Hunt The Way You Want And Let Others Do The Same
(Originally published in the Merritt News)

© By Othmar Vohringer

I’ve noticed over the past two or three years that letters to hunting magazine editors and posts on online forums against “trophy hunting” and “unnecessary large bag limits” are on a steady increase. The implications of these often self-serving comments are that hunters who seek out a very special animal - a trophy - and those that take full advantage of regional bag limits throughout the province by shooting more than one animal per given season are “unethical”, “not sportsmanlike”, or “not respecting the true spirit of hunting”. Usually such comments end with something like “the anti’s will be all over this” or something to that effect.

I often wonder where we as a society have gone wrong and became so intolerant of others that we feel entitled to engage in what essentially amounts to a witch-hunt. Who do these fellow hunters think they are that they feel entitled to tell another hunter how many animals he should shoot per season or dictate what a “real hunter” is? Frankly I find this pointless babble very tiresome. For those that fear the anti’s let me tell you this: the anti hunting fringe of society doesn’t care if a hunter shoots one deer or ten deer in a given season and neither do they care if a hunter shoots a small meat buck or the biggest trophy buck in the woods. Anti hunters don’t agree with hunting, any hunting, period.

What’s wrong with a hunter taking advantage of all the hunting opportunities available and ends his season with several deer, elk and moose in his freezer and a few antlers on the wall? Absolutely nothing. Just as there is nothing wrong with a hunter shooting a single deer and is happy with that. Don’t we have enough problems in the hunting community without some of us feeling the need to ridicule our own just because their styles and goals differ with someone’s personal opinion of what hunting should be about?

I am a hunter and I don’t feel that I have to justify to anyone how many animals I take or how big or small they are and neither should anyone of us. To those of you who feel the desire to complain and bash others hunters I will say this: enjoy hunting any way you like but do not make the mistake in thinking that your standard is somehow a norm by which others should hunt too. It’s not for you to decide what hunting is or how it should be done. We have game laws and established bag limits that regulate these things sufficiently. As long as a hunter acts within that framework of the law it is of no business to anyone else how other hunters pursue their outdoor happiness. For those that worry about the “the anti’s will be all over this”, don’t. The majority of the real world people recognize anti’s for what they are. Enjoy your hunting excursions and our wonderful hunting heritage to your heart’s content and let others do the same.

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