Anti-hunters and animal rights advocates are famous for saying stupid things. Here are a few of the dumbest.
I recently shared a photograph on my Stumpjack Outdoors Facebook page of a hunter holding a very large wolf.
The photo generated a tremendous amount of feedback, at least partly in response to the accompanying text I included.
We decided that we weren't going to be bullied by anti-hunters or animal rights zealots, and we weren't going to give them a platform from which to air their vulgar and ignorant opinions.
Here's what I wrote with the photograph:
Let us be very clear here. We will not tolerate hateful, rude or stupid comments on this page. We support hunting and sound wildlife management practices. That includes hunting and managing all species, including large predators. If you try to make any ridiculous and hateful comments your comment will be deleted and you will be blocked/banned from the page. Simple as that.
There are many reasons to harvest predators, including meat acquisition, population control, wildlife management goals for both predator and prey species, fur, adventure, problem or nuisance animals, domestic livestock depredation, and environmental balance. There is nothing wrong with killing large predators if done with these precepts in mind.
Emotional responses that ignore biology and science are not valid reasons either for or against hunting.
We're posting this picture because we received some hateful comments on our last mountain lion photo. We won't be dissuaded or bullied by social media bullies and ignorant animal rights people. If you don't like these kinds of photos then simply keep scrolling or don't visit the page anymore. Try to be a mature adult. Your negative opinions won't sway anyone and aren't nearly as important as you think they are.
Source: Byron Wolf
@Wolf Huntin Adventures
We got thousands of responses. Most were positive but a significant number were in fact rude, vulgar, ignorant, and just plain stupid. It was about what we've all come to expect from the anti-hunting/animal rights crowd. We deleted those ugly comments and banned the people who made them.
We also tried to address legitimate questions and comments that were sincere and polite. I was dumbfounded by the number of anti-hunting/animal rights arguments that repeated themselves over and over again. These arguments have become so common with the anti-hunting crowd that you'd think these folks were following a script. I suppose they are.
This in spite of the fact that their emotional contentions have long been debunked or countered with sensible, reasoned arguments.
But that is the nature of this debate. It is really emotion versus logic, and unfortunately logic will never trump emotion when it comes to changing minds or convincing people of the ridiculousness of their point-of-view.
Here are the most common "arguments" we received.
"They were here first."
If anti-hunters truly believed in and adhered to this policy, then where does that leave them as far as their own existence is concerned? Some animals certainly lived on the land currently occupied by the home or apartment where the anti-hunter lives. If logical consistency mattered at all, should not the anti-hunter give up their home--nay, tear down their home--and return the land to the animals?
But at the core of this argument is the incorrect notion that humans have not occupied the same lands along with animals for thousands of years. This silly argument also highlights the disconnect from nature that so many people suffer from today. They see humans as separate from nature, not as a part of the natural system.
Humans have been a part of nature since humans have been on the planet. It can rightly be said that hunters are the ones who are doing what comes naturally, as in being a part of nature. Plus, we were here first, with animals. We walked, received sustenance from, lived, and died, along with our wild animal counterparts, in these very same lands for eons.
"Pictures of people smiling with dead animals is sick."
This is a purely emotional argument. It is personal opinion, nothing more. What one person finds sick someone else may find uplifting, and vice-versa.
I may find someone's photographs of them standing by their automobile to be stupid or sick. After all, cars are bad for the environment, yet here these people are, smiling next to an object that promotes pollution and environmental degradation (I don't really find such photos distasteful at all, but you get my point).
The same could be said of just about any photograph. Hunters obviously take photographs for the same reasons all people take photographs. They want to memorialize the moment, the completion of something arduous and noteworthy. Just as early humans painted on cave walls to memorialize their interactions with wildlife, so too do modern hunters. They want to capture their moments with wild game.
A photograph is, in fact, a symbol of respect. Respect for the quarry, respect for its abilities, and respect for the hunter's ability to overcome his or her disadvantages in relation to the game species. A photograph is a talisman that will always conjure memories of the hunt, of the hunter's relationship to that animal. Yes, even his or her love for that animal.
To many hunters a photograph is a memento as important as the antlers, hide, and meat. To not take a photograph--or collect the antlers, hide or meat--and to not smile even though there is an element of sadness associated with taking a life, would be unusual. A photograph, in my opinion, shows that you really care or value that animal.
"Hunters are murderers."
First off, murder is a term that only applies to a human interaction. You cannot, technically, murder an animal.
But several people equated animal lives with human lives, saying such ridiculous things as 'How would you react if someone shot your child/spouse/neighbor?' as though the two actions could be equated. This is an animal rights group talking point straight out of the PETA handbook (Side note: If ever there was an organization that has covered itself in shame and should have long ago disappeared into obscurity, PETA is it...it's a wonder this bunch has been able to survive at all).
This is a common anti-hunting phrase that is truly dumb. If anti-hunters uttering such drivel actually thought for just a moment about it, they would surely realize the lack of intelligence embedded in this statement.
Hunters spend millions of dollars on hunting licenses and hunting gear; spend countless days scouting, studying, and preparing for the hunting season; adhere to both state hunting regulations and a code of hunting ethics; immerse themselves into the natural world in search of an experience that provides them with healthy, life-giving meat; not to mention donate their time and money to wildlife and habitat projects. All for the slim chance to "murder" or simply kill animals? It's a preposterous allegation.
Hunting is about the experience, the total nature-oriented experience. Murder is as far from the reality of it as you can possibly get. It's a clueless, automated, and ridiculous emotional response to a noble pursuit that these folks simply don't understand.
"Nature doesn't need humans to balance it."
Declaring that nature can balance itself at least has some semblance of truth to it, although unfortunately that truth is no longer viable. At one time it could probably be fairly said that nature could indeed balance itself, for better or worse. Nowadays, not so much.
The vast, untamed wilderness of 150 years ago has long since shrunk to the point that there is virtually no place in the United States that humans do not have an impact on.
The bottom line is we humans demand what we consider a balanced natural system to be the system in place. As wildlife users--whether that be as hunters, wildlife watchers, hikers, campers, anglers, photographers, or any other wildlife-centric activity we undertake--we want a landscape harboring a balanced, healthy population of wildlife.
That's why hunting is so important. As a wildlife management tool it helps keep natural predators and prey animals in check. Wildlife agencies depend on the dollars that both non-hunters and hunters pay to keep conservation programs viable.
Like it or not, we must be stewards of our wildlife. We must be involved, or else many animal species would dwindle and likely disappear from areas of North America.
Witness what's happening in the Florida Everglades, where invasive snakes have depleted wildlife on an epidemic scale. Or in areas where wolf populations are allowed to grow largely unimpeded. Ungulate and small animal populations in these areas have dwindled to extremely low levels.
Can you imagine what things would be like if no conservation efforts were in place to combat invasive snakes in Florida or to control wolf populations in some western states?
The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is the most successful wildlife management program in the world. By implementing this hunter-driven policy program, the United States and Canada have become the envy of the rest of the world.
Our ability to have abundant, thriving wildlife populations is a testament to its effectiveness and wisdom. And at the core of this system are hunters largely paying for its implementation and using hunting as the most effective and humane management tool available.
Left to its own devices, nature is largely a series of boom and bust population cycles. Humans don't like the bust portion of that equation. We want to see wildlife when we're in the field hiking, fishing, camping, wildlife or bird watching, and hunting.
Yes, nature can and will manage itself without human intervention. But we surely won't like the outcome of that self-regulation.
"Get rid of your gun to make it a fair fight."
Another variation of this silly comment is something along the lines of, 'Next time I want to see you use your bare hands or just a knife. That'd make it a fair fight.'
This is one of the more disingenuous comments anti-hunters and animal rights activists make. If the hunter doesn't use a gun and uses a bow instead they will say 'Get rid of your bow and make it a fair fight.' If the hunter doesn't use a gun or bow, but uses a spear instead, they decry the cruelty of such primitive methods.
You can be sure that no matter what tool a hunter might use--be it knife, pointy stick, rock, or club--the anti-hunter will suggest we get rid of it to make it a fair fight. Make no mistake, they don't care about what weapon is used. Their goal is to eliminate hunting altogether.
Hunters have also made it a "fair fight" by adhering to fair-chase ethics. But even before fair chase was thought of, animals still had the advantage. They are superior to us in many physical senses. More hunters go home without game than those that are successful.
Additionally, hunting is not about "fighting" with an animal. It is searching for, outwitting, and yes, killing an animal in the most efficient, ethical, and humane manner possible. You want an animal to suffer, try strangling it to death.
When I hear this comment I sometimes respond, 'No, I care too much about the animal to see it suffer an agonizing death by me killing it with my bare hands. I prefer to show it the respect it deserves by killing it, if the opportunity presents itself, quickly, efficiently and humanely with a bullet or arrow. I'm surprised that you would rather see it die slowly and painfully.'
More to come...
This list of ridiculous things uttered by anti-hunters and animal rights advocates is only half the story. There's a Part II to this specific wolf post we shared. Stay tuned to read about five more questionable comments from anti-hunters and, unfortunately, a few actual hunters as well.
Sadly, some hunters have bought into some of the rhetoric that the anti-hunting media has bombarded us with.
Regrettably, anti-hunters and animal rights zealots are here to stay and they have a social media platform that allows them a measure of power they never had before. My best advice when you run into these folks is to simply ignore them if you can.
We have logic, common sense, science and animal welfare on our side. They have emotion and that's about it, but again, you can't argue logic or science with emotion. Logic will never convince emotion of its shortcomings. Best to simply smile and wave...smile and wave. (And delete their comments!)