September 29, 2020

How To Deal With The Anti-Hunting Crowds

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I am reminded of a book written by Ann Coulter, the flamboyant conservative who certainly can ruffle the feathers of all liberals and most moderates and raise an eyebrow or two on other fellow conservatives with her cutting commentary, high intellect and cut-to-the-chase approach in dealing with subject matter that most people would try to tiptoe around. The title the book I am reminded of is “How to Talk To a Liberal, If You Must”.

While I may not be suggesting that we as hunters should deal with the anti-hunting crowds in the same fashion as Ann Coulter would, I am saying we should deal in truth, exposing the antis for what they are and what they believe in, not be ashamed to be a hunter and never be afraid of what might happen because we believe that hunting is a valuable heritage worth saving.

History shows that in dealing with fanatics, and in the case of some animal rights groups and anti-hunting and anti-gun groups this is what we are up against, that any sign of weakness or a division among normally allied interests provides an opportunity for these organizations to launch an attack.

In many conversations, there is inevitably one or more individuals who will choose the politically correct route in order to not offend an anti. It should be known that an anti is not going to think you are a nice person and decide their agenda is no longer worth a fight because you chose to speak softly about hunting in an attempt to paint a more “humane” picture of what it is we do. This only serves to provide them a chance to look for the jugular.

This isn’t to say that we should pull the hammer back and take no prisoners. The last thing we need to do is act the way they do. I should point out that even though many of these animal rights, anti-hunting and anti-gun groups are well funded, they are not in the majority in their beliefs.

It is my belief that we should emphasize science when dealing with wildlife management issues and proudly hold our heads high for the value that hunting has brought to our forefathers, ourselves and hopefully our children to come. We should not show these groups and individuals that we are willing to compromise our heritage to appease them and keep them off our backs. I assure you they will not quit nor go away. We must be prepared at all times to fight.

In the war against hunting, the battles are small and designed to chisel away at whatever means they can find to divide and conquer and weaken the coalition of hunters. Hunters and hunting groups have commonly disagreed on some aspects of wildlife management, ethics and just about every aspect of our sport but ultimately the common goal has remained the same – save hunting and make it better.

But there is a bit of stench coming through the air that has gone beyond what most of us are accustomed to seeing in dealing with our differences. It is my hope that these issues will only prove to make our coalition stronger in the end and not weaken our resolve.

In Pennsylvania, the angry United Sportsmen of Pennsylvania group has filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Game Commission because they don’t like the way the deer herd there is being managed. While anyone and any group has the right to conduct such an act, everyone needs to make the effort to address only the issues at hand and not destroy the strong coalition of Pennsylvania hunters. These are pretty drastic measures taken by one hunting group.

In Idaho and Oregon, the governments there are working to ban elk farming. In Idaho, some are upset over elk that escaped this summer from a ranch. The fear was for the spread of disease and destruction of the gene pool. Aside from the fact that no domestic elk in Idaho has ever tested positive to CWD or brucellosis, the fish and game department, along with some hunting clubs, have called for eliminating elk farming over fears that is will destroy elk hunting.

This is an issue to be dealt with by the citizens of that state but it stands to set further precedent for the rest of us. The unfortunate thing that has occurred and one that I know hunting clubs will someday regret, is these hunting clubs have teamed up the the Humane Society of the United States in order to ban elk farming. These groups are jumping into bed with the same organization that wants to shut them down.

The best way to deal with the anti-hunting crowds is not to join their side. One can only think that those fighting the elk farming in Idaho have such a poor opportunity to get what they want they had to resort to joining forces with one of the biggest groups opposed to hunting. This makes no sense at all, none.

United we stand. Divided we fall.

Tom Remington

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