Poacher is the Hunter’s “N” Word

I’d like to speak to you about the word “POACHER”.

Yes I spelled it in capitols because that’s the way its noted in public. I think its very important for hunters to stop using the term loosely. When you spot hunters flushing birds or driving deer on a property that’s posted “No Trespassing” have the decency to ask if they acquired permission before telling others he or she is a POACHER. Stop calling good friends “Ole POACHER”.

The overuse of the word has a negative effect on our community as a whole. After all “POACHERS” are just “HUNTERS” who refuse to follow the rules. All poachers are considered hunters and the stigma is also reversed back to all hunters are poachers.

I can’t come out of the woods wearing camouflage without someone asking what I was hunting because deer season is over. Nothing I was just birding today as the lack of gun and camera around my neck would indicate. Even when I am hunting and have all my licencing, permits and tags one shot is all it takes for someone to call authorities to come check my credentials to see if I’m poaching.

 

The animal rights community loves this term. After deer season, dogs and coyotes carry pieces of carcass legally disposed of in the field to open areas where non-hunters find them. It must be POACHERS! Ice flows in a river kill several diver ducks but they must have been shot out of season by POACHERS! Anyone one wearing camo nearby is now suspect because we know they hunt. POACHER is quickly becoming the new “N” word meaning anyone who fits the description should be treated with caution because they are cut from the same thread. There is no demographic that deserves to be suspect due to the actions by others sharing the same demographic be it colour, race or what they eat for dinner. However, the more that accusation is made, the more believable it becomes that that community can’t be trusted.

I am a hunter and I despise POACHERS just like any ARA does but the number of actual poachers in the hunting community is few and far in-between. It’s important for us all to correct anyone using this term out of context or in an ignorant fashion. Yes POACHERS are hunters but hunters are not POACHERS but the association is impossible to avoid so restricting the use of the term to actual accounts is important.

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Just because there are animal remains doesn’t mean they were put there illegally. The law requires us to return the parts of an animal we do not eat to the places those animals reside so coyotes and other recyclers can do their job and prevent spoil and waste. Urban recycling programs do not accept these items in the green curbside bins. Slob hunters throwing from parking lots still in a garbage bag don’t make us look any better.

Just because there is gunfire in the distance doesn’t mean they’re shooting at wildlife that’s out of season and anyone injuring an animal for fun is NOT a poacher. They’re a serial killer in the works because even poachers eat their kill. It is more important than ever before to behave professionally in the field. A good way to stop poaching is to end hunting altogether and that’s what animal rights leaders are hoping for.

Lets treat POACHER like the “N” word for now on and no that doesn’t mean calling your hunting partner your “poacha”. It means it’s a very strong word that should never be used because it reflects badly on the person using it, the person its being used on and the hunting community as a whole.

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