It’s a them-against-us world out there, with the tone of today’s political and social discourse often falling down the lines of an, “If you’re not for us, you’re against us,” mentality. For sure, hunting has fallen victim to that mentality from those who surely know what is best for the rest of us, if we would only recognize their unalienable wisdom.
Homegrown like ideological terrorists – if terrorism entailed attacking a lifestyle with ignorance and snobbery simply because you didn’t like to do it – in our nation’s cities and suburbs, the physical and mental distance between country and cultural center only fan the flames of persistent discord. But sometimes you have to wonder, why all the hating? In the immortal words of Rodney King, “Can we all just get along?”
Well, we think we’ve figured out exactly why anti-hunters are from Venus and the rest of us are, well, from Earth. Following are eight of the top reasons anti-hunters can’t stand you.
Don’t believe me? Just take a cruise past the entrance of some of our nation’s finest and newest golf courses and McMansion neighborhoods, and you’ll find names like Hunter’s Glen, Deer Chase or Fox Run, for example. City folks love the rugged image of the outdoorsman chopping wood, carving out the land and standing tall among the wilderness, but too many of them only want to experience it in the pages of Southern Living, from the bug-free safety of a screened-in porch or from the climate-controlled interior of a Lexus rambling down a paved road at Yellowstone.
Despite this, it irks them that they can’t claim the term “outdoorsman” for any of the activities they find acceptable. Whether you camp, hike, kayak or rock climb, you still aren’t an outdoorsman. Nope. That term is reserved for a hunter – and our consumptive angling brethren – and nobody else.
But to deal with the conflicts caused by too much human-wildlife interaction, a lot of these parks have turned to managed hunts – which for the sake of bumbling nonhunters who would ignorantly speed-walk right into the middle of a hunt – are closed to everyone but those people hunting at the time. This irks the heck out of anti-hunters, who have to go walk their dogs or play disc golf somewhere else for a day or two. If they’re jealous, they’re always welcome to take a hunter ed course, toss on some orange and climb into a stand.
Disagree? Tell you what. Put on some city camo – like a nice blue – and I’ll bust out some Break-Up or Max4, and let’s hit the wooded paintball range. I’m almost positive I will find you and light you up with multiple splotches, like Predator hammering Carl Weathers in some Central American jungle.
With at least four networks dedicated to hunting and fishing programming, and a number of other cable and regional networks airing hours of the same type of programs, it sometimes seems like nearly any guy or girl with the money and energy can have their own show on outdoor TV. Nothing works an out-of-work drama grad more than watching someone like Spook Spann or Jimmy Big Time rocking the tube four to five times a week.
I couldn’t help but intrude on the conversation to let him know that he had broken a federal law in killing those geese and that, while I sympathized, he might want to be sure he didn’t do it again. His face turned ashen as he verbally stumbled from what he had already admitted.
That’s the problem with antis. If I’m out hunting something legally that I plan to eat, I’m a goon who doesn’t care about other creatures. But if it’s a deer, goose or squirrel eating his flowers or fouling his yard, it’s perfectly legit for him to juice the creature and dump its carcass in the trash or a wood lot somewhere. That’s some bizarre logic.
On the flip side, a lot of anti-hunters actually think animals live like that. Sure, they can be cute and they are beautiful, but it’s important to maintain a realistic perspective on the human-animal relationship, as well as develop a basic understanding of population dynamics and the need to maintain a balanced ecosystem. Of course, I admit, if I’m ever bearing down on a wide-racked 10-pointer and he raises up on his hind legs, raises his front ones and screams, “Hey, don’t shoot,” I’ll probably hold off on the shot. But until then…
Hunters also do this often sitting in the rain, where others would run for cover, and they scout through the woods for the best places to hunt, where others would never dare wander from the trail. Self-reliant folks just flat-out irk anti-hunters, and no one in our society is more self-reliant than the hunter.
People are afraid of things they don’t understand. Want to help the cause of hunting? Take an anti-hunter, non-shooting friend out for a day at the range. They’ll love it, and if enough of us share our sport with others, we’ll probably find a lot of our opponents getting off our case, and at least spending time making our lives miserable in other, less annoying ways.