Marking the epitome of hypocrisy, this week has been filled with yet two more social media death threats against law-abiding, all-American hunters by animal rights extremists who continue to hijack the “animal welfare” platform to conceal their end-all-hunting agenda. Oh, the irony as they outrageously condemn human beings for hunting animals while threatening their lives. But their tirades sidestep the fact that without hunting there is no conservation. This is because if word got out to the public, extremist groups like the Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wouldn’t raise a dime—let alone millions of dollars annually—if it were common knowledge that American hunters comprise the segment of outdoor enthusiasts who actually fund wildlife conservation through hunting revenue and excise taxes on firearms, archery equipment and ammunition.
Under fire are two more hunters who once again hunted legally. NRAHLF.org just posted a story on the first hunter, former NHL hockey player Tim Brent, who is being condemned on Twitter for posting an image on Sept. 10 from his successful Yukon grizzly bear hunt. As the website reported, "animal rights extremists—with no regard for the actual welfare of the Yukon grizzly population—issued death threats against Brent and assaulted his intelligence, masculinity and humble nature. When he reported the threats to Twitter, the social media platform dismissed them due to the context." Once again, it appears such behavior is acceptable if the topic is one that it agrees should be vilified. Brent’s response was to share the facts, such as how a grizzly bear eats as many as 40 moose and caribou calves during each calving season and how mature boars regularly kill and eat cubs. Unfortunately, the facts were not as important to them as promoting hatred over a law-abiding hunters’ legal, regulated hunt. (Note: Despite expanding grizzly populations, animal rights extremist groups currently are working to shut down the approved grizzly bear hunts in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem despite that a guide in Wyoming was just mauled and killed by a pair of grizzlies last week.)
The second instance concerns hunter Brittany Longoria, who was threatened on social media because of a photo of her with a leopard that she hunted legally in Africa. Seizing control over the narrative, animal rights extremists ignored her comments about how it was her hunting and conservation-related activities that were responsible for saving more wildlife than the actions of any anti-hunter. The fact that she explained where her hunter dollars were going and how hunting is a necessary wildlife management and conservation tool made no difference to those out to destroy hunting.
The dramatic rise in poaching came after the Botswana government opted to disarm its armed and well-managed anti-poaching units—going against its former “shoot to kill” stance on poachers. This is another example of what happens when a country bans hunting, which Botswana did for elephants in 2014. When you take away the value of a species, those who live among them will lose all incentive to protect them. Sadly, the old phrase “don’t confuse me with the facts” runs rampant.
Hunters’ Call to Action NRA-ILA and the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum (HLF) are making sure American hunters are aware of the escalating attacks on hunters as we continue to fight the culture war on hunting. Our collective response: Be proud of our mainstream hunting traditions and take a stand against animal rights extremists by sharing this story link on your respective social media platforms and condemning their death threats at every turn.
NRA urges hunters to be proactive by sharing the story of hunters and hunting. How else will non-hunters learn of hunting’s critical role as a wildlife management and conservation-funding tool? As Longoria noted, if the extremists come after one of us they will come after all of us so we must “speak from our place of truth and heart on why we hunt." It is clear the anti-hunting movement has a global mission as we witness social media attack after attack—whether the hunt occurred on our own continent or half a world away in Africa.
How Hunters Fund Conservation American hunters care deeply about wildlife, which is why concern for the well-being of wildlife populations spans generational lines, political affiliations and geographic regions. NRAHLF.org continues to note hunters’ collective contributions to wildlife conservation as hunters make up the grassroots segment of a support structure unparalleled in its size and monetary influence. It is no wonder, that former U.S. President and avid conservationist Theodore Roosevelt said, “In a civilized and cultivated country, wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen.”
Sportsmen continue to amass $1.1 billion annually for conservation through the 11 percent excise taxes paid through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 alone. The act specifically provides for state fish-and-wildlife agency wildlife management and research, including funding state wildlife biologists’ salaries; habitat acquisition and improvement; public access facilities; and law enforcement—including paying the salaries of game wardens and anti-poaching units so wildlife continues to thrive. Yet what gets overlooked is that hunters foot the bill for everyone who enjoys our wildlife resources. So when you come across outdoor enthusiasts who do not hunt, explain that the deer or turkey they're watching through their camera lens was brought back from the brink in the last century by hunters who paid to reintroduce and rebuild these native species and their habitats. That’s why conservationist is spelled H-U-N-T-E-R.
How Animal Rights Extremists Fight Facts with Fiction Conservation cannot exist without wildlife management. This is why the biologists, game wardens, education experts and other professionals who staff federal and state fish and wildlife agencies and non-governmental organizations play a critical role in the health of wildlife species and their habitats. Nevertheless, animal rights extremist groups march on like dictators, raising funds through emotional appeals that feature heartbreaking images of animals in horrid conditions as they work to shut down hunting and create a meatless, petless society.
About the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum Social Media Alerts NRAHLF.org launched the NRA HLF social media network (HLFN) in 2016 to showcase the truth about hunting and conservation and confront threats to hunting on the state, national and international levels as they arise. The HLF consists of hunting and shooting sports industry companies and like-minded organizations that partner to share NRA HLF website and social media content on their respective social media platforms. The information exchange now reaches in excess of 25 million-plus hunters. In addition to news stories, other material explains: how poaching is not hunting; how legal, regulated hunting benefits wildlife; and how we hunters are ethical, compassionate mainstream Americans whose dollars aid game and non-game species alike.
Again, please share the story links with hunters and non-hunters alike as the collective hunting community mobilizes to reclaim the narrative and expose the well-funded and well-organized animal rights extremists in their efforts to shut down all hunting.