I am sure this will start much debate but if it changes one person's mind to be more sensitive it will be worth the roast. After more than 4 decades of hunting here the Commonwealth I can assure you times have changed. I spent the first half of these times running dogs and the last 20 years solely as a Still Hunter. Needless to say I have noticed significant changes over the years with the attitudes of both hunters and non-hunters. I came upon something this weekend that was troubling and I share here. As I was traveling over the Holiday I came behind a guy driving along with a dead deer hanging off the tailgate. No we were not way out in the country but traveling in the highly populated outskirts of a major metropolitan area. Yes, he had a descent buck on the tail gate but what more caught my eye was the reaction of the other motorist. Here we are, folks traveling with their families, many just finishing a holiday dinner, I am sure many non-hunters and they have to follow behind this. I can assure you, from what I was able to see many of the remarks were not about the rack or how nice a “Trophy” this guy was showing off.
Here is the deal plain and simple. Trust me, not everyone thinks hunting is cool or should be allowed. I am clear, this is a free country and folks are permitted to enjoy what makes them happy and express themselves however they wish. But for the good of those of us who do hunt, who do think it “cool” and have lived the many changes over the years please consider others. More and more “City Folks” are moving out into the country, they don’t understand nor wish to understand hunting. They vote, they have a voice and clearly get offended at things we may not understand. What is more important is that “We” recognize this and act in a manner that best represents our sport and respects everyone, even non-hunters.
As I thought about what was taking place I remembered a story I heard several years ago where a “Non-hunter” was traveling on a major business route on Christmas and some guy had a deer draped over the dog box on Christmas Morning. This non-hunter was extremely upset about the observation and voiced it during the afternoon celebration. I also recalled a visit to a rural fast food restraint several years ago during hunting season and the place was full of orange hats. I am sure the owner was happy for the business but the muddy boots, the barking dogs in the lot, and dead deer legs sticking up out of a truck bed could have been left out. Hunters were not the only customers trying to get lunch that day.
Bottom line here is we all need to be sensitive to the World we now hunt in. Guys standing along the road with orange hats and guns in hand do us no favors. Sure, show your “trophy” off to your friends, hunting buddies but please don’t expose it to the world. A large number of people out there do not agree with it and do not think it is cool. If you mix with the general public during one of your hunting days just think a bit. Knock the mud off your boots, park out of the way so the dogs are not as noticeable, and by all means don’t pull into a restaurant with a dead deer hanging off the truck. Last but not least Close the Darn Tailgate, they already think we are a bunch of “Bubbas.”
If you are of the opinion "the heck with them, its my right" then your mind is already made up and I promise your closed arrogant attitude to others will lead us all to failure. However, to the remainder just consider what is offered here and if you see your hunting buddy heading down this road give him a friendly suggestion. It will do us all a BIG FAVOR......