Activism & You
By Mike Tomano
© 2018 Fossil Entertainment Group
The importance something holds in your life dictates your commitment to it. We protect our family and friends, careers, investments, and communities. Good people correct wrongdoing. We call out injustices and fight for what is right. It is part of our genetic makeup. Sheep-like behavior will get you owned. Apathy is evil.
Being a proud outdoorsman, staunch supporter of The Second Amendment and defender of The U.S. Constitution, I remain vigilant in my activism. I put as much effort into protecting our freedoms as I do enjoying them. They deserve commitment. My great hero, Fred Bear, said, “If you are not working to protect hunting, then you are working to destroy it.” Never have those words been more crucial.
Hunters have long been their own worst enemy. Division among our ranks weaken our collective strength and provide avenues of victory for our enemies. While hunters bicker over equipment choice and hunting methods, our rights are being taken away, incrementally and disgustingly with our help. It is necessary for us to unite and tread fearlessly into adversity. It is our duty to promote and protect hunting, fishing, trapping and outdoor recreation opportunities at every turn. In addition to recruitment and spreading the truth, we are called to initiate positive change.
Communicate with elected officials. Contact the media. Present an articulate, passionate message that represents hunting and fishing. With the advent of the organic food movement and growing concern over the environment; the time is right to spread our honest lifestyle.
How important is it you?
Roll up your sleeves and jump in. We need you. Noble organizations exist that fight the good fight. Join The NRA, Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club International, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and any others that you can afford. Donate your time. Monitor legislation that is proposed in your state and throughout the country. When you see an anti-hunting bill introduced or witness another grandstanding politician threatening our Second Amendment rights, send an e-mail, write a letter or make a telephone call. Encourage your friends and family to follow suit. Communication makes a difference, especially with office holders.
Here then are my basics to activism. Follow these steps and hammer home our cause:
Research the issue thoroughly.
Write or call at the introduction of an issue. The longer a proposed bill gains momentum; the harder it is to sway.
State your case in an articulate, courteous and direct fashion. Remain firm.
Finish your call or letter with a stated expectation of results and a well-wish. Avoid an angry tone.
Circulate the text of your communication. Broaden the circle of participants.
Never, never, never give up.
When I protested Yellow Tail Wine’s support of The Humane Society of The United States I was met with resistance from their management. So, I contacted restaurants that stock their product. I contacted actual humane societies that benefit animals. I contacted farmers and ranchers. As a result, Yellow Tail Wines pulled their support from the animal-rights lobby. I won. You won. Truth prevailed.
Several years ago, the Michigan DNR proposed a hog hunting ban on privately-own ranches in the state, citing a growing problem of escaped pigs. I researched and found their data to be completely fabricated, and a seemingly veiled attempt to pander to anti-hunting pressure. I contacted the Michigan DNR, then I contacted hotels, sporting good stores and restaurants near the hunting operations that would be affected by such a ban. Educating people outside of the immediate circle gets them on board. Once again, I won. You won. Truth prevailed.
Recently, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation to ban black bear hunting in his state. He did this in full defiance of conservation and wildlife biology. Angry as I was, I conducted myself in a mannered fashion and sent this e-mail:
As a proud hunter, nature lover and American citizen, I must voice my concern over your recent bear-hunting legislation. With the highest bear density in the nation, it is imperative that sound conservation practices be implemented toward managing that precious, renewable resource. Hunting is the foundation of wildlife population balance, increasing species value and ensuring proliferation.
The criminally false depiction of hunters as bloodthirsty killers in today's media is not only a misrepresentation, but completely ill-informed, as well. The respect, reverence and passion of those who actively participate in the hunting lifestyle reaches far beyond the cartoon-depiction of wildlife held by the majority of anti-hunters.
Though you might not find taking the life of animal something you would personally pursue; your restriction on public land bear hunting is a giant step in the wrong direction. It not only denies fine families quality time on public land; but, more crucially, it is a disservice to the black bear species that deserves to be managed the proper way. Please reconsider your stance and follow the guidance of expert wildlife management.
My fellow outdoorsmen & women, I implore you to join me in the good fight. As the saying goes, If you don’t stand for something; you’ll fall for anything.
How much do you love hunting and fishing? How important is it to ensure our children share deer camp with their kids? Do you believe in The Second Amendment?
Join me in activism.
If I can do it, so can you. Make it a part of who you are. It is our duty to fight for what is important. I win. You win. Good wins.