With that said, I am able to enjoy and photograph these beautiful natural moments because of public lands. We all have a right to them and it's very frustrating in a day when everything is polarized, that you can't say anything without it getting misconstrued to be "for" or " against." There is a vast majority who are in the middle. There are many who are on seemingly opposing sides, but who want the same goal. Such is the case with preserving public lands.
While I have spoken out against trophy hunting, many misunderstand and take it to mean that I'm against all hunting. There's a difference between hunters who are conservationists and hunters who are wasteful and greedy. Hunters who are unethical kill for the sake of killing and don't consume what they've hunted. These are the hunters I consider trophy hunters. There's no reason to kill a predator. You don't eat it. It comes down to being childish about another predator being competition. They also don't care if they wipe out the last of a species. But, say anything against trophy hunting and you are considered anti-hunting. I am not. I don't see any reason to hunt an animal that is endangered, but I do not have an issue with hunting animals that are plentiful and are prey.
Oh my gosh! How can I be for and against? This is the issue with social media and online debates. This is uninteresting. There's no drama. It doesn't make good news and click bait and it's not unreasonable to say compromise, conserve, and maintain. Don't over hunt. Don't let prey animal populations become so large that they destroy their own food sources. It's called balance. Balance is severely lacking into today's online discourse.
If you consume meat, then you paid a hunter or farmer for that meat. Most people are removed from the process because they buy their food already slaughtered from grocery stores. While I am not a hunter, I don't have the heart to kill a living thing, and I'd rather photograph animals, I do consume meat.
With all that said, nature photographers, hikers, outdoor enthusiasts of all types, anglers, and hunters do need to work together to protect public lands and natural resources. I don't know about you, but I sure want to have places to hike. I would hate to have a world of nothing but buildings, sidewalks, and streets. I cannot state this as well it's stated in this "Outside" magazine article:
As he states in the article, that deer is our deer, which means we need to learn to share. Don't kill everything to extinction, but don't take away the privilege of hunting from the ethical sportsmen. Our public lands are funded by those sportsmen. We wouldn't have hiking trails, protected lands, and parks without them.
"Hunters and anglers spend over $63 billion annually in pursuit of their passions. Wildlife watchers contribute some $30 billion. Skiers, snowboarders, and other snow-sports enthusiasts throw down $73 billion. Trail-sports folks shell out more than $200 billion. The total spending of outdoor enthusiasts is approaching a formidable $900 billion. Collectively, our economic footprint should be able to kick down the doors of the partisan safe havens where politicians go to do bad things."