There was a time when hunters were revered as providers, adventures and even heroes. A societal shift has transformed the perception of the hunter/provider into an un-educated, reckless, blood thirsty animal hater. As a result hunters and hunting became recluse and stepped into the background, not because we were ashamed but because we did not want to offend the non-hunting public” the middle ground”. I remember when I took hunter safety back in the early 80’s one of the things we were told was never to flaunt our harvest because we do not what to offend anyone. This mentality of keeping to ourselves and sticking to the background was a sound practice back then. But it came with consequences: 1) We never took main stream credit for the good that we do, we never informed the main stream public that the majority of conservation was made possible due directly to the efforts and dollars of the hunter. So the middle ground was left to believe whatever they were influenced to believe. 2) While we were in the background our opposition was doing the opposite and taking a very public very “in your face” approach to pushing their agenda, infiltrating main stream media, using big name public figures, funding for movies and planting seeds in the minds of our young. 3) We no longer live in an age where we can shield the middle ground from our harvests. Social media and the internet allows information good and bad to travel at the speed of light and a picture that is intended for our friends and family to see may get placed in the eyes of a non-hunter. The anti-hunting public has exploited this and uses it to paint the picture and direct the narrative to make us look like we are evil.
Our silent work in the background approach has left us at a disadvantage, Anti-hunting have been building mountains of propaganda designed to discredit our efforts in conservation. Moreover, they have become masterful at directing the narrative and using our own content against us. It’s so important now more so than ever that we become unified and start “marching” to the same drum, that we continue to recruit and cultivate new hunter conservationists, that we educate the non-hunting public about the truth about conservation and the role we play in it.
1)To help the hunting industry unite and become a community: Through Social media efforts and our panel of industry influencers we aim to unite our industry into a community. We all don’t hunt the same or for the same reasons but we all love hunting.
2)Help educate hunters the importance of portraying ourselves in a manner that shows our true drive and passion not just the trophy : Our Goal is to establish astandard of conduct that will minimize the ability for the anti-hunting groups to use our own content against us.
3)Educate non-hunters in the good that we do as a community and the importance of hunting within the north American conservation model: One goal is to have a curriculum introduced in 5th -6th grade social studies that would teach children the North American conservation model. Another goal is to produce and distribute “Hug a Hunter” media to help bring awareness to the non-hunting public where funding comes from for wildlife management and restoration. Also, to produce and distribute articles based in fact that will shine a light on the truth in main stream media.
4)Recruit and cultivate new hunters: We will promote a grassroots movement to get our community to introduce new hunters to the lifestyle of hunting