Waste Not

“How, given the canine teeth and close-set eyes that declare the human animal to be a predator, had we come up with the notion that oat bran is more natural to eat than chicken?”―Valerie Martin, The Great Divorce

The old saying, “waste not, want not” means if you don’t waste anything you will always have enough. In the context of hunting ethics and public perception, it means far too many people have the wrong impression of hunters and hunting. There is a growing belief that hunters waste the game they harvest.

Several things are driving this misperception:

  • The prevailing belief that hunters only seek a trophy for the wall and the rest of the animal is wasted;
  • The images they see, particularly on the Internet, in videos and on television is at times only that of hunters posing with dead animals. Little is shown of how we take care of and use the meat;
  • An overall lack of understanding that a primary motivation for the majority of hunters is securing healthy, wild, organic protein to feed their families and share with friends and neighbors;
  • A lack of understanding that even if this wasn’t the case, there are laws against the wasting of game and that this is an ethical responsibility of all hunters taught at an early age;
  • The fact that not all game that is hunted is edible, combined with the confusion over hunters participating in predator management where the object is not food.

Misperceptions are the result of low information, and in some cases bad or false information. Animal rights and anti-hunting groups make their living circulating false information and half-truths and hunters wasting game is a favorite topic.

The best thing we can do is get the correct information out there at every opportunity.

  • Show that you take great pride in packing out your game;
  • Talk about and share your favorite recipes online;
  • Share your game with others;
  • Introduce non-hunters to wild game and bring them to wild game events;
  • Donate to local food banks;
  • Be truthful when asked why you hunt: for drug-free, wild protein and knowing where the food you feed your family comes from;
  • That trophy on the wall is to remind you of a memorable experience and an animal you respected—plus he provided many delicious meals.