Audio only podcast.
Today on Gritty, I am joined by Adam Janke, Editor in Chief, of the Journal of Mountain Hunting, resident of B.C. and the host of the Beyond the Kill podcast. We discuss the issues surrounding the Grizzly Hunting ban in British Columbia and we go deep on the topic. But before I launch into the conversation with Adam I feel it is important to set the stage for the discussion. The topic is not a sexy one--but it’s extremely important. So please hang on and slog your way through it because this stuff matters.
In August of this year, the left-leaning New Democratic government, propped up by the Green Party, took office in British Columbia in July after ousting the Liberals who had ruled the province for 16 years. A few weeks ago, Doug Donaldson, the province’s minister of forests and lands announced that (quote) “it is abundantly clear that the grizzly hunt is not in line with the public’s values.” Donaldson also said (in an interview with the CBC News) that the level of Grizzly Bear hunting in BC is sustainable. However, Donaldson says the decision to end trophy hunting is “not a matter of numbers, it’s a matter of society has come to the point in B.C. where they are no longer in favour of the grizzly bear trophy hunt.”
I can’t help but feel deeply disturbed by the government’s decision to ban Grizzly bear hunting and the justifications behind it.
Make no mistake about it, the Grizzly Bear Ban makes the following statement: “Hunting is immoral.” “You are an evil, dare I say “un-evolved” person if you hunt Grizzly Bears.” And “Hunting grizzly bears is morally reprehensible… we do not need to do this any longer…”
Please understand that their argument is not based on science or rationale. Their justification for banning Grizzly Bear hunting is solely based on moral reasoning. These people have argued and lost the health, science, and conservation argument. So they changed tactics and made this a debate about right and wrong--about morality. And the truth is, the hunting debate has and always will boil down to one thing… the morality of it. Is hunting moral?
The moral argument against hunting is that hunting kills animals unnecessarily. This claim depends on the existence of alternative activities that accomplish hunting’s effects with less or no animal killing. It is said that nutrition does not justify hunting because we have alternative sources of nutrition, namely agriculture and domestic animal production; which does not kill animals or only kills farm animals.
But the reality is that modern farming destroys natural habitat, hence causes starvation or disruption of reproduction. Farming uses pesticide and nitrogenous fertiliser that pollutes ground water on which animals and humans depend. Farming kills ground-nesting amphibians, reptiles, birds and small mammals. The reality is that vegetable nutrition is wrung from the earth by diesel-burning machinery and nitrogen and oil-based fertilisers, processed and refrigerated with power from river-altering, coal burning or nuclear-waste-producing plants, and driven thousands of miles over asphalt by fossil-fueled trucks.
But studies have shown that commercial agriculture production kills more animals than deer hunting per unit of nutrition, hence kills more animals for the same meal. And in terms of of animal suffering, it would be difficult to show that death from being maimed, crushed, cut to pieces, poisoned or starved is less painful than the average death by hunter.
It would be difficult to argue that an animal suffers more from hunting than from today’s animal husbandry. Thus, if we may eat domestic cattle, we may eat wild deer.
To the ideological anti-hunter and the B.C. Government, human caused animal death and suffering should be reduced as much as possible if not entirely eliminated. Based on this moral reasoning, in those cases where ethical hunts kill fewer animals for the same nutrition than do farming, ranching and/or vegetarianism, eating hunted meat would be not only morally justified but morally preferred.
It’s obvious to the rational mind that hunting is moral. So why is hunting so easily marginalized and so easily made to look immoral?
Hunting critics propose that it is bad when a hunter shoots a bear, but not bad when a bear mauls and eats a moose calf, because the bear needs to kill to survive. Today it can be difficult to explain that human hunting is strictly necessary in the same way that hunting moose is necessary for a bear. Broad public opinion is that hunting is morally permissible only if it is necessary for human survival. “Necessary” can refer to nutritional or ecological need, which provides moral cover for subsistence hunting and game management. But trophy hunting, by mainstream definition, cannot be defended this way.
Trophy hunting is vulnerable to the argument that an act is contemptible not only because of the harm it produces, but because of what it reveals about the character of the trophy hunter. Much of society finds the deriving of pleasure from hunting to be morally repugnant. And this is a problem, because hunting is enjoyable--but not in the sadistic, evil way that anti-hunters portray.
Actions are powerful. And so are words. And the words “trophy” and “sport” no longer carry the meaning they once did. The word “sport” used to mean “sporting chance” and it referred to the principle of fair chase as defined by the Boone and Crockett Club, as the ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, native North American big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals--a fairly noble approach to hunting that encourages man to interact with nature on a deeper level. But today, the term “sport hunting” refers to intentionally killing wild animals for enjoyment. Likewise, the term “trophy hunting” no longer refers to anything noble--it simply means “the selective hunting of wild game for human recreation. The trophy is the animal or part of the animal kept, and usually displayed, to represent the success of the hunt.”
These terms have been hijacked and their definitions changed in mainstream media. The terms are consistently used against us to frame hunters as immoral and reprehensible human beings who should be removed from the planet. Meanwhile, hunters and hunting media continue to use these words to our own detriment.
As long as we are successfully made to look like people who kill animals for enjoyment and human recreation we will continue to lose on hunting and conservation issues even in the face of sound science and rational logic. Truth AND perception are everything.
And before I get a pile of angry emails from good farmers and ranchers just let me say that I
Thus, the anti-hunting view must take into account that agriculture kills animals too. The morality of hunting must be judged against the cost of the agricultural and cattle farming activity that would replace it. Where a type of hunting has a lower death to nutrition ratio than a type of farming, and where the pain of death by hunter is arguably no greater than death by farmer or rancher, the anti-hunter must morally prefer hunting to farming or ranching.
I apologize for the long introduction, and I promise it’s almost over. But before I close, I want to clarify a few things.
After hearing this introduction, some folks might get the idea that I’m anti-farming and anti-ranching. I am absolutely pro-farming and pro-ranching--done responsibly. Frankly, we do not have enough wild game to sustain a great part of the human population via hunting. Responsible farming and ranching practices should be a key element to an overall food supply plan. So it’s not my intention to vilify farming or ranching--only to point out that it’s not without its cost to animal life. And that there’s a big difference between deplorable factory farming done on a mass scale and local farming done by responsible, caring human beings. And in the same way, I am not claiming that hunters are some kind of noble lot who only go around doing good deeds. In fact, we have some real contemptible human beings among us.
So please don’t send me a bunch of emails about how wrong I am about farming or how hunters do bad things.
I recently listened to Jocko Podcast Episode 76. It’s a good one. I highly recommend that you take the time to listen to it. The guest on this episode is Vietnam POW survivor, Capt. Charlie Plumb. And he shares a harrowing tale of 6 years spent as a prisoner of war at the Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam. At one point in the podcast Charlie says something to the effect of, “people think they need to change the way others act, but the reality is you need to change yourself.”
Think about that as you listen to this podcast. I know I have a lot of work to do when it comes to the person, Brian Call. Let the work begin.
Today on Gritty, my guest is my good friend Phil Mendoza and our topic is Targeting Buck Fever. Phil is a stud. Period. Not just because he’s an incredible hunter, archer, Train To Hunt champion, owner of Alpha Bowhunting and the Alpha Bowhunting Challenge and not because he’s the owner of the biggest archery shop in Denver; although that resume pretty sick. No, Phil is a stud because of his character. “The best index to a person's character is how he treats people who can't do him any good, and how he treats people who can't fight back.”
― Abigail Van Buren
And that quote about sums up Phil and why I like him so much. He’s been a guest on the podcast before. Early on, when I started the Gritty Bowmen podcast, Phil and Aron Snyder went on an Epic Big Horn Sheep hunt and Aron tells the story on GB EPISODE 24 and 30. More recently, Phil was a guest on episode 255 where he and our friends from Fit 4 The Hunt talked about Physical Conditioning and The Mental Game--those have been popular episodes and if you’ve never listened them, I recommend you check them out.
Phil wrote a booklet, not too long ago, that he titles Targeting Buck Fever. Every hunter, every archer has struggled at one time or another with Buck Fever. The urban dictionary defines buck fever as, “nervousness felt by novice hunters when they first sight game.” Which is absolute rubbish because buck fever can affect both new and experienced hunters. When the stakes are high, when you’re on that once-in-a-lifetime hunt, when it’s the last hour of the last day, when the buck of your dreams presents a last second shot, buck fever can wreck you. So how do you rise to occasion, hold your mud, and crush that shot? Well, that’s the discussion that Phil and I have on today’s podcast. It’s good stuff. Take a listen and if you like what you hear, do me a favor and link up with Phil on his Alpha Bowhunting Instagram and Youtube Channels and checkout his book on Amazon. As always, thanks for tuning in to Gritty and making this show possible.
Today on Gritty, I’m on location in Oklahoma with Tim Burnett. We’re on a whitetail hunt in Oklahoma. And I’m trying to self-film my hunt. And… it’s not so easy. Tim shares his philosophy on self-filming. And we stray from the subject of self-filming hunts to the topic of so-called trophy hunting--and the propensity of weak people to fault-find and criticize others to make themselves feel better about their own lives. Because if you can hate on a post about a kid’s first bull elk, you’ve got problems and I’m not afraid to say, “grow-up” and “get a life.” Stop saying things that make you weak. And figure yourself out. Too many people assume the problems of the world are someone else's fault. A true person tries to change him or herself, which is more difficult and less grand. If we all focused on fixing ourselves instead of trying to fix everybody else the world would be a better place. And if you think you don’t have anything to fix--think again. Evil is the force that believes its knowledge is complete.
The reality is this:
•Everybody acts out a myth,
•but very few people know what their myth is.
•And you should know what your myth is,
•because it might be a tragedy.
• And maybe you don't want it to be.
Today on Gritty, I’m joined by John Barklow and Chris Derek. John is the Big Game Product Manager at Sitka Gear and Chris is the Whitetail Product Manager at Sitka. AND, I am joined by Sloane Brown from Backbone Media, a public relations, social media and content marketing agency for active lifestyle brands. AND I’m joined by my good friend, Casey Harbertson, partner and owner of MTN OPS.
The group of us were invited to Sloane’s family ranch in Texas to hunt whitetails. And although we talk whitetail hunting on an upcoming episode--this episode is more technical in nature--it’s about survival, it’s about managing moisture within your chosen clothing system. It’s about hunter responsibility. It’s about staying gritty in hostile and sometimes deadly conditions. By the end of this episode you should have a better understanding of clothing layering systems and when and why they matter. And, hopefully, as a result of this episode, you’ll be better prepared for surviving an extreme cold disaster. And after this podcast, if you’d like to learn more about A Navy SEAL Rewarming Drill, go to Sitkagear.com and search “Rewarming Drill.”
On this episode of Gritty Bowmen I sit down with SOLO HNTR, Tim Burnett. We talk about our Oklahoma Whitetail hunt, Public Lane Hunting vs. Guided Hunts and Tim shares his most meaningful hunt.
On this episode of Gritty Bowmen we are in Canada at Primitive Outfitting. We talk with guide, Ben Jackson and hunter, Clay Reinarz. Clay was fortunate enough to get one of the last Grizzly hunting tags before they closed Grizzly hunting in Canada. He shares the story of his Longbow Grizzly hunt and how things went a little sideways. Check it out. To learn more about the Canadian Grizzly Ban check out Episodes 282 and 278.
Today on Gritty, I am joined by Tim Burnett, aka SOLO HUNTER and we talk about branding, marketing and business. Tim and I are in the business of content creation and so our branding and marketing discussion leans that direction. I really like Tim--he’s got a “what you see is what you get” personality that I find refreshing. And he doesn’t over complicate things--words like, “don’t be a jackass” are pretty easy to comprehend. Nonetheless, in classic fashion, I ask him to elaborate on the “jackass” statement just to be sure I fully understand it.
I ask Tim how Solo started. What’s the biggest mistake people make when creating a brand name. We talk about our objectives when we create content. And we talk about the importance of good business partners and how you know whether you have a good one or not. We agree that media consumption habits differ greatly from platform to platform, for example., from TV to FB to Instagram to Youtube to Twitter--and people have preferred platforms. We discuss the differences between platforms and we share our thoughts on how our messaging differs from platform to platform.
This isn’t all we talk about, but this intro gives you a good idea of what this show is about. I hope you find this episode helpful. In today’s world, nearly everyone is a content creator of some sort. So I don’t believe this episode is just for those trying to build a brand per se. This episode can help those who are actively involved in promoting the hunting life, conservation and life values. Finally, please know that Tim and I are by no means experts in marketing or content creation--we just know what has worked for us and we share it on this podcast.
For those who want to learn more about these topics, I recommend that you read the following books:
1.The Thank You Economy, Crush It, and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk.
2.And for those wanting to start a new career and chase a more meaningful job, check-out the book START, by Jon Acuff. In this book, “Jon Explores the five stages every life goes through on the path to awesome and looks at what it takes to punch fear in the face, escape average and do work that matters.”
On the episode of Gritty Bowmen we talk about missing the shot and reducing the “cone of variables”. Be sure to listen to the previous parts to this episode; Episodes 291 and 292. We are joined by Aron Snyder, Bryan Broderick of Lost Arrow Films, David Brinker of Sitka Gear in Alberta, Canada.
On the episode of Gritty Bowmen we are joined by Aron Snyder, Bryan Broderick of Lost Arrow Films, David Brinker of Sitka Gear in Alberta, Canada. We continue our discussion from the previous episode by talking about David’s recent change from traditional archery to a compound. David has struggled with target panic and since he switched to a hinge release and a compound and followed some of Joel Turner’s advice, he has found success.
On the episode of Gritty Bowmen we talk about our 2017 Mule Deer Hunt in Alberta, Canada. We are joined by Aron Snyder, Bryan Broderick of Lost Arrow Films, David Brinker of Sitka Gear. We begin this discussion by sharing our mule deer stalks and Aron talks Mechanical vs. Fixed Blade Broadheads and Bryan Broderick shares his success with the longbow.
On this episode of Gritty Bowmen I interview my Grandfather, Joe Lane. My Grandfather is nearly 90 years of age and his time on this earth is almost over. Every human being travels the road of life. And in my estimation, the best humans among us are the ones who travel their road with moral fortitude--the best among us are those who love the best they can. I know this might come across as fairytale-ish to some, but I truly believe this to be so.
My Grandpa Joe has never been a perfect man. But I can say with certainty that he has always loved; and although that love maybe imperfect, it’s always been at the heart of who he wants and strives to be and he has modeled well for me how a man should love and cherish his wife. And what higher endeavor can a man aspire to than to love and reduce suffering in the world? There are those in this world who honestly “TRY” to be a good person. And there are those who make no effort at all to be “good.” My grandfather is the former--and for that I am deeply grateful. My Grandpa has always been a prominent figure in my life. He’s always been a strong man. A man of grit and determination. He’s honestly one of the most physically tough human beings I’ve ever met. Growing up during the Great Depression and in a state of abject poverty he was hardened and forever shaped by the rigors of his youth and on this podcast, myself, my sister, Katie and her husband Bryce talk with my Grandfather about his interesting and diverse life. Things aren’t like they used to be. We’ve traded root cellars for refrigerators and horses for cars. We have smart phones and iPads. And very few of us are in danger of starving to death or dying from Scarlet Fever. So take a listen to this long conversation and then stop complaining about the traffic, or your job, or how things aren’t fair because they could be a whole lot worse. In the words of Jordan B. Peterson, “Pick up your damn suffering and bear it. And try to be a good person so you don’t make it worse.” Because, “Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake.”
In other words, man is self-determining AND life has meaning. So act like it. Live a life that is intrinsically good and worth remembering.
On this episode of Gritty Bowmen, I get to hang out with the one and only Randy Newberg! Randy Newberg identifies himself as a “hunter.” Growing up in a small town in the midwest--Randy spent a lot of time running around on public land hunting and trapping small game. I would say that Randy is the quintessential “Public Land Hunter” and he uses his platforms to advocate for hunters and public access. In addition to representing hunters in Congress and state legislatures, he serves as a volunteer and board member for many hunting and conservation groups. I can honestly say that Randy Newberg is one of my favorite people on the planet. He says what he means and and means what he says. And if you don’t like what he has to say, well then, you’ve mistaken him for someone who gives a damn. Follow Randy on Instagram and facebook and check-out his youtube channel for some good public land hunting films.
On this episode of Gritty Bowmen we talk about our Canada Moose hunt and charging Grizzly.
On this episode of Gritty Bowmen we meet with my buddy Chad Nelson, a.k.a. the Gritty Angler and Seth & Shirl Larsen from Canvas Cutter. The Canvas Cutter bedroll is extremely versatile, durable, water-resistant and comfortable. I don’t always have the chance to sleep on a nice bedroll when backpack hunting, but it sure is nice to have for those late night pack outs in the truck.
What you just heard, or watched, is a promo clip from my friends at Montana Wild of their new video called, “The Outlier.” It’s a great video and we talk about it a little on today’s episode of Gritty Bowmen. But the conversation drifts into heavier and more controversial topics as we discuss the subject of game violations, ethics, and poaching.
First off, I want to make sure it’s very clear that I have tremendous respect for Law Enforcement agencies and for our Fish and Wildlife Officers across the Nation. In fact, some of my closest and dearest friends are police and fish and wildlife officers. Furthermore, I would count these men among the best human beings I know. That said, not all human beings are created equal--not all law enforcement personnel do a good job.
Let me ask you, when confronted by the following situation, what do you do? You’re out deer hunting. You see a great 3x3 buck and you take a shot at it. The buck runs behind some cover--it disappears for a moment. And then you see him, he’s standing just beyond the point where you took the first shot. You take aim--and this time you drop him where he’s standing. As you walk over to tag your deer, to your utter shock and dismay, you realize you accidentally shot two deer. You thought they were the same deer but they weren’t--you have broken the law--committed a game violation. It was an honest mistake--a complete accident. What do you do? Do you call your State’s wildlife division and report yourself? Do you tag one of the deer and pretend nothing happened? Do you take both deer so as not to waste the meat but don’t report your violation?
And let’s say you report yourself to local Wildlife Officials. Do they give you warning and say it was an honest mistake? Or do you get the maximum fine and lose your hunting privileges for 3-5 years?
We’ve all heard stories like this that end well and that end badly depending on how you look at it.
In 2013, Montana Wild set out to make a fly fishing film for Bull Trout in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. This decision and subsequent actions would lead to a long and drawn-out investigation of Montana Wild and would result in a series of game violations that would eventually be settled outside of court.
There’s always two sides to every story. I’m fully aware of this. On this episode of Gritty Bowmen we talk about the Montana Wild side of this story--something that Zach and Travis, the owners of Montana Wild have not hitherto publicly discussed in a forum like this. I applaud them for doing this podcast with me. A close friend of mine asked me why I would did this podcast with Zach and Travis. Why would I talk about this subject? Why not just stick to a discussion about their awesome new video, The Outliers, and leave it at that?
First of all, I don’t like ignoring the elephant in the room--it feels fake. The entire time we talk about the new video there’ll be people out there calling them poachers under their breath. And that’s another reason I wanted to talk about this--it bothers me the way individuals hang people out to dry for poaching allegations before any convictions are made. What happened to 2-sides to every story? Or innocent until proven guilty? Or, let him without fault cast the first stone? And it annoys me the way people blow violations out of proportion--the way some people act you’d think that someone who shot a squirrel out of season is the equivalent of a child rapist. Let’s keep things in perspective.
The thing is… I appreciate the sincere effort and skill that goes into the production of Montana Wild films. I truly feel, whether they made mistakes or not, that they have a sincere love of the outdoors and a passion for presenting a positive message about hunting to the world at large. You can see it in their films. And frankly, I feel a responsibility to share their side of the story because I’m not perfect. Aron Snyder isn’t perfect. We’ve all done stupid and ignorant things--and I’d like to think that someone would give me the chance to share my story if the roles were reversed.
And I think that it’s an important discussion to have. If I’m being completely and totally honest I harbor a natural wariness and a minor lack of trust for law enforcement personnel that I don’t personally know--and it’s not because I’m guilty of something--it’s primarily due to the imbalance of power. I think it’s good to talk about these things.
In the end, I want there to be trust and respect between fish and wildlife personnel and hunters at large. I never want to see an “us” vs. “them” mentality at play. I want to see mutual trust, shared goals and genuine appreciation between all of us.
Take a listen to this podcast and let me know what you think. And if you’re interested, and want to see some good elk hunting film go and buy Montana Wild’s new video, “The Outliers.”
On this episode of Gritty Bowmen we give our third update on our 2017 Archery Elk Hunt with A-ron Snyder. We talk Giardia, Navigatioin, Survival, Elk, Sketchy Wind and more. In case you missed the first two updates go check out Episodes 283 & 284.
Round Two: On this episode of Gritty Bowmen we give an update on our 2017 Archery Elk Hunt with Cousin Ben Morris and A-ron Snyder.
On this episode of Gritty Bowmen we give an update on our 2017 Archery Elk Hunt with Cousin Ben Morris and A-ron Snyder.
While hanging out in British Columbia with @bartlancaster on our Mountain Goat hunt the subject of BC's impending Trophy Grizzly Bear Ban was a recurring topic of discussion. Bart lives and breathes in the Canadian bush and he has first hand experience and knowledge about predator populations in the backcountry and their impact on ungulate species. Bart loves grizzly bears and wants them on the landscape in healthy numbers. But he also wants healthy moose, caribou, elk and deer populations too, which means predators should be managed. And Bart believes we should not favor certain species when it comes to wildlife management; we should manage for ecological balance--and that includes the real and honest impact that humans have on the wild, of which we are a part.
On this episode of Gritty Bowmen Aron Snyder and I share our recent archery mountain goat hunt in British Columbia with Bart Lancaster.
On this episode of Gritty Bowmen I sit down with Rihana & Ty Cary at the SHOT show in Vegas. I love Blacktail hunting and Rihana shares how she got a monster in 2016. We talk about the Cameron Hanes 5k run and how Ty & Rihana stay motivated to train during the off season. If you haven't seen it, go check out my "Treestand 101" video. It's good stuff.
On this episode of Gritty Bowmen we meet with Outdoor Anna Lea. She shares some recipes and why she hunts. You can find her recipes on outdoorannalea.com and follow her in Instagram as outdoorannalea
On this episode of Gritty Bowmen we talk about the recent Grizzly Ban in BC, Archery techniques and Aron's recent antelope hunt.
On this Gritty Gear Review we talk Bino Harnesses. We review the Alaska Guide Creations, Marsupial Gear and Sitka Gear. Each one has pros and cons and you'll find out which ones we plan to use for our upcoming hunts. -Stay Gritty
I was fortunate to meet Samantha Reynolds and Michael Barry at the @ladieshuntingcamp this summer. As I got to know them I was impressed by their perspective and attitude toward hunting. I felt as though these two individuals embodied the "new hunters" that Shane Mahoney (@conservation_visions) spoke of in the last podcast. Sammy isn't quite sure if she's ready to hunt; but Mike is committed and Samantha supports him. I hope this episode gets you thinking about hunting, why you do it, and how you represent hunters at large.