"How could you shoot doves, they're so sweet. Shame on you!"
"And did you eat that bear? Doubt it."
"A hippo, really!?! Why on Earth would you kill a hippo?"
Statements and questions like the ones above are typed every minute into the comment sections of pro-hunting sites, posted by anti-hunters. However these comments were not posted by animal rights activists; sadly they were typed by fellow hunters, being hateful and disrespectful to those within their very own community.
We have to stop being so negative towards each other; we should be standing side-by-side, not tearing one another apart! And what's the reason for the nasty back-and-forths, why? We all hunt differently; archery vs firearm, big vs small game, public vs private land, etc. Call it a sport, a hobby, a lifestyle; but these petty arguments only help the groups who are looking to ban hunting, some even with worldwide goals.
The extreme animals rights activists are using phrases & hashtags, such as #HuntTheHunters #KillTheHunters #OpFunKill #DOxTeamSix Most of these tags are linked with hateful slander by uneducated people, confusing legal hunts with poaching and stating that (example) most of the animals hunted in Africa are endangered, then citing inaccurate numbers. These people sit behind anonymity typing insults and encouraging threats and violence over their social media accounts and personal websites.
Most of the negativity lately, that I've seen, is fueled from exotic hunts which now is simply being labeled as trophy hunting. But when you actually break it down and think about it, these hunts are no different than any other non-resident hunt. My example to you:
- I live in Missouri, our most popular hunting seasons here are whitetail deer and eastern turkey. I want to hunt bighorn sheep. (This is actually my dream hunt, I so badly want to stalk and bring home a ram!) Obviously these animals are not native to Mo, so I would have to travel across the country, landing somewhere along the Rocky Mountains. I'd be purchasing a non-resident hunting license, with any out of state license, I'm expecting it will cost me about three+ times the pricing of a resident tag. Along with hiring a guide because I'm in no way familiar with this area and terrain. My ideal adventure would be spending a few days hunting, fishing, and taking in the amazing scenery with my husband.
Traveling around the country to hunt is not uncommon. I know people who travel state to state to hunt wild game. An easy trip from Missouri to Kansas offers hunters the chance to hunt mule deer vs whitetail deer. Or a trip from Missouri to Texas would give a hunter the opportunity to hunt Rio Grande vs eastern turkey. It also is very common to go deep sea fishing while vacationing in the Gulf or the Keys.
- Now I ask you, what's the difference between hunting (or fishing) as an out of state non-resident vs hunting in Africa? Because after taking out public opinion and calmly thinking about these hunts, there is really no difference! A fellow hunter wants to hunt a species that is not native to wherever they live. So they travel. A guide is hired. The required permits/licenses are purchased. They target practice beforehand, they walk, they stalk, they listen, they sweat, they fight off mosquitoes, they patiently wait for just the right shot, they hit their target, they track if necessary, they are grateful when they've recovered the animal, they are thankful for the life that will now provide meat, and they smile thinking about their amazing experience.
These hunters have done nothing wrong nor have they hunted any differently than any of us would locally. We ALL deserve support and respect from fellow hunters. I would much rather stand together now to protect hunting than implode our heritage and our rights from the inside!
Thanks for following along, Sarah
September 10th, 2015
LIVE LOVE HUNT