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You have enemies? Good.

Hunter and guide Glassing

Hunters have plenty of enemies in today’s PC culture. Anti-hunters, angry vegans, and opinionated celebrities constantly bombard hunters with threats and hate on social media. In the famous words of Winston Churchill, don’t be upset about having enemies. See it as a good thing. Having enemies means you stood up for what you believe in.

Most anti-hunting posts are based on emotion, not fact. They are made by people that don’t understand our way of life. They think hunters are cruel, nasty hillbillies that prey on poor defenseless animals. They think hunters hate animals, and want to see the species decimated. What they don’t understand is the love we have for the animals we take. Whether for trophy or meat hunting, we have great respect for the life that is sacrificed and practice our butts off trying to make sure we make the most ethical shot to take the animal as quickly as possible.

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. – Winston Churchill 

Wolves eating in snow Hunters want to see animal populations at a level that is stable and manageable. We invest our own money and effort into ensuring that these animals are around for generations to come. The antis think that it is humans who ruin the natural order of things. They’re wrong. It is our role to maintain a sustainable order that has the best outcomes for all of the species within a given habitat. A great example of this is the gray wolf issue around the Northwestern United States.

In the early 1900s, wolves were extinct in and around Montana. In the 1980s and 90s, the species was reintroduced to the area through a capture and release program. Over the next 20 years, the wolf population grew, reaching a level that was severely detrimental to the elk in the area, and resulted in a dramatic decline in the population of elk. As you could imagine, this is not good for elk or wolves – the elk cannot replenish their numbers (almost 50 percent of their young are killed every season by wolves) and the wolves end up starving themselves by wiping out their own food source.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks together with the help of scientists devised a conservation and management plan that keeps the wolf off the federal endangered list while maintaining the population at a manageable level through the sale of hunting licences. This regulates the impact the wolves have on game populations and livestock.

two wolves eating elk in river

The sad thing is the facts usually aren’t taken into consideration when the antis put up a fight. Emotions come into play and all that seems to matter is that a life is taken. What they don’t realise is to us it’s much, much more than just a life being taken.

It’s a family fed, memories made, and countless more animals living through responsible conservation.

Last year alone the state of Montana made $380,261 in license sales for wolf hunting. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Game use the money they receive from hunting licences to pay for conservation projects as well as law enforcement, Hunter Education, and other programs that protect and preserve wild animals.

That’s why the antis and angry vegans can throw their hate and ignorance at me, because I am proud to be a hunter. Even if that means making a few enemies along the way.

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