Ignorance Is Not Bliss Regarding Hunting and Conservation

Ignorance Is Not Bliss Regarding Hunting and Conservation

Did you know that the saber-tooth tiger and the woolly mammoth were on the federal government’s Endangered Species List, and hunting these species could lead to their extinction? That’s the word out of San Diego, Calif., anyway.

This and other fascinating wildlife “facts” are courtesy of Mark Dice. A writer and videographer, Dice toured a busy San Diego boardwalk recently and asked people what they thought of recent Facebook postings by hunters, referencing images of saber-tooth tigers, triceratops and woolly-mammoth. Yes, ... all ancient animal species extinct for thousands of years!

All the folks Dice captured in his recent YouTube video had the same opinion: People should not be hunting these rare animals and posting pictures of their kills on social media.

Dice himself really has to work to keep a straight face as he asks members of the public about such “hunts.” The ignorance of these people about hunting and wildlife conservation would be laughable. Would be. Except these folks actually can vote for laws and regulations that directly affect hunting. And these same people clearly equate hunting with wildlife extinction.

California, for example, is a state that employs wildlife ballot initiatives. So these important issues are being decided by a popular vote—though some of those voters apparently think the three-horned triceratops, which disappeared an estimated 66 million years ago, is an endangered animal that should not be hunted!

Ignorance may be bliss, but it’s a major threat to hunting and wildlife conservation. Maybe this ignorance explains why an anti-hunting-driven ballot initiative in 1990 was successful in banning mountain lion hunting in California. And why state politicians are able to keep chipping away at hunting rights here, more recently with bans on traditional lead ammunition in many parts of California.

This level of ignorance about hunting, hunters and wildlife is a key reason the Hunter’s Leadership Forum was established: to get the word out that hunting is a positive activity, one that benefits wildlife as well as hunters and the non-hunting public alike.

Need some examples? Check out these recent stories that showcase how hunting and wildlife conservation go hand in hand:

But getting such information promoted within our own community is only the start. Hunters and other readers could be a big help in disseminating these positive messages. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, for example, consider sharing an HLF article or two on your page using the social media buttons located at the bottom of the webpage. If a friend, family member or co-worker makes a disparaging remark about hunting, then educate them. Email them a link to an HLF story! 

The NRA HLF will keep doing its job. But we need the help of all hunters disseminate this all-important message: Hunting is wildlife conservation, and America’s hunters are the nation’s top conservationists.