As avid sportsmen and women, we may cross paths with our biggest foes: the anti-hunting community. Whether in the field, at a sporting event, a restaurant, or any other place, it is generally a rather unpleasant encounter. If this happens to you in the field, the question is: How should I handle this situation?
Remember, hunter harassment is illegal in all 50 states! Over 25 years ago, USSA wrote the draft hunter-harassment language that was used by the majority of states when they passed laws protecting hunters and hunting. This language has withstood all court challenges during those decades.
If you happen to encounter an anti-hunter while in the field who attempts to disrupt your hunting experience, follow these USSA guidelines:
- Report the incident to authorities as soon as possible
- Have an accurate description of the protesters, as well as a license plate number and vehicle information, if possible.
- Be prepared to file harassment charges against the perpetrators
However, harassment doesn’t always just occur in the field; you can come across it during every day activities such as social gatherings or your child’s baseball game. Often times you will find yourself on the defensive end against uneducated individuals and it’s best to be prepared to help educate them.
- Be courteous, not defensive. Often times individuals are not educated on how hunters are actually helping conserve wildlife, and may just need to be told the facts.
- Know your sport. Provide details on how hunters help fund conservation. Sometimes individuals do not realize that hunters pay for wildlife conservation.
- Explain that sportsmen eat their kill. The animal rights lobby constantly spreads misinformation that hunters kill just to kill.
You may not succeed in persuading anyone about the positive aspects of hunting, but you will have at least left them with a better understanding of our outdoor heritage.