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Be a Hunting Activist

Invite your neighbors or your children’s friends. Live and save the outdoor lifestyle. The natural world is better off when we take part in it.


I just spent a great day with Colorado and Wyoming wildlife biologists, scientists, game wardens and other dedicated conservationists. As their invited guest speaker at an annual event in Fort Collins, Colo., they asked me to address the critical issue of how we can recruit new hunters and trappers into this glorious outdoor lifestyle.

Where oh where does one begin?

We all know how the urbanization of America erupted with the industrial revolution in the late 19th century and early 20th century, transforming our society from a rural farming economy—where most people were connected to the land—to an urban economy where the people left the land. However, though the social landscape of America was fundamentally changed, the natural hunting lifestyle remained valid and universally endorsed well into the 1960s.

Then something very sinister began to metastasize across the land that delved into the realm of the absurd. The increasing disconnect from nature created a growing cult of denial; people weren’t just removed from the land, many also became spiritually castrated from the role of stewardship. In 1975 this misguided view of nature voiced its lies in a CBS television special titled “The Guns of Autumn.” This program was a graphic, hateful, anti-nature and anti-hunting propaganda smear. Every emotional, dishonest, knee-jerk anti-hunting view imaginable flashed across the television screen for an hour. Such is how they successfully painted a picture of slob hunters wantonly slaughtering innocent, sad-eyed creatures in the bloodstained snow.

Brain-dead, doped-up hippies who wouldn’t know a moose from a platypus and other such misanthropes, who were dedicated to saving Bambi and other baby cartoon animals everywhere, were spurred to action. The scourge called the “animal-rights” activist was born.

Meanwhile, hunters just kept hunting. But with the blitzkrieg of anti-hunting propaganda appearing with increasing regularity in and on every form of media, hunting began to get a bad name. Dopey academia and the media elite were also intentionally making hunters out to be bad guys; as a result, the non-hunting public was starting to be tainted by this intensely orchestrated lie.

All that was bad and ugly enough, but the real horror of horrors was the fact that the hunting industry and hunters in general—busy celebrating the unprecedented successes of game management and the flourishing big- and small-game hunting opportunities everywhere—were sound asleep to this new and unbelievable culture war.

Our children were bombarded with nasty anti-hunting insanity in school and literally everywhere. While dads were living the hunting dream, little Johnny and Susie were being bludgeoned with anti-hunting lies on a daily basis, causing them to question, even turn on, their family’s values.
Many of our children were fortified with the truth about hunting, nature and wildlife from us, but slowly and surely, the repetitious falsehoods overwhelmed the less than dedicated hunting families, and an entire generation was more likely to side with “animal-rights” maniacs than with their family hunting traditions.

Add to this bizarre propaganda machine the fact that game departments in many states were being increasingly strangled by politically correct bureaucrats who were siding more and more with anti-hunters than with the people who actually paid their salaries, and the perfect storm was brewing for bad, even dangerous management decisions.

Wolves, coyotes, bears, cougars and other predators were off limits to sensible management even after they’d recovered. Illogical, nonsensical, arbitrary and capricious hunting regulations were filling the pages of game laws and hunters were being harassed and confused at an alarming rate, thereby discouraging people from participating in their once-beloved sport.

Meanwhile, some hunting publications and so-called leaders were actually preaching that hunters should deny their hunting heritage, not wear camo or NRA hats in public, not talk about hunting and guns and basically turn tail and run like soulless liberals faced with a challenge.

What I told the gathering was simple: Stand up for what you believe. Never hide your hunting pride. Wear camo and NRA hats everywhere you go. Never defend anything, but rather promote and celebrate this perfect hands-on conservation lifestyle everywhere you go. Initiate the pro-hunting, pro-gun dialog relentlessly. Share stories and photos of family hunting adventures and of dead game. Rave about the purest, healthiest diet available to mankind: venison!

Show that beautiful deer in your truck and hang that deer in your yard for all to see. Testify at every wildlife meeting you possibly can. Give away NRA memberships to everyone in your life. Write that letter to the editor in your hometown newspaper gushing about the wonderment of taking your kids hunting so we don’t have to hunt for our kids.

Call in on the local talk radio show and rave about the joys of the natural hunting lifestyle. Invite all your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to join you at the range and at a wild-game dinner. Take someone new hunting and shooting every chance you get.

Lobby elected officials to rid our game laws of foolish regulations that serve no beneficial purpose other than to harass us and complicate our time afield. Never accept the status quo. Make people think and demand honest answers. Never say never and never give up.

Never allow the government to hire so called “sharpshooters” to kill our game in places where we are not allowed to hunt, using methods we are not allowed to employ.

Never allow a bureaucrat to turn wildlife assets into wildlife liabilities. Demand that the wolf is taken off the endangered species list immediately. They are not endangered anymore; they are overpopulated.

Do not sit back and watch. Charge forth and take control. We the people are supposed to be the boss—the government works for us. This Father’s Day take your son, daughter and even parents out shooting. Invite your neighbors or your children’s friends. Live and save the outdoor lifestyle. The natural world is better off when we take part in it.

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11 Responses to Be a Hunting Activist

RON WARD wrote:
February 05, 2013


Bob Harvey wrote:
October 22, 2011

Uncle TED... Right on the mark again. Too many times we've been silent and we are ALL way past due to step up and initiate the unknowing that answer to the uncaring. We all know the uncaring lead the unknowing for their personal and political gain by spreading pure unadulterated bovine fecal matter that the stupid lap up like a ravenous wolf. Blood Brother, we love your music, your work ethic and your most proper outlook on life as it should be lived. In fact just yesterday I enjoyed a nice tasty bambi backstrap via an arrow tipped with a muzzy, right through the pump station, then on to my favorite backyard grill. The onions and peppers were darn good to boot! As an ASIDE to Beerack O'bummer....DON'T LET THE DOOR KNOB HIT YA WHERE THE GOOD LORD SPLIT YA....RIP n 2012 ol boy!!!

Martin Wirta wrote:
August 07, 2011

Great writing Ted. You are so right about passing on our hunting heritage to our children/grandchildren. We as outdoorsmen need to pass this heritage on or it will be lost for generations. Side note: I wish you would stop your potty mouth in your concerts. Love your music.

Rudie Thomsen wrote:
May 24, 2011

Ted, you are so right. We need to be as agressive as those who oppose us. I am so concerned about the direction that our nation has been taking. At least 30 years ago, the anti-hunting idiots got organized and we now see how far they have come and how many of our God given rights they have had taken away. Keep inspiring us with your fire and love of the outdoors and the hunting sports, so that we, the hunting public, will become "activists" and take our sport and country back.

Carl Dean Smith wrote:
May 24, 2011

I thought I'd add the website for you to check out.

Carl Dean Smith wrote:
May 24, 2011

Ted, This is a great article. I wanted to inform you and other readers of a program started in Wichita Kansas. An old high school classmate of mine, Mike Christensen, is working with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Org. to bring kids in the city to be matched with hunters and outdoors men and women. The goal is to to promote their love of the outdoors to youth and provide a match to kids who wouldn't normally get the chance to be around guns and shooters in any good way. It has been very successful and is spreading to many other areas. Even other states have been encouraged to join the movement.

John Carlin wrote:
May 21, 2011

Ted, Agreed with everything you said. Part of the problem is with our own sportsmans and shooting clubs as well though. Some of the ones around my area do not allow you to bring a guest to the shooting range...they have to be a member to shoot...makes it pretty hard to introduce a new shooter to the joys of fireamrs when they can't even pull the trigger. These clubs need to start thinking about preserving our heritage more than their bottom lines...jsut my two cents.

Bill Marineau wrote:
May 19, 2011

Amen Ted. I take my boys hunting and they love to tell their friends how good everything tasted when we got home. Both will stand up for themselves in school and everywhere else. I couldn't be more proud of them.

Warren Pouyer Jr wrote:
May 19, 2011

When I was just a young boy, my Father told me I'd never loose my right to hunt and I believed him. I'm now 51 and have never been more concerned about the future of this part of my culture. Many of my closest hunting friends are not members of the N.R.A. and tell me that I'm nuts for thinking that someone will come to take my guns one day. To them I say "When they come to get yours, You'll say: Where was the N.R.A..? I'll say "WHERE WERE YOU..??? Wake up folks.. Be a member in good standing or get ready to give up your 2nd Ammendment Rights to Keep & Bear Arms.

Tim (T.R.) Michels wrote:
May 19, 2011

Ted, Good piece, I'm glad to see that you still get "fired up" over an issue. Last time we talked you urged me to write more "get in touch with your feelings" type articles. I've done that in my conservation articles. I'm passionate about saving widllife, habtat, and getting kids involved with wildlife, and conservation. To that end, I've started a page on Facebook, entitled "Protect Minnesota's Research Bears. Many people,includng school children, have become enamored with Dr.Rogers bears, Lucy, Hope and Faith. And his research is getinng, not only the kids, but also adults, more involved with hunting issues, and wildlife conservation. If we can get the rest of the hunting fraternity to reach out to chidren, we might actually save our game animals, and their habitat, so we will have animals to hunt for future generations. I'm with you all the way. Hope to see you on the seminar circuit. God bless, T.R. Michels Trinity Mountain Outdoors

Rick Chambers wrote:
May 16, 2011

After watching some of the predator programs on the "Animal Planet" channel, I will never apologize for humanely harvesting a game animal again. I watched as large cats downed and began to eat their prey while the prey was still alive, I watched killer whales separate a calf humpback from its mother then proceed to eat the animals lower jaw and tongue, only to leave the rest of the carcass to rot. More killer whales played volleyball with a baby seal before killing and eating it. There was nothing noble about their animal behaviors. Hunters kill animals quickly and then eat or use as much of the animal as possible. So peta, don't p & m to me about animal rights; go talk to some killer whales or lions. Now, where did I leave my glass of milk and venison sausage?