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Do Slob Hunters Endanger Hunting Rights?

April 2003 Poll:

Do Slob Hunters Endanger Hunting Rights?

The definition of a slob hunter seems to vary widely. Most would agree that poaching is the act of a slob, but poaching is also criminal.

Some take the definition of "slob hunter" far beyond poaching in an attempt to protect the sensitivities of the non and anti hunting crowd. For instance some consider the following acts to be adverse to our collective hunting reputation:

- An unclean hunt camp
- Poor shooting
- Open carcass display
- Improper disposal of a gut pile
- Improper use of 4x4's or ATV's
- Wearing blood stained clothes in a public place
- Baiting

In short, the definition of slob seems to be moving toward any act short of legally taking your game without notice and without leaving a trace that the game was taken. The more discrete the better, the thinking seems to go. Is this going to far? How do you define slob?

Some links:
Idaho DFG Talks About Negative Hunter Image
Colorado DOW On Slob Hunters

Update The Wyoming link was pulled because it appears to have been dropped from the Google cache. Unfortunate because it was good read....

[ This Message was edited by: moderator on 2003-04-12 23:17 ]

expatriate's picture
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Do Slob Hunters Endanger Hunting Rights?

I don't think "slob" hunters endanger the sport. I think the danger lies in the anti-hunting crowd that is branding hunting behaviors as slobbish.

When I was growing up, carcasses weren't covered, nor were hunters made to feel ashamed of having blood on their pants if they stop at a store on the way home. On the contrary, a nice buck on a vehicle would often draw admirers or generate positive comments, not disdain. Blood on clothing would invite questions and comments on the hunter's apparent success, not muttering and sidelong glances.

A lot of "slobbish" behaviors have been defined by those outside of our sport, not those within it. It's a form of political correctness intended to ostracize those who don't subscribe to liberal environmentalist ideology. Now we're apparently supposed to cover our kills in order to avoid offending anyone. Yet doing so reinforces the image that our activity is something that should be hidden or that we should be ashamed to be seen doing in public.

Look at how Hollywood treats hunters nowadays. We're always portrayed as heartless, beer-swilling, uneducated rednecks out to kill innocent animals for the sheer joy of hurting them. As long as we allow these people to define public perceptions of our sport, it will only get worse. In a few years, "slob" behavior may include wearing blaze orange outside of the woods, serving venison to guests, camouflaging a boat, etc.

The answer is not to appease these people by trying to stay within the bounds of what they consider "decent." That's a moving target that we'll never hit. Rather than acting like we're ashamed of our sport, we need to confront the antis, identify false rhetoric for what it is, ostracize them as idiots, and put them on the defensive. If it worked against the anti-war protesters, it ought to work here.

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2003-04-11 22:23 ]

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Do Slob Hunters Endanger Hunting Rights?
Quote:

Look at how Hollywood treats hunters nowadays. We're always portrayed as heartless, beer-swilling, uneducated rednecks out to kill innocent animals for the sheer joy of hurting them.

It's THESE people (the genuine slobs) who are hurting the sport. I can say first habd that such people - in particular their tendancy to tear up hay and winter wheat fields with 4x4 and ATV's are responsible for most of the "No Hunting" signs which have blossomed on private land in the last 10 yrs. (Land being posted was unheard of before that around home)

People that do such things are slobs, and although they are the minority - they do hurt hunting.

As for bloddy clothes...my mother would have kicked my a** to kingdom come if I ever dared wear my work clothes into town. The lesson took. Whether it's manure covered boots, grease stained coveralls or bloody hunting clothes they have a time and place...parading them down mainstreet is just crass.

[ This Message was edited by: saskie on 2003-04-12 21:43 ]

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Do Slob Hunters Endanger Hunting Rights?

Slob hunters do endanger hunting rights for all hunters. If we wish to be treated respectfully - we must act respectfully, that includes properly transporting our game (not on top of cars or hanging out of trucks!), cleaning up our messes (camp, guts, etc.) and yes, cleaning up before we go out in public. If we don't want to be portrayed as 'beer swilling rednecks' then we can't act like it either!

Some may see this as catering to the sensitivities of non-hunters - well we should. Since non-hunters will be more likely to listen to & vote for our cause if we haven't offended them. I believe only about 10% of our current population hunts, so we need the support of non-hunters.

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Do Slob Hunters Endanger Hunting Rights?

Well said, Cowgal. We, as hunters, can change some of the stereotypes out there if we act the part of good people. We don't want anti views shoved on us any more than they want hunting views shoved on them. We have to act responsible and let the educated public make the decision for them selves. I think we would be farther ahead to educate the public and introduce them to the sport on their level as to force the issue on our level.

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Do Slob Hunters Endanger Hunting Rights?

I understand the theory behind not offending the anti-hunting crowd. Yet the arguments being presented are attempting to attack the margins -- those at the fringes of what both hunters and non-hunters will accept.

Those who want to end any activity will always attack the low hanging fruit at the margins -- the ends of the bell curve. Yet the thing about statistics is that there's ALWAYS a bell curve. Alter a population by eliminating the small percentage at the end, and the bell curve gets redrawn -- now there's something else at the margin that was in the middle before.

Although I disagree with the behaviors being discussed, I feel that it's naiive to assume that we can preserve our sport by eliminating them. A lot of folks out there will only be satisfied when hunting is eliminated. While there may be things we want to eliminate out of our own standards, we need to be careful how far we bend in an attempt to appease the antis.

We should also be mindful of what PR folks term "repeating the negative." If we focus on the slobs instead of the decent 99 percent, we foster the perception that even the hunting crowd thinks slobs are an enormous problem. That gives legitimacy to the antis. We should focus the public on positives, not negatives, and let social pressure on the slobs do the rest.

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2003-04-14 01:27 ]

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Do Slob Hunters Endanger Hunting Rights?

As a practical matter if there were less slobs, probably there would not be as many no hunting signs and more farmers/ranchers willing to allow hunting on their land. I guess this in a sense could be construed as contributing to improvement of "hunting rights".

However the loss of hunting rights in the sense of complete abolition advocated by certain groups will not be slowed by a decrease in the "slob index" of the average hunter. I believe this simply because most high profile anti-hunting campaigns focus on the animal not the hunter. Meaning the anti-hunting campaign focuses on killing of animals being wrong or the conditions underwhich they are killed being unacceptable. From this angle whether the hunter is slobbish is irrelevant because the act committed (from the anti-hunters perspective) is wrong.

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Do Slob Hunters Endanger Hunting Rights?

The argument about the "bell curve" works both ways. Although active hunters (ie: people who actually buy a licence and go hunting) are the minority, the MAJORITY (middle of the bell curve) of soceity supports the hunting tradition and our right to hunt ethically. I don't believe for one minute that the anti-hunter crowd represents the majority, and I don't think that practicing ethical hunting, responsible firearm use and common courtesy to be "bending to appease the anti's"; they should be our guiding principles regardless of the socio-political climate.

But if unethial hunters continue to give the anti crowd ammunition they will claim more of the centre. I think we MUST condemn incidents of unethical behaviour lest our silence be interpretted as supporting such actions. And WE, the hunters, have to be part of applying that "social pressure"

As hunters we claim (and are) to be committed to ethical, fair-chase, humane-as-possible hunts. We generally are against inceased restrictions (at least I've never heard of hunters being in favour of any new law restricting hunting except in a few cases where it was done to protect low-populations) claiming that we are responsible upholders of a sporting legacy and will police ourselves. Therefore the onus is on us to put up or shut up and police ourselves. Slob hunters, rude hunters, careless hunters, dangerous hunters undermine soceity's faith in our ability to police ourselves, and the result is a lack of support from the middle majority. This paves the way for increased legislation...or at the very least loss of access to hunting lands.

[ This Message was edited by: saskie on 2003-04-15 00:09 ]

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Do Slob Hunters Endanger Hunting Rights?

Political correctness is moving closer to the center and it seems people are far more willing to condemn others. Consider how the social costs of the following have changed:

Giving your kid a .22 and letting him keep it in his room.

Riding an ATV.

Driving an SUV.

Hunting with lead shot.

Buying a gun without having to overcome the assumption that you might be a criminal first.

2 cycle outboard motors.

Snowmobiles.

Personal watercraft.

Hanging a deer from a tree in your yard.

Undoubtedly, many would argue that restrictions or social costs associated with these things are the result of slobs. Yet the problem isn't that the number of slobs increased; the problem is that society's tolerance decreased. As the population continues to grow and become more urban, expect this trend to continue. Don't be suprised if you find the goalposts moved in the future.

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Do Slob Hunters Endanger Hunting Rights?

I get your point, Ex, the definition of slob does seem to be growing to encompass many acts that most hunters would not consider to be necessaryily slobbish. Indeed after Bambi, the perception of hunters changed from providers to heartless thugs.

However, I think you are painting with a broad brush with these:

Riding an ATV

Restrictions are in place because even when used by non-slob drivers they can be a burden to bare for all that use the outdoors (atvers or non-atvers).

Driving an SUV

The only restriction that I'm aware of on this is how much gas you want to pay for in a month.

Lead Shot

Restrictions on lead shot are purely for safety reasons. Ingesting even the minor amount of lead one might pick up from game taken with lead shot, isn't worth the risk.

Snowmobiles

Like atvs, I don't see this as a slob issue. I do some cross country skiing in the winter and one area that I like to go skiing is rabbit ears pass. The eastern half of the pass is for motorized recreation the western half is for non-motorized. This is fair and not motivated by lack of tolerance, but rather the need to share the resource with all forms of recreation, even if the snowmachiners are being thoughtful about their driving.

[ This Message was edited by: bitmasher on 2003-04-17 00:01 ]

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Do Slob Hunters Endanger Hunting Rights?

The point I was trying to make was social costs, which naturally include legal restrictions. However, social costs also include things that may be legal, but if pursued will be condemned as boorish or otherwise socially unacceptable. If social condemnation proceeds far enough, it can turn into legal restrictions.

The SUV issue is a case in point. SUVs may be legal, but are receiving more and more condemnation. SUVs have been on the market for decades; yet safety, environmental, and esthetic issues were never raised until the left-wing crowd recently decided the rest of society shouldn't have them.

I mentioned snowmobiles because after decades of snowmobile tradition in Yellowstone, the environmentalists are getting quotas imposed, despite the fact that pollution problems can be solved with today's cleaner engines.

I didn't even mention fur, and how the PETA crowd made wearing it socially unacceptable.

It just seems like there's been a shift somewhere. In the past, it was enough to disagree and maybe even think somebody was a jerk. Now, however, it seems people aren't as willing to tolerate differences in their midst and feel compelled to codify their tastes via public law or legislate good manners. Ironically, the ones who seem to be doing this the most are the ones screaming the loudest for tolerance and diversity.

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2003-04-17 20:16 ]

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