You've likely heard the hubbub created from a safari the Trump boys took last year. If not, just Google "Trump brothers on African safari." Apparently it was a slow news day earlier this week in the mainstream media, so they dug up photos of Donald Trump's sons in typical safari trophy shots doing what thousands of hunters do annually: go to Africa on safari. One image of a son holding up an elephant tail stirred the pot the most. You can decide whether it was custom or tradition to take the tail off, but when you prepare any animal for eating, parts come off.
Moving on, you should be prepared if this happens to you. You're kidding yourself if you think that at some point in your ramblings you won't be confronted by a devoted animal lover or even a diehard anti-hunting extremist. The best way to handle confrontation, whether you're a Trump or not, is to remain cool, calm, collected and be armed with knowledge.
Here are a few facts you can use to educate anti-hunters:
Fact 1: Hunters and anglers tax themselves to conserve wildlife. Back in 1937 a tax was promoted, supported and passed with the help of sportsman. Called the Pittman Robertson Act, this 11-percent excise tax on hunting and fishing equipment has accounted for more than $2 billion in funds that are matched by the states for wildlife that EVERYONE enjoys ... not just hunters and anglers.
Fact 2: American sportsmen teamed together with pioneering wildlife biologists to create the era of modern wildlife conservation. Hunters played an integral role by funding wildlife management and putting in place conservation practices to restore disappearing wildlife resources. It's a model used today worldwide.
Fact 3: Many of America's wildlife populations owe their existence to hunters. Take your pick and you'll likely land on a critter that owes its livelihood to hunter support as noted above. Whitetails, turkeys, pronghorn, elk, sharp-tailed grouse, waterfowl, black bears, mountain lions and many others benefited from hunters rallying together to save diminishing densities created from America's westward migration. Today these species thrive due to the concern of hunters.
Fact 4: Hunters feed the hungry. Hunters have always been quick to share their take with neighbors, but as opportunities have increased to take more animals, especially whitetails, it's opened the door for more sharing. The federal government has documented more than 34 million Americans are on the verge of hunger so programs like Iowa's Help Us Stop Hunger Program, Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry or Safari Club International's Sportsmen Feeding the Hungry, plus dozens of others, provide an outlet for extra protein. It's the primary element missing for those needing food assistance and venison can fill the void. Last year Iowa hunters donated more than 6,000 deer for 1.1 million meals.
But be forewarned: Fact doesn't always calm someone married to a cause.
As a veteran of African safaris, I know that the animals shot by the Trump brothers were without question utilized by locals to boost meals throughout the region. So whether you're hunting at home or across the globe, have some ammunition ready to trump the hunter haters when they get in your face.