Criticism by Dan Kasper
When I was trying to think of an article to write for my inaugural article, here on this great online magazine, I couldn’t think of what to write. Then, while looking through the feedback that Water and Woods gets and it came to me what to write:
I don’t know about you, but I am certainly getting tired of all the criticism for being an outdoorsman. I guess its part of the description in being a hunter and fisherman. It’s a constant battle between us and the anti’s and it will never end it looks like. This issue is so big, I don’t even know where to start, but I will do my best.
I have heard of encounters on where outdoorsman has had some bad experiences with the anti hunters or anti fisherman. The anti hunters would walk through the woods, attack hunters, come up to them in a fishing boat and start yelling at them, etc. I have heard it all. Now, I can say I am one of the lucky people and have not had a weird encounter with these sorts of people and hope I never do, but I am sure I will and will be prepared on how to handle it. Last year, I found out some pretty useful information. There is a Sportsmen’s Harassment Law. Anti-hunters who disrupt legal hunting and angling activities are breaking the law. It is unter harassment and it is illegal in all fifty states. So, if you ever encounter one of these people, if you have a phone handy, give your local police department a call.
I get asked why hunting and fishing is so beneficial to the animals and the environment and why we enjoy it so much. Well, for me, that is pretty easy to answer. If we were not to hunt the whitetail deer, our deer car accidents would rise higher then what it is now. There would be more competition for land and deer would start to move into residential areas. If we didn’t fish, our population will rise in our lakes and rivers and cause a food demand and over population. But, here would we be today if it were not for hunting and fishing? Our great ancestors hunted for survival when the Earth was young. Hunting and fishing has been dated back to the Bible.
Some example quotes are this:
Genesis 1:28 “Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 9:3 God told Noah, “Every moving thing that lives hall be food for you.”
This shows that hunting and fishing was approved by God, unlike what some anti’s think or say.
In our local paper, we have a section called “Vox Pop.” In this section, you can write in and voice your opinion. Well, a lady wrote in saying that we should ban Mourning Dove hunting because they were such beautiful creatures and they were only numbered in the thousands. Well, I did some research and found out that the Mourning Dove is the number one sought after game bird and is numbered in the 500 million mark. Yeah, that’s close to the thousands.
Why is hunting and fishing so great to enjoy? Well, for me, it’s a way to express myself. If I didn’t have to ability to hunt or fish, I don’t know what I will be doing. I just love being in the Great Outdoors, in my tree stand or boat, being with the wildlife. Listening to the turkey gobble as it gets up in the morning, or a loons singing on the lake. There is nothing quite like the thrill of that. And when that big buck comes towards you and getting closer and closer for you to take a shot, your heart is just a pounding, your shaking and breathing hard. That’s the kind of fever I like to have. But, I think the main reason why I like hunting and fishing is being with your family and friends. It is a great way to get together and talk and enjoy each other’s company.
We as hunters and fisherman are fortunate enough to have many well-known people support what we love to do. Some names you may have heard of are Dave Watson, Ted Nugent, Brett Favre, the late Dale Earnhardt and many, many more. I don’t think, without these fine people, that we would be where we are today. They do so much and help bring in people to enjoy the great outdoors.
So, next time you see someone who thinks what we do is totally outrageous, stand up for what you believe. If you don’t say something, then they think that we have no reason why we do what we love to do so very much. I don’t know about you, but my favorite place to be is in my tree stand, or in the boat on the lake. Havelock Ellis said it best. The promised land always lies on the other side of the wilderness.