Hunter Segregation a Significant Roadblock For Our Community of Hunters
Hunter segregation has been a significant roadblock for our community of hunters to move forward in many of our initiatives, including campaigning for wildlife conservation or better educating the public on hunting and the laws and regulations that govern us. It has caused us to be disjointed in our messaging, and we're not working as effectively as we can. Despite our different stances and whether you are a weekend warrior, a truck hunter, a mountain hunter, a bow hunter, someone that specializes in predators, big game or small game - we must put our differences aside and learn how to work together better.
Before we could win the trust and votes of the 80-90% that are receptive, hunting curious, and interested in eating wild game. We need to build a solid foundation by addressing the hunter segregation amongst us. By urging hunters to break down those walls that divide us and encourage each other to be more open-minded and respect those with different views. In the end, we all want the same thing, to preserve our wild lands and keep the hunting heritage going. Together we are stronger.
Sitting in a few discussions on wildlife conservation I noticed the continuous need to identify ourselves as hunters first when the focus should have been the species of animal we're protecting. If we genuinely care about saving an animal such as Woodland Caribou or an ecosystem such as the heart of the Fraser River, we should be aligning with every group possible (pro or anti-hunting) it shouldn't matter. But from my short time volunteering in conservation groups in British Columbia I realize the politics and conflicts run deep and are very complex. That being said, I firmly believe success will come when we work towards building rapport and earn the trust of our opponents. Just because we share opposing views, it doesn’t mean we can’t join forces and work together on things we have in common. Creating these alliances open the door for more opportunities for progressive discussions.
I hope this article encourages you to be the example by creating new alliances with those with the same end goal, despite our differences.
On another note, if you do want to volunteer your time towards a group that supports this attitude the British Columbia Chapter of the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is a great place to start. You can reach out to myself directly for more info.
As always thank you for reading!