Is Social Media a threat to hunting as we know it? And what can we do about it?
Do you know what percentage of Americans hunts?
Not Sixty. Not sixteen.
Where does that leave us — and more specifically, hunting — in this great nation of ours?
Brian Grossman had a few thoughts on the matter.
The good news is that — so far, anyway — most non-hunters don’t really have an ax to grind against those who do.
Well, so long as you leave the word ‘trophy’ out of the conversation.
But how long will that attitude hold, considering the anti-hunters are seizing the social media initiative? His answer might surprise you.
They aren’t really the problem.
They’re just cranks and extremists and haven’t generated a following.
The bigger problem is when hunters become their own worst enemies.
For example, the pointless hostility between hunters online.
If you’ve spent more than 10 minutes on any of Facebook’s thousands of hunting pages or groups, you’ve undoubtedly witnessed it first-hand. See if this rings a bell — someone shoots a record-class buck and baseless poaching accusations immediately start flying. Someone shoots a small buck and he/she is shamed by more experienced hunters. Or, maybe it’s a hunter using one type of equipment being criticized by someone who uses something else. The list goes on.
If we’re tearing one another apart, the anti-hunters don’t have to lift a finger.
Another issue he raises is how hunters’ social media photos will be perceived.
Nature is ‘red in tooth and claw’, sure enough. But a lot of folks have never seen that side of life up-close and personal. And seeing a particularly gory hunting pic will slap some people across the face with the same sharp slap that open-heart surgery or video of childbirth might.
Just because it’s ‘natural’ doesn’t mean everyone is ready to see it.
Then there’s the real bad guys — poachers.
Sometimes it’s not hunters making hunting look bad, but those posing as hunters — the poachers. Unfortunately for us, the mainstream media does a poor job of differentiating between hunters and poachers when it comes to reporting wildlife violations. The result is often a black eye for all of us.
What are his tips?
Police our own.
If you see someone being a d-bag, call him on it. Not every difference of opinion needs to devolve into a pissing contest. Take a breath. Let it go.
Site and Facebook page moderators can do a better job of clearing the deadwood, jerks, and over-the-top photos.
If we pay as much attention to managing hunting’s online presence as we do all our other conservation practices, we should be fine.
And part of that is getting the word out, not just ‘why hunting isn’t bad’… but more than that. Tell people what it is about getting out in the fresh air that you actually LOVE so much.
We can all be ‘an ambassador for hunting’ in our own spheres of influence.
If a person looked to Scripture and paid particular attention to the passages within the Bible that address the topic of hunting, then they’d walk away thinking not only is hunting animals tolerated but it is endorsed by God. And that’s exactly what this little book is about: proving that God, from Genesis to Revelation, is extremely cool with hunters and hunting. I’ll go out on a biblical limb and claim right off the bat that you cannot show me, through the balance of the Bible, that the God of the Scripture is against the responsible killing and the grilling of the animals He created. ~Doug Giles
In his killer new book RISE, KILL & EAT: A Theology of Hunting From Genesis to Revelation Doug carries on with his courageous war against the lunatic fringe who dare recommend Bambi solutions to the annual production of edible wildlife. –Ted Nugent