I’ve heard it said before, and I’m sure you have too. “Hunters all stick together. We are all one big, happy family. A team, right?” But, are we really? Do we all truly support one another? The simple answer, “No”. Not the answer you were expecting? Sorry. But, remember this is just my take on things. You may see it completely differently.
I’ll start by saying that in some ways, hunters are united. True hunters believe in supporting our rights to hunt. We are strong land and wildlife conservationists. And, we all have a respect for the animals we hunt. But, do we respect one another as hunters? Maybe for some hunters, that is true; they have the ability to respect all hunters, simply because they are hunters, and for no other reason than that.
But, that statement does not hold true for all hunters. Get on any social media hunting site or group page and the lack of respect and controversy among hunters becomes very apparent. There are so many points that hunters disagree on, far too many to cover here in one blog. So, I’ll just touch on a couple of the major controversies for now.
Let’s start with high-fence hunting verses fair chase or free range hunting. Boom! There you go. One of the biggest issues out there among hunters. I’m sure you have a very strong opinion on this topic; if you don’t, you are one of a very few. And, yes, I definitely have my opinion on this and I’m not afraid to share it with you. I know it will come with some backlash from a lot of people. Why? Well, because all hunters do not stick together. Anyway, here is my opinion on high-fence hunting. I am against it! There, I said it. I am a 100% fair chase, free range hunter and I intend to stay that way. I won’t go into all the reasons I’m against it; I’ll save that for another day, another article.
How about killing small bucks? Ever seen or heard hunters fight over that? I’m sure you have. It is always a huge controversy. I have seen hunters absolutely bash other hunters over the size of the buck they took. Personally, I hate to see really small bucks taken, but I am not about to attack someone over it. As long as that buck was taken in an ethical and legal manner, then I am good with it. All hunters are not trophy hunters; there are those out there hunting for the purpose of meat only. They are not looking at the rack on top of the head when that buck steps out in front of them. They simply see food for themselves and their families. But, this will always remain a controversy, because there are also those hunters against trophy hunting, just as there are the ones against harvesting small bucks.
Next up, the crossbow. While this debate seems to have calmed down some, it still exists. Some believe using a crossbow is no different than using a gun. They also believe there is no skill involved. I can easily admit that there is definitely a greater skill level involved in using a compound bow. I personally have used both, as well as using a shotgun and muzzle loader. And, the compound bow is not quite as easy as going out with a gun. The crossbow offers some advantages over a compound bow; there is no doubt about that. But, it also has its handicaps as well. I say this is one of those controversies that just needs to go away. The crossbow is an ethical and legal weapon and it has allowed a lot of people to get out there and go hunting that may have otherwise never been able to.
Now, let’s talk about baiting. Do you believe in dumping out corn, apples, acorns, or putting out minerals in front of your stand or blind? You know how you feel about it. And, I guarantee you there are hunters out there that will completely disagree with your opinion. Many find baiting to be unethical and unfair. And, it is even illegal in some places. Others will argue that it is no different than setting up on a natural food or water source, or a main trail, bedding area, etc. So, yes, this is another topic that can lead to heated debates.
There are so many more issues I could cover…. leasing, using trail cameras, hunting exotics, not taking does, and then there are always those fun controversies surrounding hunting celebrities. The list just goes on and on. There is just no way that I could cover them all here. But, I believe I have made my point. No, all hunters do not stick together. Yes, we do band together when it comes to fighting for our hunting rights or maybe to help another hunter in need. But, that may be about it. It is simply not realistic to think that we are one big, happy family. In truth, we are just a large group of individuals that enjoy the same sport.
Well, that’s my take on the whole thing. I would love to know how you feel! As always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions below, or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, this is “Just One Does’ Opinion”.