Have you ever found yourself in a conversation about hunting with someone who doesn’t hunt? This is a perfect opportunity to speak to the heritage of hunting and why we hunt, or if we don’t hunt...why we support hunting as a part of conserving all of our wildlife species! Typically you will be asked one of these two questions: “Why do you hunt” or maybe the more aggressive “How can you hunt and kill those innocent animals?”
First things first, don't take it personally and also do not show that you are mad. This is your opportunity to share your values and conservation ethics, and to show hunters and hunting in a positive perspective. If you can sense that you are being baited or someone is just looking to argue with you, disengage and keep yourself safe. If you feel comfortable engaging in a conversation speak from your own experiences and values while being aware that the person you are talking to may not share your values.
Being respectful in sharing your stories is most important, but also knowing some of the facts related to hunting may be helpful for you as well. Many of our sportsman partners, including the Arizona Game and Fish Department, are working together to inform their members about the facts of hunting and to promote fair chase and high hunter ethics.
Below are some of the talking points the AZGFD and the entire Arizona Conservation Community would like every hunter and member of a conservation organization to know. Talking points: -Regulated legal hunting is based on science. Hunting has never eliminated a species as we only take the surplus harvest from sustainable populations. -Fair chase is a key element in hunting ethics and regulations. For instance, it is not easy to hit a flushing quail, or get close to a Coues deer which means those animals have a fair chance of escaping. -Hunters eat what they harvest, wild game is healthy, from a known source and does not have the added artificial hormones or other elements in meat from the grocery. -Hunting can be a great way to build life skills, learn about the environment, bond with family and friends, get some exercise, work with a partner in a hunting dog, and enjoy our great outdoors. Did you also know: -Funding provided by hunters is responsible for the restoration of many non-hunted species in addition to species that are managed through regulated hunting seasons. -Wild animals generally live a better and safer life than farm animals raised for food. -According to the National Safety Council, hunting is a safe activity. Hunting results in fewer injuries than cycling, bowling, golf and tennis. -Scientific surveys of the general public have shown that the majority of Americans support legal & regulated hunting.
What you should not show or talk about because the anti-hunters use this against hunters: Pictures of bloody dead animals Unsafe gun handling Hunting contests that focus on numbers killed Bragging about the number of animals killed Perceived trophy hunting where the head and horns are the only prize Hunting contrary to fair chase (baiting, high tech devices, high fence ranches etc.)