I wrote an article for the November-December issue titled, “Inside the Mind of a Nonhunter.” It has the tagline: If you don’t care what they think of us, you should.
It may seem like I’m tooting my own horn, but it actually reveals some really useful information for hunters and nonhunters alike.
You see, I didn’t grow up in a hunting family. And my immediate family still doesn’t hunt. But they’re cool with me doing it, however, their support comes with caveats.
My sister won’t eat meat at my house unless she sees the grocery store package it came in. Albeit, she’s a pretty picky eater, but I’m happy to make two extra beef patties when the rest of us are having venison burgers to keep the peace.
When I talk to my mom before leaving on a hunting trip, she says: “Well, be safe. And I hope you kill something … if that’s what you want to do.” I just smile and understand those are strange words to her: “I hope you kill something.”
My dad doesn’t hunt but loves to relay my stories from the field to his friends. He hunts vicariously through me, which I find quite sweet. He’s an animal lover that has brought a hamster back from near death. I’m serious. He really did.
All of this to say that I have a vested interest in how to communicate with nonhunters. My family still has to love me even if they don’t hunt, but what about seatmates on an airplane or fellow patients in the doctor’s office?
I jumped feet first into some incredible research by Responsive Management that revealed how nonhunters view those of us who kill game. I have since formed an intellectual crush on Responsive Management Executive Director Mark Duda, who provided some real insight into what contributes to nonhunters’ opinions and what we should do and say to make sure we can all stay friends.
I hope you’ll read it and share it with your friends who hunt, and even with those who don’t. Communication is key to any successful relationship, so let’s start talking.