Don’t Hate… Congratulate!

My husband and I were talking the other day about the support or sometimes lack of support from hunters. Don’t get me wrong the majority of hunters speak highly of each other, support each other, and enjoy each other’s company regardless of their choices in hunting. With hunting season in full swing there are Facebook posts, text messages, forum posts, and emails of pictures of deer and other animals harvested being sent back and forth between friends and strangers alike. I love hearing about other people’s hunts and stories of their harvested animal but what I have noticed is that instead of a solid “congratulations” being extended the hunter is bombarded with questions immediately…

– Was it killed on a low fence or high fence ranch or property?

– Did you take it with rifle, bow, crossbow etc?

– Were you using bait?

– Was it a guided hunt?

All of these questions are good ones to ask if you truly want to know more about the hunt, but it seems these questions are being asked with judgment ready to slam down on the hunter and discount their happy moment of success. They pick apart the hunt piece by piece until all the fun, excitement, and thrill is gone. I am not sure if it stems from jealousy, anger, or frustration but it shouldn’t exist among fellow hunters.

The answers to those questions may change some people’s views on how good of a kill it really is or if it was moral and ethical etc, but we all need to understand that there are so many different laws and regulations for each state that maybe all hunting isn’t equal. Texas is mostly privately owned land with a lot of high fence ranches & Texas allows for baiting. Not all states allow for this and many states consist of public land and don’t allow baiting. (I am not going to discuss the debates around what methods are baiting and if it’s right or wrong in this blog – ill save that topic for a little later…). But should a harvested animal be negated because his/her state does/doesn’t allow baiting, was taken with a rifle instead of a bow or someone had a little help harvesting it?

I think we can all agree that some methods of hunting and some weapons of choice are more difficult than others to harvest an animal BUT there are so many groups, organizations, and individuals out there against us hunters, what we do, and the real reasons we do it, that this divide cannot exist among ourselves. Instead we should truly congratulate anyone who makes a legal kill regardless of method, land, or weapon because at least they are out in the field making a difference and doing it. At least they are putting in some effort of getting outdoors, maybe bringing their family along, learning about the adventure and sport of hunting and supporting conservation and management. And at least they aren’t against us fighting for gun bans and removal of our rights. Maybe if they just started hunting those questions could make them feel inferior or even push them away. A little support however, could be just enough to spark an interest in a lifelong rifle hunter to pick up a bow next season or peak their interest in hunting in a different state with different rules.

Regardless of all the choices out there on how, what, where and when we hunt, we as hunters, men, women & children, need to stick together, learn from each other and teach each other, offer advice and just support each other. The next time you talk to a hunter or see someone in a picture with an animal they just harvested, congratulate and high five them, because regardless of all the details, they did it and that deserves respect in itself. Let them tell the story before you start asking questions and they might just surprise you with what they have to say.




Nov 11, 2012 | Category: Blog | Comments: none


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