I’m an obsessive animal-lover. No animal has ever done any of the despicable things humans do every day, and that’s why I’d rather be in a room full of dogs than a room full of people. Call me introverted. So it probably won’t shock you that I’m not a hunter. Honestly I doubt I’ll ever be. I’ve always been polite and tried not to be that obnoxious PETA-type. But lots of my friends are hunters, and whenever the topic comes up, my response is usually something vague and canned, like, “Oh, it’s just not for me.” However…
My thinking has changed a lot on hunting. Years ago the concept conjured images of endangered animals with their ankles caught in the jaws of some trap or wasted elephants with their tusks ripped out of their heads. When someone said “hunter” I pictured some beer-bellied ingrate screaming “Woo hoo! Let’s go kill some shit! Yee haw!” (Because that’s the guy who goes on an African poaching excursion, right? LOL). But then by sheer accident (okay, honestly it was in response to a rabid vegan who was pestering me to convert), I read up on exactly how goofy many of the anti-hunting arguments actually are. I talked to hunters and watched them marvel at the majesty of the land. I learned that many are actually conservationists. And although (I admit) I’m still slightly creeped out by stuffed dead animal parts and hanging on a wall, my overall image of hunting is now much more like this:
So this is an open letter to all you hunters out there. I’m learning. I’m willing to learn more. I admit I still know very little about you. But at least now I can say I have genuine respect for what you do. Truth be told, I am awestruck. And I hope you will accept my apology for misjudging you for so long.
But poachers can still be damned.
Thanks to a buddy of mine in Kansas for sharing this video.