View Full Version : Will elitism kill the sport?

July 12, 2001, 10:24 AM
A few weeks back I had a conversation with a relative who is a flyfisherman. He showed a certain amount of disdain towards guys who needed spinning tackle when salmon fishing. He also expressed satisfaction that certain areas were now marked off limits to anyone but flyfisherman. After this discussion, I began to think about how this applies to hunting. I've run into more than a few hunters who only hunt with flintlocks, or only use stick bows, and feel that anyone who hunts otherwise is not worthy to be in the field. Even in hunter safety class, it was stressed that the "ideal" hunter was the guy who only took trophies and passed up the runty spike bucks or does. My worry is that someday hunting will become like fishing, where only certain types of hunting are considered "sporting" and anything else is considered "unethical" or even made illegal. So what do you guys think-have the folks pushing the "ethical trophy sportsmen" or the "primitive hunting only" guys gone too far? Will the general public someday be conned into a slippery slope of "sportsmanship" that ends with us throwing rocks at deer?

July 12, 2001, 11:40 AM
Think you got a point, Poodleshooter. Gun owners are pretty much individualistic as hell and cannot stand somebody who likes something they don't or vice versa. I have seen this attitude exhibited most frequently by shotgunners in clay sports but there is a healthy strain of the virus in most gunners. Don't know what we can do about it, though. :(

JB in SC
July 13, 2001, 02:36 PM
Yes, it is a disturbing trend. I have been a hunter and fly fisherman for over 30 years. I practice catch and release most of the time when trout fishing. Why? I guess because I can. I will keep some occasionally to eat.

I am a guiltless hunter and I do get bent out of shape on some of the fly fishing forums when they decry hunting as if it were some "uncouth" activity. I don't want to sound "elitist" myself, but a large majority of these new anglers and shooters have no heritage when it comes to hunting and the outdoors. Not their fault, but as "political correctness" rears it's ugly head, I think we will see more of it...much to my chagrin.

I've even read some accounts criticizing a photographer for getting "too close" to a bird while nesting...give me a break!

Consumptive, non-consumptive, intrusive, non-intrusive...where will it end?

July 13, 2001, 03:11 PM
JB in SC,
Fly-fisherman, hunter and shooter myself, I steered away from the fly-fishing forum I used to visit because of the snobby elitist holier-than-thou attitude floating around (the moderators were, sadly, among the worst of them).
Hopefully, this trend won't stick among shooters, but elitism tries to rear its ugly head through (Nomex suit on) competitive shooting and Weatherby fans.
BTW, was one of your boards FAOL?

JB in SC
July 13, 2001, 05:27 PM

Yep, that was one of them. I believe it's called something else now. A snobbish group if I've ever seen one. I've been fly fishing longer than most of them have been alive (elitism showing).

Killing an animal is only part of the hunt, but it's the part that makes a person understand what part they play in the "circle". Not taken lightly, I might add.


Dave R
July 13, 2001, 05:30 PM
Its possible that elitism is killing hunting. License buyers are falling off in most states, right?

I've been trying for 3 years to get someone to take me along on a deer/elk hunt, but no one wants to take a newbie.

JB in SC
July 13, 2001, 05:49 PM
Dave R,

I don't hunt big game anymore but if you'll drive to South Carolina, I'll put you on Deer. Our limit is 10 so bring a big truck.


July 14, 2001, 03:52 AM
As a newby in IPSC, I came to the party equipped with two Colt Gold Cups and Wilson 10 round mags.

I was immediately told to lose em and get a Caspian so I could be competitive. Whereupon I was shown a $3000 "dream gun that looked like a Buck Rogers contraption assembled by a Chimpanzee. Needless to say, I failed to get too interested in the "sport." :barf:


JB in SC
July 14, 2001, 09:52 AM

I can relate. Twenty years ago you could have a reasonable pistol and compete. But as most of the "games" have progressed, the average shooter is intimidated by the cost and level of skill required. I think they advance the sport, it just doesn't appeal to me.

One of the reasons I stick to rimfires is the cost. Granted a box of Federal UM1 ain't cheap, but the majority of rimfire ammo is inexpensive enough to afford plenty of range time. Not enough people start out with the rimfire to hone their markmanship skills. They start out with the centerfires, can't understand why they can't shoot a decent group or make a good shot on an animal, maybe get frustrated and quit. Not a good thing, we need all the shooters we can recruit.

(sounds of soapbox creaking)

Sorry for dissertation,

July 14, 2001, 11:23 AM
Haven't seen the elitest attitude so much in hunting as competitive shooting. Maybe its because when I'm getting ready for the hunt, its all about making the perfect handload, making sure all the equipment is ready to go, etc.
Did some IDPA shoots last year, and the fool running it thought you just had to have a custom this or that, and if you were shooting any 1911A1 style, it had to be a custom, whether or not it was a stock 1991A1 or a Caspian. Got a chance to show them a thing or two with a very un-pretty Series 80 Government Model as compared with all their custom made and tuned stuff. Took first place in my class and decided I'd find someplace else to shoot after that.

Dan Morris
July 14, 2001, 07:00 PM
of course things are changing.I guess I don't follow the norm.
We still hunt with old Remingtons and Winchester bolt actions,
bird hunt with corn shucker 12 guages and carry wheel guns while in bear country.
Guess I'm too old to change and son is growing up to respect the land and animals we harvest and consume.
Sad, but it is changing.As long as the new comer has the right attitude, They have always been welcome in my camp!

July 15, 2001, 12:09 AM
Sorry I will always be AN INDIVIDUAL!

And I love fly fishing for Blue Gills and spinning spoons for trout!

Don't like it? you know what to kiss! ;)

Art Eatman
July 15, 2001, 07:16 PM
I forget the name of the guy who's boss of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), but in an interview-article for one of the sporting mags (Sports Afield?) he said that after hunting is ended, fishing is next.

Hang together or be hanged separately.

It's hard to make some target shooters and skeet shooters understand that it's an ANTI-GUN thing, not just an anti-killing thing.

The same for fishing: Dry flies or worms or lures; fresh water or salt--the antis want to stop it all.

I first learned to use a fly rod some 50 years ago. But I'm just as happy worm fishing for perch, or trolling in saltwater for king mackeral or whatever shows up...Sorry, but fishin' is fishin' is fishin', absent using electricity, rotenone or dynamite. :D

I'm a walking hunter, which I think takes more skill than sittin'-huntin'. So what? I don't look down on anybody who loves the outdoors and kills his meat cleanly and fairly. We're all in it together.

Bullseye, IPSC, IDPA, benchrest, CAS--it's all the same. Mostly good folks. Same for fishing, whether it's BASS or the Isaac Walton-ers. And I don't worry about the occasional doofus in any of them.



July 16, 2001, 06:00 AM
Good point Poodleshooter. It’s good to watch out for the divide and conquer technique, especially if it is internal.
Most of the elitism I’ve seen is one of two types.

1. The guys who think it’s wrong to hunt in a way other than they hunt, such as bears with dogs or bait, turkey hunting with a rifle, all where legal.

2. People who believe the deer they shoot are the "correct" ones. A small buck instead of a doe for instance. I hunted one place that had so many deer they starteded anterless only after lunch. Several of the bucks only guys went home. Soon after that the place went anterless only.

July 16, 2001, 03:23 PM
Maybe it's time we started a club to admit to hunting, fishing and shooting faux pas???
My name is Poodleshooter and I:
1. Legally shot a turkey from a roost and have occassionally shot hens during the fall season. For meat no-less!!! Shot a doe one year,too.
2. Caught my last rainbow trout on (gasp) a CRANKBAIT !!!
3. I shoot IDPA with an unmodified Glock 30 and I shoot clays and trap with a Mossberg pump

...and I'm proud of it :p

Art Eatman
July 16, 2001, 03:49 PM

"Poodleshooter's Piddlin'-Around NonPC Huntin', Fishin' and Tall Tale Tellin' Society".

It's a start...

:), Art

July 16, 2001, 06:24 PM
You guys are forgetting some important stuff:

1. Sometimes 'fishing" is about sitting on a riverbank drinking beer.

2. Sometimes you carry a gun to make the DOG feel important. :D

Elitism is as easy to get into as a Glock vs 1911 discussion at TFL. We ALL have our opinions as to whats hot and what's not. I for one think fly fishing for trout looks like more work that "dipping" with a cane rod. I lso think that's less fun than landing a 3 foot barracuda, which is slightly less fun than having your canoe TOWED by a Muskie. (ok it could have beena HUGE catfish).

And I've taken home a few 'sunday" bucks in my time.. why? Cuz he's a buck I would NOT have shot on saturday but with the light fading sunday afternoon, putting meat in the freezer was more important that a big trophy rack. And the Biggest antelope I have ever killed was an uncommon doe in Wyoming. I was REALLY proud of that one.

You want elitism? Try sporting clays. Perrazzi shoguns and nissan stainless steel thermoses abound taken from pristine SUV's that have never seen mud. Inspite of that, guys who shoot clays.. seem to be REALLY good at it. Why is this? They practice. They get out and enjoy the great outdoors or the range with a pal or two.

I've seen my share of IDPA vs IPSC 'elitism' discussed too. WHO CARES? Its about having FUN, improving YOUR skills and hopefully sharing a day with the new friends you are making.

If you want hunting and fishing and the shooting sports to stay around.. take a friend. introduce someone new to the sport and teach them well, hopefully they will do the same and the sport will grow.

Cuz at the end of the day all that really matters is that you had FUN. :p

Paul B.
July 21, 2001, 03:17 PM
Good thread.
First. Dave R. If you can draw a tag in Arizona for deer or elk, I'll guide you. No guarantees on success. Just stay away from the Coues areas. I'm too old and fat to work those. :D

Second. Poodleshooter. I prefer doe and cow elk tags to bucks or bulls. Much better eating. Much prefer sticking a worn on a hook, settin' in the shade, and contemplating my sins. Them what don't like it? Tough! I don't much care for shotguns, but if you like 'em, fine. tricked out 1911's shut me off. I think old John Moses did it right the first time. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
CAS. Why do I have to dress up like an 1880's cowhand, gambler, or whatever? I would just like to compete using the firearms of the period. Why is it that the moneyshooters price everybody else out of the game. Look at the "cheater" guns in silhouette shooting. That game was originally done competing with old 94's in 30-30 down in Mexico. Look at the race guns running 3 grand and more. Keeps most beginners out of the game. I could go on, but I think I've made my point. We're loosing shooters, because they are priced out of the game.
In Europe,for the most part, the shooting sports are for the wealthy elite. Looks kind of like it's going that way here as well.
Just my not too humble thought on all of this.
Paul B.

July 23, 2001, 11:59 AM
Hearing stuff like this makes me :barf:

A club that I belong to runs a "fun shoot" every other Saturday morning. Morning is pistols, rifles at noon. Guys come out with all sorts of guns: Glocks, 1911's, revolvers, whatever. Rifles include SKS, AR's, lever-actions, etc.
We have a grand time with what we've got. It's open to the public and we get quite a few non-members through some weeks.
Maybe you'd want to set one up in a club near you? I don't run these matches, but I'd be happy to give more detail...

August 13, 2001, 10:26 PM
Maybe it's time we started a club to admit to hunting, fishing and shooting faux pas???

My name is Dean, and I've shot grouse when they were sitting on the ground, or out of trees. In fact, that's the only way I've shot them. It's the way I was taught.:eek:

And I associate with "party hunters" (hunters that will shoot an animal to fill someone elses tag.) Oh, the horror.

August 16, 2001, 03:20 PM
Elitism exists in almost any human endeavor which involves more than one individual!

Like Art said; "Hang together or be hanged separately".

August 16, 2001, 10:52 PM
Great thread
I am associated with and guide for an outfitter in NM.
WWW.HUNTINGWESTERNUSA.COM. Among other things we hunt Bear and Lion with dogs. Oh the horror!! I have recently moved to CO where it is now illegal to hunt Bear with dogs. Guess who many of the people whom pushed the dog ban in CO were? Yup you guessed it, hunters. Bird hunters who believed through there total ignorance that dog hunting for big game is cruel and unsportaman like. And Elk hunters who Who join RMEF (yes I'm a member) and all of a sudden get the one step above those other guys syndrome. There were others as well. We hunters as a group made the antis cream in their jeans on that one. If you want to see hunting gone for good keep up with this mine is better than yours attitude it's not as far away as you think.

Oh and by the way for any of those folks who believe that hunting the Rockys for Lion and Bear with dogs is a cake walk We've got a standing offer for them. Simply state your beliefs at the begining of the hunt and if after 3 days of scrambling around some of the roughest country in the lower 48 chasing a pack of hounds, You aren't completely whopped and don't agree that thios was one of the toughest hunts you've ever been on,you get the hunt free.

Oh yeah I forgot to mention, when you think about it dog hunting is the one of the only true forms of catch and release hunting there is. If after you tree something you don't like it pull the dogs back and let it go.

I know that I'm preaching to the quire but son of a gun I make no appoliges I really feel strongly about this. For any of you guys wanting to come out west this year It should be a great one for ELk, Mule Deer seem to be strong in NM this year, and Bear and Lion Are going to be real good we've been seeing lots of em.