By John McAdams
African Professional Hunter Paul Stones provides an outstanding response to some of the anti-hunter harassment he receives on a regular basis.
Produced by the Dallas Safari Club, this video does a great job of countering some of the anti-hunter harassment that’s commonly directed at the hunting community, especially outfitters in Africa. Stones acknowledges that many of the people who are opposed to hunting may have good intentions, but that their actions are informed by a shallow understanding of the real situation in Africa.
The fact of the matter is that if they have even been to Africa at all, many of those people spent their entire trip in national parks or preserves such as Kruger National Park. While those are fantastic places to visit, they don’t represent actual conditions for most of Africa, especially in areas where there is legal hunting.
As hard as it is for many people to understand, particularly those who live in cities far removed from actual interactions with wildlife, hunting has very real and tangible benefits for wildlife conservation. This is true all over the world and indeed, hunting serves as the foundation of the entire model of wildlife conservation that has resulted in an incredible recovery of wildlife populations all over the continent.
Without hunting, the whole house would collapse on itself and there would soon be very little wildlife left in most of Africa.
While Paul was narrating as though he was responding to an actual comment by an anti-hunter, I don’t think those people are the intended audience for this video. It’s very difficult to convince someone who is so strongly against hunting that they’re actively engaged in harassing hunters.
There is a certain segment of the population that we’ll probably never convince about the true benefits of hunting. That’s fine because, fortunately, there aren’t very many of them. People like that are often loud and vocal, but relatively small in number.
Hunters make up only around 4-5% of the population. There are probably about the same amount of rabid anti-hunters in the U.S. The majority of the population (85-90% of people) are non-hunters and don’t know very much about it. They likely don’t feel strongly about hunting one way or another.
Those are the people who need to see this video, because they’re the ones who will ultimately decide what happens to hunting in the future. I believe it’s possible to convince them to support hunting if presented with the facts.
So keep that in mind and show this video to people you might actually convince with it. Make a difference where you can, and spread the information to those who need to receive it.