Here is our response:
In his attack on the tradition of hunting, blogger Paul Harris uses just about every stereotype in the animal rights bag of tricks without bringing anything new to the subject.
To summarize his argument – children should be taught that hunters are bloodthirsty barbarians so blinded by a “manly” need for sport that they orphan bear cubs en masse.
Fortunately, this out-dated Elmer Fudd view of hunting is being replaced with a much more open-minded approach.
In a time when humans are so vastly removed from their food sources, urban and rural Canadians interested in a 100-mile diet are taking up hunting as a means of putting healthy, local, ethically harvested protein on the table.
And while many Ontarians take for granted that meat just magically appears in the grocery store, youth who hunt appreciate where their dinner comes from and have a much closer connection to the natural world as a result.
Hunting and conservation go hand-in-hand. The recovery of North American wildlife through the actions of responsible hunters stands as this continent’s most successful conservation story, even if it’s a story the animal rights movement doesn’t like to acknowledge.
Today, hunters and anglers continue to fund the majority of Ontario’s fish and wildlife programming so that all Ontarians can enjoy healthy fish and wildlife populations.
Hunters hunt to be manly? Tell that to the 20% of Ontario hunters who are women, the province’s fastest growing hunting demographic.
Finally, Mr. Harris falls back on the symbol of the “orphan cub,” a powerful image that helped a small group of Toronto animal rights activists shut down the Ontario spring bear hunt and the $40-million economy the hunt brought to Northern Ontario.
The problem with that image? It’s a falsity. The MNRF has stated emphatically that orphaning at the hands of hunters is “an extremely rare event.” Mother bears are far more likely to die from a plethora of other reasons, from disease to predation to motor vehicle collisions.
Instead of trying to brainwash our youth, perhaps we should present both sides of the argument fairly and let them decide for themselves.
Manager of Communications
Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters