I love Podcasts. I listen to them all the time. Hunting podcasts are great, but I’ve stumbled across a few podcast episodes made by non-hunters that would be good for every Hunter to listen to.
I find these two particular podcast episodes interesting because they center around the conservation debate, and they are made by non-hunting producers. It is endlessly fascinating to me to peel back the outer layer and see what makes anti/non-hunters tick. As hunters we have to be conscious of public sentiment because hunting exists as a privilege not a right. We have already seen hunting opportunity taken away in some areas (the B.C. grizzly hunt for example) just because popular opinion shifted.
Hunters are a minority, but we can help shift the conversation around conservation by being intelligent and informed. These non-hunting podcast episodes can help us craft our case for why hunting is an essential part of conservation. We have to learn to communicate what we feel is common sense. As a bonus they are also hugely entertaining, so ENJOY!
The Rhino Hunter tells the story of Corey Knowlton, a wealthy Texas business man. Back in 2014 he paid $350,000 for the opportunity to hunt a black rhino in Namibia. “The Rhino Hunter” follows his story as he endures backlash from anti-hunters and eventually travels to Africa to shoot the Rhino. The producers approach the story with a thinly veiled bias against the hunting community. This is understandable as they are primarily focused on the charismatic animals of the African continent.
To be honest this is a gray area for many North American hunters as well. The desire to kill a 350″ bull elk exists inside of me. The desire to have an African guide lead me down a trail, set up shooting sticks, point a gun at a water buffalo, and have me lean in to pull the trigger does not exist in me. Just because I don’t have the desire doesn’t mean I condemn those who do. Corey is a thoughtful and articulate representative for the hunting community. He takes the shots from the liberal leaning interviewers and claps back with carefully considered arguments about the funding of wildlife conservation and what works in the real world.
I have to give credit to Radio Lab and WNYC Studios for bringing this story with minimal spin.
Intelligence Squared Debates is a platform for non-partisan debate. Here’s how it works. It starts with a proposition “Hunters conserve wildlife.” There are two debaters arguing for the motion, and two arguing against the motion. The debaters are generally experts in the field related to the motion. The audience votes on the motion before the debate and again after the debate. The winning team is the team that picks up the most percentage points after the debate has concluded. In other words, the team that sways more people to their point of view wins the debate.
It’s hard to say anyone really “wins” this debate. The debate takes place in New York, so it’s safe to assume that the audience is already predisposed to be non-friendly to the idea of hunting as conservation and probably hunting in general. The most important takeaway from this debate is that it gives us a major insight into the tactics used by anti-hunters. Throughout the debate Wayne Pacelle and Adam Roberts draw no distinction between poaching African animals for ivory, paid trophy hunting in Africa, and the North American Model of Conservation.
So the motion reads “Do poachers killing elephants for ivory conserve wildlife?”. The answer is no. But that’s not the same as hunting within the African or North American Conservation Model.
In a country becoming more and more divided, I like the IQ2 Debates forum. It provides some civil discourse as a break from the faux outrage on twitter and in the media. Another good episode that hunters might enjoy is “Don’t Eat Anything With a Face”
*Both Radio Lab and Intelligence Square Debates podcasts can be found on iTunes or wherever you get you podcasts.