For most of us hunting is the activity of pursuing wild animals or game while attempting to put food on the table for our families. At some point you may encounter the anti-hunting community and face harassment because you are a hunter. If this happens to you in the field, Remember, hunter harassment is illegal in all 50 states. There are hunter-harassment laws to protect hunters and hunting.
If you happen to encounter an anti-hunter while in the field who attempts to disrupt your hunting experience, follow these guidelines:
- Report the incident to authorities as soon as possible
- Have an accurate description, as well as a license plate number and vehicle information, if possible.
- If possible film the incident for proof
- Be prepared to file harassment charges against the perpetrators
Now with social media, hunter harassment doesn’t always just occur in the field; You are most likely to come across it online or it can happen at a social gathering. Often times you will find yourself on the defensive end against uneducated individuals. How you handle the situation is up to you but remember you are speaking about the great outdoors as a whole. You don’t want to make all sportsmen come off as just killers. I have been involved in many hunter harassment incidents, mostly online being attacked in the comments section of videos and pictures. Sometimes people have threatened my family or children. It is best to ignore most of these situations as you simply cannot have a educated discussion with a person not willing to hear the facts that hunting helps wildlife populations thrive. Here are some ways to help deal with this type of harassment.
- Be courteous, not defensive. Often times individuals are not educated on how hunters are actually helping conserve wildlife, and may just need to be told the facts.
- Know your sport. Provide details on how hunters help fund conservation. Sometimes individuals do not realize that hunters pay for wildlife conservation.
- Explain that sportsmen eat their kill. The animal rights lobby constantly spreads misinformation that hunters kill just to kill.
You may not succeed in persuading anyone about the positive aspects of hunting, but you will have at least left them with a better understanding of our outdoor heritage.
Now on to the worst of it, I have seen more and more hunters bashing other hunters for what they harvest. I find this very disturbing and truly believe that as a hunter you have the right to harvest whatever game you see fit, while abiding by the state hunting regulations and guidelines. This trend needs to stop and I feel we should unite as a whole community, especially when there are entire groups that are against hunting and trying to take that right from us. The good news is that most of the hunting community is taking a stand against hunter harassment and standing together for what we all love so much, being afield or deep in the woods pursuing game.
Here is a quick video that shows a hunter being harassed while hunting. Check it out, tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
Have you ever experienced hunter harassment? Let us know in the comments below.