Love hunting?

The time to fight for our love of hunting is now.

As hunters, we need to get our shit together. The anti’s are strong, organized, and seemingly more united than we are. Worse, their numbers are growing. Their misleading campaigns to discredit the hunters argument are aggressive and well funded. They are in it to win it, and us? Not so much.

Hunters seem to be growing more divided with each other while also ignoring the growing threat to our heritage and lifestyle. Bow hunting versus rifle. To score or not to score. Residents and non-residents. Shooting mature only or meat hunting. The list goes on. Meanwhile, the anti-hunting groups out there are sharing hyped statistics and cooperative propaganda on every platform they can find.

The irony with all this is that factual evidence is on the side of the hunter. Net gains in thriving wildlife, growing herds, public land access, and habitat improvements can all be traced back to hunting. In fact, if it weren’t for a particular dude that had a passion for hunting and public land, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation and the anti’s would have nothing to wrongly advocate for. That dude was Teddy Roosevelt.

In fact, if you don’t have it already, I would highly recommend you pick up this book. It breaks down the entire history of how hunting and land management began in America, and it’s a damn good read. Click on the picture to order, this is an #ad.

Personally, I bow hunt and rifle hunt. I like both the meat and mature animals, but this depends on what I’m hunting and sometimes more importantly, where I’m hunting. I have never scored my antlers, but use it as a basic tool to describe an animal I’ve taken or seen, and all by an educated guess.

However, these are strictly my personal preferences and I don’t care to try and convince others to do it my way. More so, I don’t talk smack to folks that do like to score their antlers or only hunt with a bow, etc… It’s not my business. My business is hunting and protecting my passion against those that seek to destroy it. I’m asking you, as a fellow hunter, to join me in this fight.

I will not stand idly by and allow a bunch of misguided activists that base their advocacy solely on emotion and feelings instead of hard facts take my right to hunt away. Period.

Let’s take a look at an example of some of the divisions hunters have. I screen shot this argument from a post on Facebook. Somebody had shot a decent little buck, and this was the typical result:

The above exchange is mild compared to some, but it highlights a couple important points. First, hunters are passionate about their beliefs and are not afraid to share them. Second, it shows how quickly two hunters can become divided and hateful when in reality, outside of social media, they would probably get along great. Here’s my take-away; instead of arguing with each other, turn that energy and fire against the anti-hunting community.

Here’s why; they have that energy and fire against us, and for no good reason. I’m not saying that we need to be marching in the streets like a bunch of poorly dressed left-wing asshats. We just need to redirect our beliefs and passion where it will help us.

In the end, the vast majority of hunters have the same goal. We want to be left alone and hunt the way we want to. We want to fill our freezers and enjoy success in the field. We want to have fun with the success by sharing photos and stories with other like-minded outdoorsman. We thrive on the memories of past hunts and live for the promise of future seasons.

The problem lies with being left alone. Make no mistake, there are people who are organized and actively fighting to take it all from us. We cannot ignore it any longer. It is a rising tide and is threatening hunting and trapping like never before. Take a look at this Facebook page, one of many, called “Anti-Hunting USA” in which they predictably put a huge focus on poaching to paint an image against all hunters. Here is the link. In this single social media group, sixteen thousand people follow it. That is well above most hunting pages, with the exception of a few.

Still think they’re not committed to the complete destruction of hunting? Simply type “anti-hunting” into the Facebook search bar or even Google. The options to join, advocate, promote, and fund anti-hunting efforts is endless. While we focus our commitment on hunting, they focus their commitment on taking away our rights. Check this headline out that Sportsman’s Alliance posted:

You see? That’s commitment. Right or wrong, this is what we are up against and it’s getting worse. So, what are we going to do about it?

I didn’t join the Marine Corps Infantry because I’m afraid to rumble. We need to fight back, and no, I’m not promoting violence. Here is the actionable game plan that I have been working on, and it’s a work in progress.

  1. We MUST reduce the tension and animosity between hunters on social media outlets. In order to do this, we all have to agree on a simple premise: although our methods and goals may differ, we are all after the same result and other hunters are MY people.
  2. We have to all pay attention to the rising tide of anti-hunters. Know them, monitor their groups and monitor their arguments. Research through their own websites and social media platforms and understand these people.
  3. Know the facts. This is where The Western Huntsman website will become a tool for you. This is merely the introductory topic article, keep your eyes peeled for upcoming posts that are packed with factual information that you can learn and share. This is important, if we have to fight, we have to know what we’re fighting for!
  4. Unite with other hunters in positive engagement. We are a community, give that “like” to another hunters post. Go to hunting events like banquets, meetings, and pint nights. Get to know all the hunters you can, it will feed into our sense of community and provide a stronger fighting spirit against the anti’s who are already doing this in their community.
  5. Engage them. Armed with the information and community, don’t let them get away with propaganda. When they share a stupid anti-hunting link on a post, debunk it with facts in the comments section. Write your own articles or make a video. Share information with people who don’t hunt so they don’t fall victim to the anti’s crap. If they’re organizing an anti-hunting rally, organize a pro-hunting rally across the street. Just engage in any way possible, show them that we are here, passionate, and willing to fight for our heritage.

This is all just a starting point. I wrote this article to maybe help get you thinking, if you weren’t thinking about this before. In future articles, I will provide mountains of data that support wildlife management through hunting. My hope is that you will use this data to combat our common enemies.

I firmly believe that our passion for hunting is stronger and mightier than their commitment to ending it. All we have to do is stand together and show them.

I hope hunting season was filled with memories and maybe even some meat and antlers. Whichever way you chose to hunt this last fall, just know that I am always rooting for your success. Here’s a fist bump to you, thanks for reading!

Jim Huntsman

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