I am not a sport hunter, but when anti-hunters began a targeted online smear campaign towards Melissa Bachman, hunters everywhere took notice. Even as someone with no real inclination to hunt abroad, I couldn’t help but feel as though they were attacking all of us. The prevalent feeling among hunters I’ve talked with is that if a hunter can be endlessly slandered and attacked in Africa when they’ve obeyed every game law there, it won’t be long until the same fight comes to our shores.
There is a section of the global population that genuinely HATES hunters. It is not a reasonable contempt or simple disdain, it is a deep seated hatred.
Their arguments are often rooted in a fundamental desire that no animals be harmed by a human for any reason. They fight with raw emotion and don’t hesitate to insult, demean, and threaten hunters. Things like “I’d rather see him/her dead than that beautiful animal” are as prevalent as their inability to understand their own hypocrisy.
We must make our stance known, but you can’t expect a sensible conversation from someone who is incensed by a hunter legally harvesting a game animal that will feed themselves or someone else, all while they wear leather and eat a cheeseburger.
I would advise hunters to adjust your targets.
We can’t reach the irrational and hateful, so don’t engage them. Quite simply, there is no point in arguing with them.
Focus on the sensible individuals who have no experience with hunting or simply haven’t decided how they feel about it. Give them the facts they need to make an informed decision. We MUST show them that hunting is more than just a dead animal and a photograph.