Hunting season is upon us and if you are a hunter then this is one of your favorite times of the year.
It is also one of the most awkward times of the year as you have to explain to all your non-hunting friends, family and even coworkers why you are taking off work early to get up to your stand next weekend.
Hunting is a primal endeavor. We’ve been doing it as a species for thousands of years in one form or another, so in the big picture, there really shouldn’t be any confusion as for why people love the sport so much today.
Still, it is always best to try to connect with non-hunters and share your passion because you never know when you might be able to turn one of them into a hunter themselves.
Opening up the world of hunting to first-timers is one of the most rewarding things you can do and can also result in life-long friendships.
Below are some tips on how to address some of the most frequently asked questions non-hunters have about hunting from hunting equipment authority License to Shoot.
License=to-Shoot regularly publishes hunting gear reviews and actively promotes a responsible gun ownership and hunting practices across the country.
1Explain That Hunting Isn’t Always About Bagging a Kill
Many non-hunters think that people hunt because of some out of control bloodthirst. Serious hunters know this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, for many experienced hunters, there is always a moment of sadness and reflection and thanksgiving when the game is successfully taken down.
The hunting community generally has a very strong connection with nature, including the animals that they pursue.
This manifests itself in a real respect for the game, from understanding it, stalking it, killing it and then utilizing as much meat as possible and being thankful the whole time.
Explaining your love for animals, and your admiration for your game is one way to relate to non-hunters and show it isn’t all about the kill.
2Relate Your Love of the Outdoors
One thing many non-hunters and hunters have in common is a love for the outdoors. If you live in the countryside you will almost always be able to connect with people over the love of camping.
Getting out into the fields and forests of America is an almost universal passion. From fishing to kayaking to geocaching and everything in between American’s love exploring the outdoors.
It just so happens that is also what attracts many hunters to the sport as well. Hunting even more so than many other outdoor hobbies brings us closer to nature and that is a very humbling experience.
Sharing your love for getting outside, soaking up all mother nature has to share, and appreciating that adventurous aspect of hunting is one way to create an instant connection with other outdoor-loving non-hunters.
3Offer to Share Some of Your Game
If you’ve connected with someone over the love of outdoors, and you know they aren’t vegan, then it may also be worth offering them some of your game as well.
Many churches and local communities have potlucks where hunters bring and share their goose, duck, elk, deer, bear, even squirrel and everyone usually loves it!
This won’t be a hit with everyone, but for those who love a good cut of fresh meat, sharing a steak or two, or a bag of cured venison, for example, is a great way to open other peoples eyes to the delicious rewards that await the patient hunter.
Explain Overpopulation, Wastage and Resource Management
For some game hunting isn’t just about the sport, it is also a serious form of conservation.
There are plenty of published materials on the web like this one, detailing the importance responsible hunting has on proactive resource management.
If it weren’t for hunters there would be larger problems in some areas of the country, for both residents and local wildlife.
Sharing these type of educational resources is a great way to warm up anti-hunters to a more accepting perspective.
7Invite Them On a Trip!
Above all, the MOST effective way to connect with a non-hunter is to take them on a trip with you.
They don’t need to kill anything, they don’t even need to bring a bow or gun. They can simply come with and observe and soak up nature.
Spending time surround in natural beauty can help make friends of just about anyone, and inviting outsiders into the wonderfully friendly community that is hunting is a great way to create bridges.
Preparing for a trip, hiking, camping, and spotting wildlife is a joy for anyone, regardless of their pre-existing viewpoints on hunting itself.
You don’t even have to take the game, you can simply track, spot, and share.
Of course, nobody is under any obligation to change minds but the more responsible hunters take the time to share their passion in a very respectful and friendly way, the more the community will grow and the better the sport will be in the long run.