Sponsored by: Bear ArcheryI have never really been the type of person who is concerned with what others think or what their viewpoint may be when it differs from mine. I have never been that person who is easily offended nor who gets upset over someone else’s opinion. I believe in the freedom of speech and also in a person’s desire to express their position. I also believe that in life there are many differing preferences. Not issues that are necessarily black and white, right or wrong, but a lot of room exists for a person’s freedom of choice. A preference may vary greatly and still not be wrong. I guess living in the greatest country in the world has taught me the value of people’s preferential freedom even when it greatly differs from mine. I also have been taught by parents and have learned as I have matured in life that there is no need to ever attack an individual over their preferences when they differ from mine. When it is a matter of life and death, purely wrong and right, then there exists a point when we must stand, but we still can do so with respect, courtesy, and kindness, but stand we must. There also exists many points in life when we must just agree to disagree about our preferences when they differ and do so with a mutual respect. I really don’t care that people are out there who don’t like hunting. I am not concerned that someone else chooses to be a Vegan or Vegetarian. I don’t even care that they share their opinions or that they choose to express themselves about their beliefs. I have no concern that they choose to have different preferences than I hold. Although I think most of their viewpoints are frankly stupid and that they are missing out on some life’s greatest experiences, it really doesn’t matter to me because they have that right to live their lives how they please even if it is depleted of meat or hunting or the experiences that we as outdoorsman and women get to encounter. If I don’t agree with their viewpoint or if I don’t like what they stand for then I simply don’t look at it, read it, or spend time with them. I like engaging in a good debate about any given topic. As a guy who grew up in the Northeast I have never really shied away from a good conversation about differing preferences. I wish I can say my goals have always been pure in such debates, but that has not always been the case. If I really believe in something and there is an intrinsic value in it from my experience then I want everyone else to experience it also. I am a passionate person and love discussions of differences and often approach them with zeal, but do my best not to let emotion lead the way. As of late, on social media and through many discussions, I have observed a growing attack on the hunters and the hunting industry by those who are opposed to such activities. This attack has been at times ruthless and hateful and very rarely has it been amicable. I have personally engaged some people in discussion about the myth that lions are extinct or that elephants are almost gone. I have shared facts and also what I have personally seen with my own eyes. They have not moved to wanting to hunt them, but they have made a more intelligent observation based upon more fact and less emotion. A few people have even apologized for their Facebook comment or their Instagram post. This was a result of two people who hold differing viewpoints having a respectful exchange while being open to hear each other, respect each other, and be lifelong learners who realize maybe we don’t really know everything.
Out of that attack and from the ensuing attack that came to me and Journey Hunts because of Alison’s post and her affiliation to me and because of my life choices that I put out there, I would like to make the following observations about the majority of this group. I usually don’t group people together because even though people choose the same preferences they are still individuals and differ. But in this case I have learned some common ground among this group that I think needs to be expressed.
They are arrogant.
This is the first thought that comes to mind when thinking of all the Anti-Hunter individuals and groups. There is an elitist, “I am better than you” attitude that prevails. I could list comment after comment of all the wealth of arrogance and pride, but I don’t want to take up space here by doing so. I have regularly seen comments that elude to the stupidity of the hunter and they are always making comments about misspelling or English mistakes posted by hunters. They don’t have any problem at all using degrading and profanity laced language in their own comments, but I guess that is a sign of intelligence.
They are misinformed.
At the core of the issue is this fact. The normal Anti-Hunter is misinformed about the realities that exist. They think the information that they have been fed by the groups that have a specific agenda against hunters is accurate and correct. They believe that elephants in South Africa and the surrounding countries are almost extinct. They believe that there is a great shortage of lions in the same region. They believe what they have been told because it is in line with what they want to believe. I have traveled often to South Africa the last few years and I can tell you that not only is there not a shortage of these animals, but that on the border of Botswana the elephants are doing great damage to the habitat because there are so many of them. That I have seen it firsthand. I didn’t have to have someone feed me agenda driven information that is in line with my position.
They know no bounds.
I am not a hateful guy. I am a God fearing (I know they hate that) man that loves the Lord and generally loves people. I have short comings just like the next guy, but in general I try and show the love of Christ to all I come in contact with. This group makes this very difficult to do. It is incredibly difficult when they throw out Scripture, out of context, to support their positions. To say these people and groups know no bounds is an understatement. While my friends get their photos and pages removed from Facebook for posting harvest photos with no blood even showing, these individuals make threats, use profanity, accuse falsely, and attack in the most of aggressive verbal manner and nothing happens to them. I have personally turned in many comments and individuals for review on Facebook and even when it comes to threating my life or my family’s life not one has ever come back in my favor. I guess that tells us a bit about where social media stands. I was glad to know that when one individual that I know well turned the threats over to the police that they followed up and even got the FBI involved. These people know no bounds and in there cry for tolerance they are the most intolerant bunch I know.
They are hateful, obstinate and aggressive.
I made this point in the last point but it needs to be said again. The level of hatred, aggression and obscenities that they spill out of their supposedly over intelligent minds is crazy. These people have even gone so far as to threaten on social media my 12 year old daughter’s life because she simply took a photo with her massive mule deer buck that she shot. They have elevated the life of an animal clearly over the life of a human and in their blind rage they have missed the mass confusion that they live in.
They are cowards.
I find these individuals and groups to be generally cowardice in their approach. They make comments on Facebook, Instagram, and the like talking of their hatred and dislike and threats, but none have been willing to meet face to face to discuss it. I did have one guy in London who actually told me he would be glad to meet with my if I am passing through at some point and I think I will take him up on it when my travels take me there. In the mean time I copied his threat and sent it to the owner of the financial company he works for to show him the kind of people he has working for him. Nothing has come of it that I know of, but are they really that intelligent that they use their work email to message threats and not think it is easy to find it out. Another act of cowardice is taking action by anonymous forms. This is common with these individuals who constantly make up false accounts to attack hunters while keeping their real selves hidden. Cowards.
They are relentless.
I have found this to be a fact. These individuals and groups are united and well organized. Therefore, I have found them to be relentless. They get all their cronies to attack one of us a time and continue to do so with full force. I had them attacking my ratings on my Facebook page for my business and overcame it for about a week while running more ratings than they did within our hunting community. Eventually though I pulled the rating system because that was there for clients who actually hunted with us to rate us and not for a game to be played. Only someone with no life would have the amount of time to spend on issues like these. I just won’t commit the time needed to combat some of the stupidity because I have better things to do. They are often backed by financial support.
These groups are often well funded. They have been able to use money to get their agenda and word out there. Because they are united, and sometimes more united than hunters, they have been effective in their use of money to make some headway. Because of arrogance and pride, they seem to regularly set themselves up for faltering and stumbling and they waste more and more money trying to still make headway.
They are inconsistent.
This is the ultimate summary. They are inconsistent. They hate hunters who kill their own source of protein and know that it is safe from drugs and hormones for their family to eat while they claim to be health conscience. Some of them who are meat eaters (although most seem not to be) are even more ignorant because they think we are awful for causing pain to the animals we harvest. Obviously they have never checked out the process through which they get their meat. I don’t care that they choose to eat meat nor do I care where their meat comes from, but the irony of their arguments are ridiculous.
They condemn me and others like me for killing animals, but many of the Anti-Hunters are pro-abortion. Again they put the life of an animal above the life of a human and they even threaten our lives to prove the point. One wacko even told me I should be scared of Antis that carry guns, yet exposing another inconsistency in their faulty belief system.
They often use Scripture with me because I am a Pastor to show where I have gone astray in my love of hunting from the Bible’s perspective. I can promise you that my chosen hobby and provision of meat for my family is well supported from the Scriptures and I will address that in another article. I have yet to find one individual who can defend an Anti-Hunting perspective form the Bible in context. Another inconsistency. My final point is that we as hunters need to set aside our differences of opinion about our methods and means of hunting and unite strongly by supporting one another when we come under attack. We need to avoid the same kind of pride and arrogance that exists within their ranks so that we are able to stand on an individual basis, a political basis, and a group basis so that we don’t lose ground in our lifestyle choice of hunting.
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