I am a hunter and I am proud of who I am and what I do.
Hunting is the age-old human imperative that bridges oceans and weaves diverse cultures in ways not otherwise possible.
When I hunt in Africa, I am proud to be able to meet the people in the villages there, understand their culture and be part of helping to make their lives better and more rewarding. By hunting, I become part of both their cultural experience and of the natural order of things around them. As a hunter, I enrich their lives with Nature’s bounty, and as fellow human beings on Planet Earth, they enrich my life.
I pity those eco-imperialists who oppose hunting from afar. Their negativity defines them and limits them from understanding some of the highest forms of human experiences and some of the most effective ways to assure that there are healthy wildlife populations in the future. These antis barely, if ever, lift a finger or deliver a dollar or a scrap of food to help those who live in the bush. They don’t do a single thing to enhance wildlife. The only word they know is “no.” By seeking to deny me and other hunters our culture, they seek to impose their beliefs onto those who will suffer first and foremost from the devastation the antis’ dreams most certainly will cause, if realized.
Hunters were the first true conservationists, and continue to be the most effective conservationists. Hunters are on the ground where nature happens. Anti-hunters are absent in those places. They only care about themselves as they bask in the illusion that they matter. Jungle drums never beat their message. Nor should the highly sophisticated global media echo their vitriol. As a hunter, I invite the media of the world to go where I go, see what I see, do what I do and then report. The story will be both different and have more impact because it will show what reality looks like. I am a hunter and I am proud of who I am and what I do.–Paul Babaz, President Safari Club International