What We Can Do About The Anti Hunting Movement

Sunset Hunter

Facing Challenges By Anti-Hunting Groups

By Olivia Opre

Olivia Opre
Olivia Opre

As hunters, we face many challenges in the field: weather, migrations, moon phases, terrain and sometimes plain old bad luck. But, with the onset of social media, our challenges in protecting our hunting traditions have moved into our living rooms and increased exponentially. Social media has allowed anti-hunters to claim an identity otherwise too daunting to embrace, while hiding in the safety of their home behind a computer. As their confidence is gained and their true character is revealed, they become more brazen in making ignorant accusations and spewing vitriol that hurts us as individuals and as hunters.

Many of us fear jeopardizing the safety of ourselves, family and our careers; subsequently, we retract by becoming extremely private and oftentimes avoid engaging in any sort of communication on a social media platform. Where this is completely understandable, there are some of us willing and capable of taking on the fight. To those of you free to embrace this battle, there are things we all need to be on the same page about… starting with a similar message based in good science and facts. Hunting is conservation, and we need to be constantly driving this point home to ensure that it is heard.

Hunter Contributions
Hunter Contributions

As hunters, we also need to be cognizant on how we portray ourselves and the use of trigger words like ‘trophy’, ‘record’, etc., so as not to end the argument before it starts. Additionally, the tastefulness of photos we post often sets the stage for reaction. Finding common ground can be a huge help; for instance, most people appreciate the locally sourced food movement and everyone hates poachers.

The future of our traditions depends upon reaching those on the fence about hunting and in educating our youth… the same people who actively engage on social media. Together, we can share all of the facts and create a more positive public image of hunters and hunting.

I support SCI Foundation and you should too. Stand with us to support science-based conservation and education.

Hunter, 2014 SCI Diana Award Recipient, Conservationist, and co-host of “Eye of the Hunter

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Don McDowell, Arizona native, is an avid outdoorsman and has been an active bass pro fisherman for over 16 years and in the past 15 years has developed his own radio show promoting bass fishing and conservation efforts for bass fishing that escalated to nominations with several bass groups and organizations. In the past 12 years, Don has pursued his conservation agenda through AZBFN-TBF as Conservation Director and with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, in the spring of 2014 redesigned his website to include those efforts highlighted below and has increased the AZGFD exposure, public education of the AZGFD and Commission issues on his radio show and website soliciting local and national support for Arizona. 2014 has seen the founding of SRT Outdoors, Inc., 501 C3 organization, “Not for Profit, for Conservation” which is concentrating on grants for mitigating the effects of Gizzard Shad on Roosevelt lake thorough habitat enhancement, Florida Strain Bass stocking, lakes bottom mapping, etc. and feral hog research.

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