The act of hunting is a noble and historical pursuit. Any ‘sport’ or ‘recreational activity’ that requires the acceptance of death or potentially fatal injury should always be grounded in respect.
Hunting is comparable to combat sports in this regard, both are often associated with great shows of violence, tyranny, and an out of control ego. In both cases, this is rarely ever true.
Just look to the Eastern practices that surround martial arts, they bow before commencing combat, there are structures in place to promote discipline, it is treated as necessary to hold these principles dearly in order to be a positive force in the sport or practice
Hunting should be treated the same. Regardless of what activities you indulge in, or what opinions you hold, someone will always have the opposite view – that’s just how the human mind works.
We should celebrate the variety of life and opinion rather than let it shadow our lives. Once you accept that others think differently to you, shaped by their own experiences, you will be able to enjoy your own hobbies more.
Any good hunter understands their duty to others, not just animals, but for some of us who enjoy the loneliness of the wilderness, this social responsibility can often seem hard to achieve.
In this guide we have tried to include some helpful tips to point you in the right direction and how to show respect to non-hunters with small considerations for their opinions.
Be a Respectful Hunter!
Firstly, one of the best ways to show respect to a nun hunter is simply to practice good hunting. Not taking shots that won’t lead to a fatal wound, respecting the animal once dead, etc.
These simple principles mean that when it comes to hunting you can rest your conscience as you know you don’t indulge in any unsavoury practices while hunting. Always act how you want to be perceived – advice for any practice in life!
We want to distance ourselves from the hunters who are the subject of outrage, be the good guy, not the bad!
Don’t Take Pictures With Downed Animals
While you may be proud of your long hunt and the fruits of your labor, taking pictures is generally quite unsightly. While people should have the ability to stomach the image of a dead animal (they don’t care about them on their plate).
Taking pictures with your kill is traditional in hunting, but is considered very arrogant and disillusioned by non hunters. If anything, this should be done out of respect for the animal.
Flexing with anything you have worked for can be considered very braggadocious and makes you seem blaisé about the idea of death.
While this is an obvious rule, many hunters walk around with their 12 gauge on their Mauser still on their back. This will get you in all kinds of trouble not just with non hunters but also with firearm skeptics.
While we are on the subject, NEVER point your hunting firearm at someone, no matter how hard or aggressive they get with you. This will set a bad example for hunters everywhere and has led to the negative prestige of hunters today.
Beyond safety, carrying your firearm around like this can make you seem dangerous and disconnected from society. We want hunters to seem calm and compassionate, not reckless and baudy.
Conceal Your Downed Animal
Obviously, if you are transporting your kill back home, dont be so stupid as to buckle the animal down onto the roof of your truck.
There is nothing more unsightly than having to drive behind someone who has a dead deer dangling around on their roof, or driving behind a dead deer whose head sticks out of your flatbed.
We would always suggest wrapping the animal in something before you transport it home for skinning and butchery.
This can make it seem like the concept of death doesn’t matter to you. We should remain considerate, you wouldn’t want your own daughters to see something like this on their way to school.
Consider Your Behaviour When Hunting
As mentioned we should take the approach that we should always act like someone is watching, especially on the hunt. This means no drinking at any time during the hunt, save that for when you are home.
Drinking while hunting is extremely disrespectful and will always come across so much worse than it likely is, there’s often no excuse, especially if you are driving.
Beyond drinking, this involves hollering, shouting, shooting your gun for no reason, etc. This makes it seem like you don’t have respect for your environment or even other hunters or the land you are on, let alone the animals you want to kill.
One way to show everyone respect, including non hunters, is to simply sit down and hear them out. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of your hobby, but be respectful, listen, and present your own views candidly.
Save the controversial stuff for friends, but when speaking to an acquaintance or friend of a friend about hunting you should always remain calm and respectful and seem dutiful and well-informed.
If you can show a non hunter that you show serious respect to animals and to landowners, then they will reciprocate this respect back to you
The Final Word
The best way to show respect to anyone, non hunter or not, is through actions. Doing little things that may not seem important to you, such as covering your kill and not having showy bumper stickers, shows compassion and people will pick up on this more than you think.
While no one will see you when you’re hunting in the bush you carry the label ‘hunter’ with you wherever you take it.
So whether you are having a conversation in a bar or a debate with a family friend, you should never raise your voice or be aggressive – hear them out and appreciate their opinion and they should reciprocate respect but to you and your opinions.
Always remember: respect is earned through action.