young black male isolated on a white backgroundOk, so my twelve-year-old son and I were in a popular “natural” grocery store the other day. We had just returned from a successful turkey hunt and happened to be decked out in Realtree camo. We bagged two good Toms, so our spirits were up. And I emphasize “were” here.

In the middle of me reaching for a couple deli sandwiches (which is how my boy and I liked to “celebrate” after a hunt), I heard “hunting is immoral, you know.”

I lifted my head to see none other than a twenty-something gentlemen in a yellow fedora (of course). Typically, I would’ve just smiled, grabbed my food and walked to checkout counter, not wanting to dignify this little millennial’s absurd statement with a response.

However, like I said, I was with my son. He had just shot his first turkey and I wasn’t about to have such a special day marred by the comment of an imbecile… especially when his comment was so patently false.

Not wanting to reinforce this idiot’s ill-informed and stereotypical perception of hunters, I kept my cool. I calmly looked at him and said:

“Hunting helps us all, son.

Sure we kill animals, but did you know that without us, your precious municipalities and roadways would be overrun with wildlife and all that comes with it? That’s right, because of human expansion into animal habitats, many of the natural predators of these prey animals have become obsolete, causing rampant overpopulation. The end result of which is brings about, among other things, loads of potentially fatal car accidents and outbreaks of things like Lyme disease. Plus, when heard animals like deer become too large, they tend to strip many forests of young trees and undergrowth, causing other animals to die off due to lack of food and shelter.

Still think hunting is immoral, son?”

He looked at me stunned, turned around and briskly walked away.

Luckily, this wasn’t the first time a know-it-all type has tried to dampen my love of hunting, so I was somewhat prepared. It’s amazing what a few well-placed facts can do to naysayers will to give you guff.

So next time some a guy in a yellow fedora tries to tell you that hunting is immoral, keep your cool and repeat the above paragraph. It’ll shut him up, I promise.