It doesn't matter that the first nomadic peoples on the planet were known as hunter-gatherers; as hunters, we'll always have to explain something.
No matter what state or country you're in, there are people who just disagree with the values of the hunting community. They may never understand what it truly is like, but here are five things that the hunting community shouldn't have to explain anymore because we've done it time and time again.
1. Hunters and poachers are not the same.
The anti-hunting community tends to use the words "hunter" and "poacher" interchangeably, and the heart of the issue couldn't be further from the truth. Hunters work together as conservationists to a certain animal population, and poachers are the outliers that give the community a bad name that is almost impossible to recover from.
In fact, poachers are so different from hunters that the state of Montana has even released a poacher profile to help locate those that have no regard for the law or sanctity of life.
2. Hunters don't thrive on the violence of the hunt.
Granted, our own community perpetuates this myth by using verbs like "nail" and "demolish" when it comes to viewing hunting videos online. However, those verbs do adequately describe the natural kick in adrenaline that occurs as we hunker down, ready to make the shot of a lifetime.
The hunting community doesn't live for violence and we certainly are not a group of masochists. We respect the life taken on the field and care deeply for the meat harvested, thanking the planet for the plentiful bounty that enables us to go out and provide for our families.
3. Animals are not defenseless against the hunt.
This is a myth that many hunters I know would personally laugh at based on the amount of times they've been skunked on their hunts. There is a common misconception that hunters just hunt any ol' place, with little regard for the care and research taken into account to learn the environment of that place.
Yes, our technology has gotten more helpful in locating the animals over time, but more often than not, we are evaded in the field because animals are more cunning in their natural environments than we are. That's a fact.
4. It is illegal to interfere with someone's hunt.
We hear stories all of the time: our buddy was sitting in his treestand, ready to take the beautiful buck he'd been watching via trail cam all summer when his anti-hunting neighbor drives by and blares his truck horn. Or better yet, people actually approach hunters in the field (this is more common with waterfowl hunters) and begin to obstruct their hunt. It is illegal in most states to interfere with a hunt - take for example Pennsylvania's own law that states:
This reflects Pennsylvania's hunter harassment law. It is unlawful for another person at the location where the activity is taking place to intentionally obstruct or interfere with the lawful taking of wildlife or other activities permitted by this title. Violation of this section is a summary offense of the second degree. A person adversely affected by prohibited activities may bring an action to restrain such conduct and to recover damages.
Plain and simple, it is illegal. We'll always have to explain this, though.
5. We do know where our meat comes from, and we're proud of that fact.
This ties into the idea of killing a defenseless animal myth, too. Hunters are a rare community that does know exactly where its meat comes from, and it's not from the aisles of the grocery store. Taking a deer on public lands or private lands (have to exclude deer ranches here) means that your deer is a product of its environment to a tee and there are no questionable chemicals lurking around.
Anti-hunters also seem to forget that 90 percent of hunter shot training is shot placement so as to preserve as much of the meat as possible safely.