see what is going on. Perhaps this is to reduce the simple searches and harassment factor. Everyone else is wide open and visible from the outset.

Only ONE web page included pictures where the hunter’s faces were blurred or altered.

Only ONE website had NO GALLERY. I mean zero trophy pictures.


It appears the purification campaign has not over-taken AH Outfitters.

On the very positive side, I noted ONE website that included the “CONSERVATION” angle on the Home Page. Their link not mine.
Community Development, Anti-Poaching, Ethics and Responsibility.

The links, with some pages under development, demonstrated first hand benefits to the communities where they operate and they also showcased the anti-poaching efforts being done by the Outfitter.

This is exactly what is required for the education of anyone who visits the websites of any hunting Outfitter.


Lessons learned.

There has been an excellent lesson played out in parallel to this proposed devolution in the hunting industry. Sex sells. I have to bring sex into this discussion, as most discussions devolve into discussions of sex and this one should be no different.


Playboy.png




“Exactly a year after Playboy pledged to ban nudity from its magazine, the company has decided to bring it back.

In a statement released on Monday, Playboy's Chief Creative Officer, Cooper Hefner—Hugh Hefner's son who took over the publication last year—in partnership with the content team have unveiled the latest creative evolution of the brand with a new philosophy, which includes reinstating nudity starting with their March/April 2017 issue.

"I'll be the first to admit that the way in which the magazine portrayed nudity was dated, but removing it entirely was a mistake," Cooper explained. "Nudity was never the problem because nudity isn't a problem. Today we're taking our identity back and reclaiming who we are." “



Can the hunting industry learn from that mistake?


“Clean up the industry” was a message from Presidents addresses at AGM’s
NAPHA AGM Address by immediate-past president Kai-Uwe Denker:
“It is no longer acceptable to try and justify unacceptable hunting practices by claiming that ethics and morals are matters of personal opinion. The worldwide community has clearly told us that with this, you have crossed the line. It is no longer good enough for a professional hunter to just drive a Landcruiser off the road and shoot a big boar with a rifle,” Denker said.
The strategy to win back public support for trophy hunting would also involve education and awareness campaigns to teach the hunters about the basics of conservation and sustainable use of wildlife resources.
The out-going association president called for the introduction of a new professional hunter training curriculum that would prioritise conservation, with emphasis on aspects like functioning ecosystems, habitat aspects and populations dynamics.



Then the repudiations and blame by others at a different AGM seem to support the mob attitude. Although recognizing the problem as “Hype” they go on to generalize and condemn and fail to provide a solution.


"…………..The similarities with captive lion breeding are obvious and if we have not learned from the lion situation and the Cecil hype – which after all has put us in the present crisis – we don’t deserve any better."
PHASA AGM Panel Discussion


Being bullied into hiding what we do is not the solution. I have to agree with Denker, that a move to clean up the industry must “involve education and awareness campaigns to teach ….. the basics of conservation and sustainable use of wildlife resources.”


Here is a strong supportive conservation message from Pohamba Penomwenyo Shifeta, Minister of Environment and Tourism for Namibia in which they state,


“The mission of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism is to promote biodiversity conservation in the Namibian environment through the sustainable utilization of natural resources and tourism development for the maximum social and economic benefit of its citizens.
Conservation (Trophy) hunting and the sustainable use of our wildlife is a constitutional obligation in Namibia. Our utilisation of wildlife is guided and informed by sustainability and the application of science. In March 2016, the Namibian Cabinet endorsed our position on conservation hunting and called for a collective campaign against attempts to restrict legal trophy hunting and the export of wildlife products from Namibia.

I have said repeatedly, that banning trophy hunting, which is a significant revenue generator for Namibia and specifically for conservancies, will damage our conservation efforts and destroy the significant successes we have achieved to date. It is a proven fact that sustainable utilisation of wildlife and natural resources is fundamentally and inextricably connected to successful wildlife conservation in our country. Trophy hunting currently adds N$450 million to Namibia’s GDP through the private sector.


All of this is the result of legislation passed 20 years ago to empower local communities to actively manage and use their wildlife.

Legal hunting is an integral part of this conservation strategy, which resulted in healthy national populations of giraffe, leopard, lion, crocodile, rhino, buffalo and cheetah. It is also a lifeline for our communities today …...

We invite trophy hunters from all over the world to experience a true African hunting adventure, knowing that it will make a difference to the livelihoods of the people who live and look after wildlife and that your contribution will enable us to protect those wilderness areas for future generations as called for in our constitution. “


My best wishes to all, in your continued CONSERVATION HUNTING efforts!
 

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"Conservation hunting" certainly has a different message but will it catch on?
 

BRICKBURN

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If the only stimulus the term "conservation hunting" provides, is to remind us of the fact that the "Memento" we bring home is not a bad thing and is truly just a very small reminder of the larger part hunting plays in conservation throughout the world I will be happy.

The signature says it all. :)
save.jpg
 

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@BRICKBURN would it were that this had been your 15,000 post. Good job man!
 

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BRILLIANT! Lots of POWERFUL information here... @BRICKBURN :A Bravo:



"It's amazing at how afraid some "brave" hunters are of the noise that the antis create! If the antis are effective in creating fear in the hunting community, businesses or individuals, and successful at getting us to change our behavior as a defense strategy (like no longer showing pictures of what we enjoy doing) they are winning."
 

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BRILLIANT! Lots of POWERFUL information here... @BRICKBURN :A Bravo:



"It's amazing at how afraid some "brave" hunters are of the noise that the antis create! If the antis are effective in creating fear in the hunting community, businesses or individuals, and successful at getting us to change our behavior as a defense strategy (like no longer showing pictures of what we enjoy doing) they are winning."

Jerome, first let me echo your sentiments about Brickburn's post. It is excellent.

Now, let me take issue with your quote: "how afraid some "brave hunters" are of the noise the antis create!"

We've been over this lots of times on this site in various threads. Many hunters are simply not in a position to risk their livelihoods or more by posting trophy pictures. It's easy for those of us (and I include myself here) who have little to lose to poke fun at those who have much to lose, and even easier to suggest they are lacking in courage. But a picture takes on a life of its own on the internet, and the hunter won't be there to explain anything to everyone who sees it. I'm advised that many organizations today do internet searches of social media sites before hiring a candidate for a job. Would or should a young person risk losing a job for the sake of making a point about trophy pictures and trophy hunting? Many can't afford to do that.

When I went hunting with my youngest a couple of years ago, I posted trophy pictures with his face - but not mine - blurred. He is just starting a career in New York, which as we all know is not exactly a hunting mecca. I thought he would have been foolish in the extreme to have put pictures of himself with dead animals on the internet, and he reluctantly agreed.

It is unfortunate in the extreme that this is the situation today. But it is what it is. So it behooves those of us who have little to lose to fight the battle for those who have much to lose. And hopefully we can do that without taking shots at those who aren't so privileged.

I don't mean to sound preachy, and apologies if I do. I know you and I know it's not your intent to make fun of anyone. But reading the quote, that's how it hit me.
 

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Lots of insight...loved the analogy with playboy...we each have a core identity that makes us who we are.....well written....FWB
 

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Great article Brickburn. I agree with your statement that education and awareness will clean up the industry. Hunters must realize that it's not just us "us" and "them" the anti-hunters. There's a whole group of people who are hunting neutral and who will see hunting in a positive way if we convey the conservation message to them correctly.

I personally don't believe hunting pictures on social media do our cause any good. Karoo Wild Safaris doesn't have a Facebook page and doesn't engage in social media. The reason is that social media is an image driven media and you can't convey the conservation benefits of hunting in an image. It's giving the anti hunting armchair warriors the fuel and platform to attack hunting.
 

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................ .
It is unfortunate in the extreme that this is the situation today. But it is what it is. So it behooves those of us who have little to lose to fight the battle for those who have much to lose. And hopefully we can do that without taking shots at those who aren't so privileged.
............... .

Anonymity and privacy are very relevant issues in todays world. Certainly with the Bullying that can go on in relation to hunting pictures.

I have gone back and forth on this issue with my own photos, showing my mug. I finally walked around the bend when the last shipment of trophies arrived. I had to make a base and funny thing, the only place it would fit, was in my office waiting room. I wondered what reactions I was going to get. What scared me most was the fact that there were several clients that did not even notice the Kudu Bull in the corner.
It has now become a conversation starter on Conservation in Africa.
The number one question I always get is about eating the meat. When informed of the "nothing going to waste" concept and that I personally enjoyed a very delicious meat, EVERYONE has been satisfied.
These are all non-hunters by the way.

Those of us that can exercise our privilege to post and converse everywhere we can please do so.
 

BRICKBURN

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Great post. I think your signature says it all.

Conservation and sustainability.

That's the message that needs to be driven home. I challenge you to find a single hunter that wants to wipe a species off the face of the earth. Extinction defeats the purpose of hunting since you can't hunt animals that no longer exist.

I also appreciate those outfitters that discuss their conservation efforts, anti poaching, etc. It suggests a better hunting experience to me as those outfitters are investing in the resource they manage.
 

BRICKBURN

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............
I personally don't believe hunting pictures on social media do our cause any good. Karoo Wild Safaris doesn't have a Facebook page and doesn't engage in social media. The reason is that social media is an image driven media and you can't convey the conservation benefits of hunting in an image. It's giving the anti hunting armchair warriors the fuel and platform to attack hunting.

Victor, it is funny when you say you "don't engage in social media".... You are right now as part of this community on AH.
I know you are narrowly referring to FB et al. but, this forum and others like it are actually designed social media and require interaction and allow the members to actually interact in "longer" more detailed conversation versus the staccato bursts that are the general fodder of FB.

I am hoping more Outfitters will add the CONSERVATION/ COMMUNITY button to their websites and promulgate the message for all to see and hear.

We are not going to stop ill informed twits taking video and posting pictures of objectionable content. We do not have the power.
We do have the ability to promote and educate and flood the web with the "right stuff". I think that we need to be respectful, but we can not be bullied into hiding.

In many countries it is illegal to interfere with a hunter. These laws were brought into place to stop bullying in the field. The purposeful interruption and harassment of legal hunting activities being conducted by law abiding citizens was no longer being tolerated and was addressed by many legislatures. In these cases the individuals are not anonymous keyboard warriors spreading lies and deceptions, they actually have to show up and they can be arrested. If only, we had the resources to charge all the utterers of death threats against hunters!
 

BRICKBURN

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Jerome, first let me echo your sentiments about Brickburn's post. It is excellent. ......


Lots of insight...loved the analogy with playboy...we each have a core identity that makes us who we are.....well written....FWB


:oops:
Coming from the men who can spin language like you fellas can, that is high praise.
 

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Wayne, a lot of food for thought. Well written. Going to have to read it a few times.
 

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Last edited:

edward

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bottom line brick,show them or not,your feelings.
 

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