Are hunting and political correctness compatible?

by david on July 14, 2014

Where to start, where to start, where to start?  Last week I wrote about my efforts to carry on a rational conversation with an anti-hunter over this whole Kendall Jones uproar.   I explained how I was polite but firm in my rationale and logic of how hunting and hunters are the best conservation tools available to game management anywhere in the world.  What I did not say is I toned down the rhetoric and tried to not use words like “kill”, “trophy”, “death”, and so on and so forth.  I instead opted for words like “harvest” and “game”, and other words deemed less offensive.  For a day or so I thought I may have made some inroads, but I soon found out I was sadly mistaken.  I have even noticed a few recent post on FB from other writers asking if one word should be swapped for another, or some other measure be taken in order not to risk offending anyone.  Somewhere in the midst of things, the question came to mind of whether I should be toning things down or not.  After debating myself and stewing over this for a week I have come to a conclusion.

My answer is not only no but HELL NO.  Now, I have not lost my mind.  All I have previously said about being polite, rational, and calm still apply, but I am no longer going to be apologetic about my passion for hunting.  Hunting is not a neat and tidy little sport.  It is an adventure, and when successful, by definition, blood is shed and something dies. Graphic descriptions of kill shots are not needed, but to not use the term “heart and double lung shot”, which describe a quick, humane kill, for fear of offending someone is equally ludicrous.  I don’t know about the rest of the world, but in America too many nuances, truths, facts, and a host of other things are going unsaid or being quashed in the name of political correctness.  I think that is wrong.  Let me stress again that I realize words can be powerful weapons.  I personally believe to say something just to hurt another is just as wrong as walking up to said person and throwing a punch.  I also equally believe that when used with politeness and common sense, and in conjunction with trying to provide the most factual, accurate and truthful description of something, very few words should be forbidden to see the paper they are printed on.

How many potential hunters have been discouraged from ever trying our sport because the stories they were reading were overly sanitized and seemed, well, blah and unexciting?  I do not know about you, but I have never been on a hunt of any kind that was even remotely blah and unexciting.  The sense of excitement and adventure should be expressed in the most powerful way possible. A first-time hunter should be prepared and already know there will be blood and guts, just like there will be fresh meat for food, as well as a total sense of accomplishment at the conclusion of a successful hunt.  On the reverse side of this, how many anti-hunters are going to be won over from sanitizing a hunt by purging its description of all the things that make it a hunt?  That many, huh?   If that is the case, why are hunters so worried about accidentally offending someone who will never see the hunters’ point of view, no matter what?   I am PROUD to be a hunter, and from now on I am going to tell things like they are.  I will use words like “trophy” and “kill” where appropriate.  I will do everything in my power to describe hunting truthfully in hopes of attracting as many new members as possible, and just to tell a good tale for the rest of us.

Thanks for putting up with me and my soapbox, and I promise it is back to preparing for my unit in the Caprivi strip in Africa next week.  I leave in 27 days.

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