Anti-Hunter VS. Hunter Debate

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Wow, people are passionate about the anti-hunter vs the hunter debate. Even though I am unqualified, I somehow feel like I should put both sides that are arguing in timeout! And I don’t know who Barry is, but I’m sure he is no longer with us by the looks of this picture.

My opinion on this topic is not as objective as I would want, as I come from a state where the majority of the people hunt. But I will have you know that part of my life I grew up doing Native American animal cards and pounding on a drum to scare off hunters. You should also know that when the cable company came to cut down our huge cedar tree in our front property, we did a smudge stick ceremony with a moment of silence and I cried all day…Then I later married a logger sooo….. go figure? It may just be that one day I will be on one side of the picketing fence and the other day you might see me slip to the other side on certain issues- I’m just that unpredictable!

Being somewhat of an outsider, I can say right now- you both have some super intense, crazy humans that are representing you; the kind that should probably have a tracking collar on or be gated in a range somewhere where animals can come in and pay to shoot them.

So you two sit in time-out and face the wall and listen to me try this on you:

Here are some ways that you can get along better…

Dear Hunter,

Regarding the arguing anti-hunter

Have some empathy for the anti-hunter. Who knows what each single person’s backstory may be. What if the anti-hunter, as a young child,  watched the movie Bambi and their twisted parental units played the scene where the mom gets shot over, and over, and over to prove a point that ‘hunters are the Satan’s of the earth’?

Or maybe they grew up with hunters that were unethical and this person had to watch inhumane things done to animals. You don’t know until you try to know where they are coming from.

Maybe they grew up in the city and never knew that their restaurant food actually came from real alive animals (this is me, I’ll explain later). Or maybe they have a stuffed animal (the kind with cotton in it, not the kind you stuff) from their youth they named “Wolfe” and he was their best friend during some really hard and awkward times…and now you want to shoot “him”. Catch my drift?

It could be possible that the anti-hunter’s experiences with hunting are limited to the movies that depict the drunken, uneducated, psychopath jerks who are slapping their buddies on the back, throwing cigarettes into the woods and shooting animals just to hang them on their walls. I picture the hunter guy, Gaston from Beauty and the Beast: a chauvinistic, narcissistic, abusive, animal killer with a little you- know -what syndrome.  And you know what, hunter, about 10% of ya’ all are those red neck buffoons that give every hunter a distasteful name in the eyes of these anti-hunter on lookers!

Hunter, not all of the anti-hunters are uneducated, unrealistic nutcases (as you call them); some honestly care about environment (versus just making uneducated accusations). Some are fighting for a healthy balance in wildlife and willing to work with you to establish healthy guidelines for successful regulation of animal population (even though they probably make fun of you behind your back).

Anti-hunters help create laws to keep the idiot hunters under surveillance and in-check. You guys are pretty much on the same team when you look at the big picture of caring about the environment, worried about the animal populations, and being able to enjoy nature.

When you bag on anti-hunters as a general statement, you are also putting them all into ‘one box’, meaning you assume they are all the same. This is so aggravating when people judge you by the actions of others- so don’t do this to them! Hear them out and respond if you only feel like it will be fruitful!

To be honest, as annoying as they are to you, you need some of them on your side. You won’t have time to fight all of the other white trash animal killers because you will be out hunting, ethically. Here- to -Fore, allow them to deal with the stupid hunters and you can be out hunting.

A few other really imperative points:

The majority of anti-hunters have never had a real smoky (or ‘deer dog’, as my friend Marcie likes to call them). You cannot verbally offend an anti-hunter on social media if you do not have confirmation that they have ever digested a true smoky. They do not know what they are missing and are not able to make anti-hunting decisions without tasting a deer dog! Don’t blame them; they don’t understand how good it is compared to their store bought animal misc. parts hot dogs.

Also, the majority of anti-hunters have never hit a deer and had it ruin a beautiful drive home from work, in the snow, on a Monday, with no cell service, and no hunter to come kill the deer so that it dies a quick death. *The day after this happened- I threatened to sign up for hunter safety.*

The other times a deer has mangled my car I was so thankful to have a hunter to come and kill the deer so it did not have to suffer. And the anti-hunters don’t know that you then get to watch as the game eaters, aka, rednecks, come in and fight over who gets to take little bucky home. I love some of the back country folk that I have experienced through this type of situation; it’s like watching a documentary on Netflix of a culture you did not know existed in the great amazon, but these people actually just live in the sticks. Most people do not know that people really do choose to live like this, talk like this and eat road kill. And road kill for dinner? I’ve had a road kill moose burger before; it was a little gravely but with ketchup, delicious.

Let’s try to understand the anti-hunter from another quick perspective by using me for an example. My entire life, I have loved whales. I have been so passionate about whales- cried when I found out one had been trapped in a net or that people were messing with them. I always thought that deep in my core, whales needed me to protect them and that we had a very spiritual connection. I even planned on going to college to carry out my life long goal of being with whales. The whales needed me. [Side note: it was really hard to get to the whales from Idaho but we were still connected…over the internet and stuff].

It wasn’t until I was in college that I started to think more about this strange obsession as I plastered my whale decor on my walls and listened to whale music every night before bed (that didn’t really happen). I started to think, ‘what the heck’-

I have never even seen a live whale and have only been to the ocean about 10 times in my whole life…. After some deep soul searching, I remembered that in my house while growing up there was a big picture in our bathroom of a humpback whale and it had colorful balloons strapped around it that stretched up in the sky. Underneath the whale it read “Save the Whales!

……..I’ve been trying ever since.

See it can be these childhood roots or stimulus around us that can set the bar for seeding our deepest passions. If you don’t understand that about the anti-hunters, that they more than likely have a deeper reason that they feel that they need to stand up for the animals, then you are no better than the 10% animal slayer goons. Fighting with these anti-hunters is like using honey for a bug repellent; the more you spread on there, the more they will come at you! And the more you try to change their minds, the more personally they react because you are messing with a passion in their heart and aint no one messing with what mama taught them!

If you are one of those 10% jerks or even one of those wealthy kind of hunters that pay to shoot lions in a cage and manipulate those in poor countries by using your wealth to shoot endangered animals, I hope that these anti-hunters find a way to cage you and they do….. *use your imagination on this one*.

But hunter, it’s ultimately between you and God in the end- and I believe he cares about how we hunt. Did you use the correct humane hunting techniques and follow the laws? Were you vindictive or addicted to killing animals for only trophy, to make you feel better about yourself or to show that you were worthy of something because of your massive skills? Or were you a gracious hunter that truly enjoyed being outdoors, using appropriate skill, and provided for your family?

The way you do hunting and interact with anti-hunters impacts not only the way the outsiders see ALL of the hunters, but it impacts the way you teach your children to do hunting…or if they will even have things to hunt when they are your age; or guns to hunt with. Be wise and tactful and pick your battles because gun control is a real thing and you are going to have to learn to be civil with this rising majority of people that know nothing about true hunting!! Bam.

 

Dear Anti Hunter,

Regarding:  the arguing hunter

You are right about some of the hunters. As stated previously, the ones that poach and do heinous acts of straight up animal murder should be punished with full extent of the law and more closely regulated and maybe castrated…well that might be a little too far. But in the same situation, if you want to make a difference in changing hunting policies, you cannot judge Mr. Ethical hunter by the same standards as Mr. Idiot hunter. You also cannot judge each hunter by judging hunting as a whole. In my humble-biased opinion you cannot judge until you have been there and experienced this culture for yourself.

I spent half of my life in the city in California (and I had red neck family members so we would camp and go 4 wheeling. I don’t know why I told you that but I didn’t want you to think I was one of those California girls that only went to malls and got their nails done. No offense to those girls. Great now I am offending everyone. Sheesh). Point: I had no idea people really still hunted and when I found out I immediately judged it as something barbaric and well, barbaric. Some of you are probably going through the same thing right now; you did not know this old- fashion way of getting food still exists! I remember thinking,

‘You people actually shoot animals and then you pull their guts out and cut their back straps off’?!

It wasn’t until I moved to Idaho that I was able to see first-hand who these people were and what they were actually doing.

Maybe I was the dense city girl after all, because it was not until I was in my late teens that I honestly put it together and realized that store-bought steak were the cows that I saw being trailered through town. I guess I always thought they were on their way to a fancy farm somewhere. Sadly knowing the truth has not turned me into a vegetarian (I know you hate me now).

But, after I witnessed these great Idaho families taking their kids into the woods and teaching them how to take care of the animal habitats and leave no sign of garbage, and how to hunt and bring home dinner, I was changed. I had my first taste of elk steak and it was just like beef. But that elk had an awesome life frolicking in the mountains, where as my store bought steak was more than likely involved in a dark and dreary lifestyle and end of life. (Check out the documentary Food Inc. on Netflix).

Not only did I see people getting their own natural food, but I got to see fathers (and some mothers) spending quality time with their children out in nature. I know this is not all of the hunters- but it is a lot more than you think! It sounds like I am trying to convince you to change your mind, but I’m not. I am saying if you want to deal with the hunter, you need to understand that they are not all horrid human beings and many of them hunt for very good reasons. Some of these hunters also produce decent children who have a respect for the woods and are better people because their parents spent time with them and they had a family hobby that built confidence in that young girl or boy. And that girl or boy went on and saved the world from aliens when they attack later on…. You never know, anti-hunter.

You also have to understand that the hunters’ paradise is the outdoors. They think about it all year long because this is their time where they get to go sit in a tree in quiet and connect with themselves and actually feel good about being able to provide food for their families. I am only saying that to encourage you to understand that when you say horrible things about these people, know that they are usually people that enjoy peace and quiet and they do not shoot everything they see!  When you threaten their way of life you are saying that everyone should live like you do; you are saying that they should not be allowed to carry on the traditions that have been handed down from their grandpa’s grandma (grandmas hunt too).

Anti-hunters, some of you gather information from the internet or the news and not first hand. Out of all of the anti-hunters and hunters that I have met, hunters are by far the ones that I have seen doing the most for the North Idaho forest and animals. I won’t go into details, but from a semi-non biased opinion, before you knock it, get to know “it”. They are not all a bunch of white trash, uneducated, immoral, animal massacring, and shallow minded hillbillies. Yes, they wear carharts to a fancy dinner (aka Red Lobster) and often end up wearing socks with their sandals in the summer; but that doesn’t cancel out the fact that some of these people are the salt of the earth. You need these kinds of people around to balance out the dark parts of our American culture. And do you really want these people to end up in the cities?

I’m not encouraging you to be quiet, speak up, by all means! Don’t stop. But make sure you know your facts and make sure you understand who the bad guys are and who the good guys are! I have also spent enough time seeing how the bad guys do hunting. Working for the forest service, I came across plenty of fire pits left roaring, trash scattered all around and beer bottles littered through the forest like an Easter egg hunt (this is not very Christian to say, but you guys suck). Keep up the good work with those ones, anti-hunter. I think you guys are groovy in your own way because you are so passionate and care so much. It’s hard to find people that care about much of anything this passionately. Don’t give up, but I hope you also try to have some respect for the population you are shooting your arrows at.

This last summer I was at the lake with one of my best friends, Jess. We had our kids on the dock (I am talking about docks a lot ha-ha) and we were all fishing and enjoying the sunshine. A lady came over with a malamute dog to visit. My over-social daughter was chatting it up with her. The lady said,

“This is pretty much a well-trained wolf. See all of these wolves are not bad animals and people should not be killing them”.

I intervened and steered the kids back to fishing and visited with the lady. I did not get into an argument with her I simply said “I hope you have a lovely time on vacation”. I didn’t know her story and I was not about to start arguing with her in front of my children. Even if we were alone, I’m not sure I would have said too much because I could tell that this lady lived her life to educate people on these wolves and maybe that is what keeps her going. No matter what I said, she would not be changing her mind. And also, how do I know that I have all of the facts 100% correct? Going back and forth and trying to ‘one up’ each other on facts would have been a waste to a beautiful summer day.

But Jess’s husband is one of the founders of the Foundation for Wildlife Management, who actually pays hunters if they are able to harvest a wolf. I couldn’t believe Jess, a hunter herself, had the poise to be quiet on that one. After the woman left, we came up with several things we wanted to say to this woman. I wanted to get her address and have some of our friends trap a mob of wolves and drop them off alive in her back yard so she could start a “wolf rehabilitation program”!

I say that only to also say: children are very impressionable and if you are telling a child that lives in the woods that wolves are not dangerous, you could be putting their lives in danger! I did a lot of de-briefing with my kids on that one about how people all have their point of view and just because someone tells you something, it doesn’t mean it is the truth. But be careful who you impress your beliefs on.

This goes both ways…Hunters and Anti-hunters: Teach your children how to positively interact with the people you disagree with, versus teaching them to be judgmental and full of hatred!

Conclusion:

Just like in most huge debates, there is usually misinformation, uneducated comments and a lot of heated anger involved. The amount of time and energy you two put towards arguing with each other is sometimes humorous because it’s like trying to turn a frog into a butterfly by yelling at it  all of the reasons one should be a butterfly!

This goes for all debates about big topics like this, there will always be the idiot 10% in every group that gives that group a negative reputation. I think of those people that are bigots that call themselves Christians- I always want to yell to the air- we are not all like that! But after one Christian has hurt a non-Christian it makes it hard for that person to like anyone that says they love Jesus! This goes for all groups; I’m sure even the knitting club has a bad apple that makes others not want to join the group. So long story short, (well its getting long now), have a little empathy for the human you are attacking and discernment on if this is the right person to attack!

My last more serious suggestion for all people involved in this is to not only look at the amount of time you are arguing and hating, but think about all of the time you would have to do something that is actually productive.

At the time I decided to not try desperately to save the whales, I was also in college and learning that you know who really needs saving and help- people! I am always so confused how humans can be so concerned about protecting animals and spending millions of dollars to do so (which I am also grateful for, don’t get me wrong its important), when their fellow neighbor is without food or their local foster care children don’t have a safe place to live.

There are some major problems with how Americans take care of their people. Why are there not more Facebook pages dedicated to educating people on the outrageous problems of our own abandoned children in America and the lack of support for our foster care system? What about people being on a mission to change the way pedophiles are allowed to roam loose after a heinous crime? How can we spend so much money on sports and other huge hobbies (although I know it is important for our economy…I get that) when we could actually change someone’s life for the better and give them a fighting chance to change their whole lineage of people that will come after them!

I’ll never forget this documentary I just love called: The Human Experience. Everyone should watch it. But one part particularly stood out to me: these brothers were seeing what it was like to live homeless on the streets. They were sitting on the street and a stray dog came over and sat next to them. A person from the streets came over and picked the dog up and gushed over how sad it was that the dog was cold and hungry, without any thought about the human sitting next to it. Why do we care so much about animals and disregard the needs of our fellow humans? I think it’s because it is easier…But I won’t go too far here. Then there are some people that don’t even care about animals, let alone humans!

I believe people that are passionate about saving animals are an important part of our world eco-system because without the checks and balances, who knows if our animals would even still be around thanks to the 10% of idiot hunters. I also believe hunters are an important part of our culture as well and being able to feed your family free range elk is pretty awesome!

Case and point and then I will shut up….

  1. You two play nice- It takes all kinds of people to make America work!
  2. The tug-of-war of ‘you live my way’ ‘no you live my way’ is a waste of energy!

And

  1. Try a deer dog; you never know what you are missing out on.

www.foundationforwildlifemanagement.org/

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