Need To Vent...
Posted 06 March 2009 - 04:30 PM
Personally, I find myself just about as upset with these folks as card carrying anti-hunters. Basically, they claim to have been hunters who walked away. (I have my doubts. I think they just liked to "kill stuff". That was all hunting was to them and one day they decided it wasn't "fun" anymore so they quite.) Generally they try to rationalize their decision in many different ways, but it almost always comes down to the same thing if they're honest with themselves... They bought into the, "I don't have to hunt. I can buy meat at the store." lifestyle. (This is the same lifestyle that says, "I don't have to buy from that little hardware store on the corner. I can just pick up what I need at Wal-Mart." But, that's a whole other thread.) They'll tell you that they still support YOUR right to hunt as well as gun ownership. But, when you say, "Great! So, how long have you been a member of the NRA, NWTF, DU (or fill in whatever other gun ownership / wildlife conservation organization you like)?", they look at you like you have a third eye in the middle of your forehead. When you proceed to tell them you didn't think they really supported your way of life they're almost offended. Even when taking them by the hand and explaining that your way of life is under attack daily and that at least when they were still buying a hunting license that a portion of those proceeds went toward helping and now they are not helping at all many still don't get it. They figure since they aren't "actively working against you" that you should just be thrilled. (Except, in a way, they actually are working against you. The apathy, if not hypocrisy, is also a big part of the problem. )
Oh well. There's really no point here. I just needed to get that off my chest. There's really only one thing I still can't figure out though... Why in the world do THEY bring it up? Guilty conscience? Just trying to give you a hard time? I don't get it. (Surely they aren't looking for validation???)
Posted 06 March 2009 - 05:50 PM
Edited by runNgun, 06 March 2009 - 05:50 PM.
Posted 06 March 2009 - 05:55 PM
Edited by Spirithawk, 06 March 2009 - 05:58 PM.
Posted 06 March 2009 - 06:23 PM
Many people are genuinely interested in hunting, even if they don't anymore. There are many reasons. People get too old, have no place to hunt, or can't afford it anymore. Just because someone who used to hunt doesn't anymore, doesn't mean they are anti-hunters and don't support it.
That's a given. But, that's not really what I'm addressing. If someone can't hunt, for whatever reason, then don't. I'll even go further and say that if someone just doesn't want to hunt then they shouldn't. What I'm talking about are the folks who will sit there and tell me that they "fight for my hunting rights" when, in actuality, they do nothing to help the cause. Hey, it's great that maybe they philosophically support hunting or gun ownership. I'd rather have that than the alternative. But, in all honesty, a favorable mindset and about $.75 just might buy a cup of coffee. To me, if you aren't buying a license or any of the other items (ammo, camo, firearms, bows, etc.) that send dollars to the Pittman Robertson fund or you aren't a member of any pro-hunting/gun organizations then you aren't really "supporting hunting" at all. (Not when you compare it to the millions of dollars annually that the anti-hunters rake in to buy and close hunting land as well as lobby legislators etc.) It's the fact that they are kidding themselves and/or trying to blow smoke up my butt that I have a problem with... Not the fact that they simply don't hunt anymore. I guess I should have hammered that point home better. Being articulate isn't often the nature of a rant.
Posted 06 March 2009 - 08:42 PM
A little like Spirithawk I am getting old, have numerous medical problems and am likely the slowest getting up the hill anymore but I still do everything in my power and with what little money I may have to support my passion. Unless a person is totally blind or in ICU there is something that can be done to support hunting even if it is sending an email to your legislators and alerting your hunting friends to do the same or the like. I have a special fondness for the shows I have seen lately that are treating disabled vets to a hunt. When that vet shows up without any legs but still get the opportunity to participate in a hunt it warms my heart as much as the non hunter chills the same.
Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals.
Posted 06 March 2009 - 09:32 PM
I know we have a lot of members here from PA including yourself, so please tolerate me to make an observation of something I REALLY DON'T understand.
I have met more people like you describe ("used-to hunters") from PA than any other state! What the heck is up with that?
PA used to be one of the most hunter friendly states in the Northeast.
I know there's still good hunting there and good times to be had but the folks I've met down here (remember tourists pass through this area) act like there's no hunting left up there anymore. Someone else (or specifically "poachers") killed all the deer and turkeys where I used-to hunt. PA's management practices screwed everything up. Deer just don't get big enough in my area to be legal for those antler restrictions. Everyone shot too many does. I quit. That's their excuses.
If I didn't know other folks from PA I trust I'd be inclined to believe these folks.
But now that you mention it. It really bugs me. It bugs me a lot!!!
Posted 06 March 2009 - 10:23 PM
First of all, you're assessment is accurate. Our numbers of licensed hunters is declining and more and more people are simply throwing in the towel. I think part of it is indeed the "new" management practices. The thing is, it all depends where you go. Places like Allegheny County, for example still have tons of deer and some monster bucks at that. The problem, however, is that there is very little access to hunt there. The few places that may be open for it are generally owned or bordered by people who are not hunter-friendly. (What can I say? It's near the city and Pittsburgh has really "yuppied up" over the past decade or so.)
I know in my experience I'm not seeing deer numbers like I used to. Even car-deer collisions are way down in my area. I honestly do believe it's due to a hunter "kill off" in MY area. (There were too many hunters in MY area to extend doe season to the length they did.) Add in the fact that the PA game wardens themselves are on our local public cable channel (PCNC) talking about how poor the browse is in PA - lacking any real nutritional value in general - and you really do have a situation where bucks aren't able to grow antlers to the size people are expecting will happen with antler restrictions in all areas. I've seen six and seven year old bucks that don't sport enough points to be legal. They never will be legal. Yet, they are the genetically inferior bucks left behind to breed. That's not good. There needs to be a better way to manage the herd. There must be room for common sense. It can't simply be black and white. But, for the life of me, I can't think of any way to make that happen. Too many people really were shooting bucks too young before. The average PA hunter doesn't seem very trustworthy in that area. So, now you go from one extreme to another. The bottom line is that CERTAIN AREAS of PA are definitely hurting. It's sad to see.
All of that said, I believe PA is also highly influenced by the anti-hunting crowd. Remember, while PA used to have the highest number of licensed hunters in the US not too long ago (in my lifetime), we are also the birth place of the modern animal rights movement as we know it. The apathy I am talking about is steadily growing. I can't tell you how many people I know who must just believe that meat grows on trees. They have no problem eating it or wearing leather, etc. But, they just don't see any use for hunting if they can drive to Wally World and buy a pack of ground round. That sort of makes me look at the possibility of laziness. But, I don't think it's just one thing. I think it's all of the above and a changing culture as well. (Right within a five minute drive of my house animal rights activists protested a special goose hunt at a local park. They called the feds trying to claim it was an illegal hunt and everything. Two days after the hunt a buddy of mine spotted someone feeding the geese despite the "NO FEEDING GEESE" signs that have been up for years. Shoot, my own local news channels call it "murder" whenever someone's pet is found dead. )
Posted 21 March 2009 - 12:50 PM
I know it's wrong to generalize and stereotype, but that has been the norm rather than the exception in my experience. I agree with you Jer, hunting is not "killing". Heck if that was the case, then I guess I'm not hunting 99.9% of the time I spend in the woods. But it would then appear that according to my wife, I sure spend a lot of time in the woods that I'm not "hunting". I'll remember to tell her that!
And I also consider this time browsing hunting websites, as part of my hunting experience, just like I also consider my whole lifestyle, that ultimately leads me to the woods all part of the hunting experience. I belong to the provincial sportsman organization through my local fish & game club, and it has reaped me countless rewards as well as supporting overall outdoors activities.
It's unfortunate that our numbers keep dwindling, especially when our numbers have to be strong to combat the ignorance towards hunting by not only anti-hunting activists, but also the complacent fence sitters. They are so easily swayed by sensationalism and the anti's exagerations and lies!
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