Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you know all about the Bowmar vs. Under Armour hunt deal. For those of you who have not read or heard or seen anything about it, feel free to google it. I am sure there are plenty of other articles/blogs and what not about it. This isn’t one of them. That being said, I hate that this is going on. I am sure there were errors in judgement on both sides, and both sides regret certain actions. But, the Bowmars will be alright (have you seen Sarah? And pretty sure Josh can throw trees after he up roots them) and Under Armour will still be selling gear and sending money to conservation. But there are 2 common themes that we can talk about from this; 1.) Anti-hunters and how we actually can deal with them and 2.) the public perception of hunters matters.
In order to hit the themes that were mentioned above, there is a rant that I just cannot contain. We come from a hunting heritage in our nation from both those who first lived here, and those who settled here. We have had our predecessors fight for our right to hunt and fish and have places set aside for that. We had a tax placed on us by our predecessors to fund this, this was asked during the worst financial time in our nation and SPORTSMEN ASKED FOR IT. Animals were being depleted by the thousands by market hunting, biomes were in danger of being exploited and guess who stopped it? Hunters. Guess who helped those who were hungry? Hunters. Guess who shows up at meetings for wildlife habitat and public land management? Supposed to be hunters, but from personal experience i can tell you that is not the case. Guess who starts pushing for sides to be chosen and mud to be smeared after a private company (that has a board and a bottom line) and an individual (who wants fame and also the ability to work on their own terms) go their separate ways (*DISCLAIMER* Sarah Bowmar got the raw end of this deal, sorry for her) after public pressure? Amazingly hunters. As in the most polarizing junk I have ever seen. It is beyond disgusting. The division, the name calling, the disregard for one another and other issues. But what bothers me the most is what has gotten you all fired up.
This. A company choosing to drop a representative. A fashion show. Hunters start loosing their minds over this. Does it suck, yes it does. Do you have a right to be mad? Absolutely! But is this honestly the most important thing going on? Negative ghost rider, not by a long shot. As I have said before, all parties will be alright. Just look and see where we are at in a few weeks. But a common theme that I have heard all weeks is “The anti-hunters are winning” and “we cant let the anti-hunters take away our right to hunt”. Want to fight those who want to take away your rights and ability to hunt? Awesome!! Me too! In fact, its my thing! Its what I want to do with my life. But, by bashing other hunters and a company that has brought hunting into a positive spotlight ,you are not fighting anything or anyone on the other side of the fence. Its doing nothing to help show those who do not hunt who we are and what we do. RIght now they are looking at this and thinking “Wow, they really get upset about what kind of shirt and pant they wear”. In fact, its ridiculous and embarrassing.
So, I’m sure you are livid reading this and wonder who I am talking about as the “anti-hunters” that I am wanting to oppose and what could possibly be going on that is more important than a spear throwing dude and what clothes his wife wears in the woods. How many of you have attended a meeting over public land management in your area? How many of you are involved in assisting or evaluating regulations (from a place of science, not the “one doe is 3 deer out of next years herd”) with your local DNR? How many of you are involved in an actual conservation organization? How many of you know what the term “conservation” even means? How many of you have done anything to put hunting in a positive light? How many of you have contacted your local, state and federal reps and told them that you do not agree with them selling YOUR land off? How about that you do not agree with current budget spending and how they are being as useless as tits on a boar in addressing the wildfire spending and disaster that is the USDA budget? How many of you have even wrote a letter, email, called or stopped by the office of the public land managers or biologist, or officials who decide our chances of continuing to hunt? Cleaned up a stream? Adopted a highway? Done anything? I am willing to bet it is a low number. Embarrassingly low. Cause you know who is going to these meetings? Know who is making these relationships? Know who is doing a stream clean-up? Contacting the media about adopting a highway? Continuing the discussion of how horrible ethical pursuit of wild game is? Making the relationships with local, state, federal and hired officials that control the management of public land? Take the name of “conservationist” and portray themselves as such? Its not Under Armour, its not the Bowmars, its the actual anti-hunters. They come in many shapes and sizes. THey want to lock up public land to where it cannot be managed for wildlife. They want to portray us as backwoods hillbillies who ride around with antler decals and dead animals on our hoods. They want to portray us as those who rape pillage and plunder our resources. And guess what? They are winning. Because we are too worried about the fashion show in the hunting world.
So how do you deal with these anti-hunters? GET INVOLVED!!! Actually learn what conservation is (spoiler alert, no TV show is gonna have the answer for that. Very few talking heads do.) by talking with fellow sportsmen and women about local and regional concerns. Join or talk to a conservation organization such as the QDMA, NWTF, RMEF, BHA, RGS, etc and learn. Contact your biologist. Talk to them and ask “WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP????” and then DO IT!! Call your elected officials and talk to them. It is not hard. It is not time consuming. It is very possible. Do it. Thats why we are losing to the antis, not because of a speared bear video, but because we have become so irrelevant, that they just see us as blood thirsty savages who just wanna kill. Thats not us. We are providers. We are conservationist. We are the future. The time is now to take and stand and impact what happens. And it doesn’t involve what shirt one person wears.
Don’t think the public perception of hunting matters? Check out California. Check out the current legislation changing in Alberta. It does. It happens alot. Check out what happened to Bear hunting over bait in Oregon. It will continue to happen if we do not think in regards to what the public sees. Be involved. Get a group of hunters and clean up a creek or highway. And brag about it. Provide for the homeless shelter and food pantries in your area, and make sure everyone knows about it. And when everyone knows about it, make sure they hear about it again.
Check out Randy Newberg HuntTalk Podcast, Cameron Hanes Keep Hammering, Steven Rinellas MeatEater podcast, Nock-On podcast, Wired to Hunt Podcast, 100% Wild Podcast, there are others but the 2 month old is not wanting to let me continue. He thinks I have spoken enough. If you have any questions on what you can do, please, contact me! That is the entire reason I have this website.
Wanna talk about something else? Let me know