Ep. 98: "On Hunting"Lt. Col. David Grossman, renowned author of “On Killing” and “On Combat” has teamed up with Linda Miller and Keith Cunningham, trainers of professional marksman at Canada’s prestigious MilCun Training Centre, to write the much anticipated “On Hunting”.
The book On Hunting draws from ecology, philosophy, and anthropology and is sprinkled with campfire stories which appeals to hunters and non-hunters alike.
On Hunting shows that the need for hunting for both mankind as well as the wild earth we inhabit.
For more information, check out these links:
Grossman On Truth: https://grossmanontruth.com/product/o...
MilCun Training Center: http://www.milcun.com/
[00:00:00] Travis Bader: I am Travis Bader, and this is the Silvercore Podcast. Silvercore has been providing its members with the skills and knowledge necessary to be confident and proficient in the outdoors for over 20 years, and we make it easier for people to deepen their. To the natural world. If you enjoy the positive and educational content we provide, please let others know by sharing, commenting and following so that you can join in on everything that Silvercore stands for.
[00:00:40] If you'd like to learn more about becoming a member of the Silvercore Club and community, visit our website at silvercore.ca. All right, you guys are gonna make me work for it today. I've got a few. On the Silvercore Podcast, and I like to make sure I get a decent intro for everybody cuz I, I view it like somebody coming into your house.
[00:01:02] You don't ask somebody to come into your house and introduce themselves. You bring them into your house and you introduce 'em to your guests who're gonna be there. And that's exactly what I'm gonna attempt to get through with the three of you. I had to call back some of the accolades just to make this one flow.
[00:01:17] So today I'm joined by Lydon Miller, a competitive. Who has won medals at the Commonwealth Games Cuba, world Cup, Mexico World Cup, and was the first woman to win the Ontario Lieutenant Governor's Medal for shooting Retired Captain Keith Cunningham. With over 25 years of experience in the Canadian and US Armed Forces combat tours of Vietnam peacekeeping and counters, snipping operations as Cyprus, and together with Linda run Milk and Training Center and they coach high level competitive shooters and professionals.
[00:01:49] Around the world and have authored the book Mental Marksmanship, which we've discussed in past episodes of the Silvercore Podcast with my friend Ryan Stacy, finally retired Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman of the US Army, founder of the Grossman on Truth, author of numerous books, notably on killing the psychology, the psychological cost of Learning to kill in War and Society, and has teamed up with Linda and Keith in their brand new.
[00:02:16] On hunting, a definitive study of the mind, body, and ecology of the hunter in the modern world. Welcome to the Silvercore Podcast, Linda, Keith, and Dave.
[00:02:29] David Grossman: Thank you Travis. Thanks
[00:02:31] Linda Miller: Travis. sound very exciting. I'm really glad you did the intros, . Yes.
[00:02:37] Travis Bader: Hey, you know, it's always easier for somebody else to You bet.
[00:02:42] So we've we're, um, You guys are just wrapping up a week of recording your audiobook for On Hunting, and right now I believe you guys are all in Dave's house in separate rooms. I think we've got all of our technical issues kind of sorted and um, there might be a little bit of delay while we're talking here.
[00:03:01] Hopefully that doesn't interrupt the flow too much, but I, what I'm really curious about is what was the impetus for the book on hunting? How did this first come? You're up,
[00:03:13] David Grossman: Dave? Uh, well, I, I've had the idea for a long time. Um, I, I wrote on killing and, uh, it evolved into, on combat, uh, the two distinctly different dynamics, but the, the third leg of understanding human beings is hunting.
[00:03:31] Uh, you know, it, it's all we did that, Linda, there's a great quote in the book about if the existence of mankind was 24 hours, Right up until the last six minutes, all we did was hunt. You know, it's who we are, it's what we were built to do. It's what we were designed to do. And, and I mentioned that to Linda one time, uh, and I thought, what do you think about co-authoring this book?
[00:03:54] I've got an outline and a concept that passed it to Linda and boom, you know, I'll let her take it from there.
[00:04:03] Linda Miller: So next, um, as with most of these things, I had to actually get knowledgeable about hunting cuz like most people, I was a. But I really didn't know much more than just how to, you know, ask my gunsmith to keep my gun tuned and go out into the stand and, you know, shoot a deer when it arrived. So I did a lot of reading.
[00:04:21] I read a couple hundred books. Um, some of them very old, some of them very new. And it was very interesting to see other people's perspectives on hunting and some of their, their dis. Uh, and where I thought it all tied back together again was very, very old times. And my first idea was that old times were back to the, um, uh, gods and goddesses of the great Greek and Roman empires because they all had, you know, gods and goddesses, usually goddesses of, of the hunt.
[00:04:57] And then I realized that that's not old. What's old? Stone stone age man, or even earlier before, certainly well before written records and well before a lot of artifacts, and we were hunters all that time. We came from hunting, stalk and trying to get an understanding of the depth of that connection drove a lot of my reading.
[00:05:23] And then, you know, there were other things that they've had on his wishlist, and I think we met him. Um, he thought that we needed to talk about ethics. So we talked about, um, and did a fair bit of research about how animals behave and what kind of ethics they would've brought to the table before men, and then how early men would've, what ethics they would have.
[00:05:47] Ethic, mostly ethics of efficiency because you can't be spending more calories than you're getting, you know, or you're not gonna live. Um, and right through to modern times when we. Much more capable, um, killing power. And we need to temper that, uh, in order to have a fair and safe hunt. And so then we, what, what else did we wanna cover, Dave?
[00:06:12] It was, um, uh, the tools and skills, I think. Okay. What's in common, uh, across time and around the world and the types of skills that you need and the kinds of tools that you. More or less allowed to use. Uh, they're all available to us. We could go back to ales and slingshot, but many jurisdictions, you're not allowed to use those for a game hunt.
[00:06:34] Um, and then we talked about the relationship between some of those skills and processes to, um, other things that you might be knowledgeable in. Um, police work, military, anything that involves any kind of, of stalking. Tool use and, uh, if need be, then killing. And so we looked at, at that and the connections.
[00:07:01] And then finally we looked at what's the place of the hunter in the modern world Is the replace and what does that, what does that look like, and how does he participate and contribute? And what we found was that because we are all under the skin, all wired to be. That we all can access this incredible depth of history that we, our little pool of jeans has to those pools of jeans that, that are
[00:07:34] Travis Bader: our fore bears.
[00:07:36] I find that so interesting. And Keith, did you wanna chime in on there at all of the,
[00:07:41] Keith Cunningham: I don't know if Dave, I don't know if Dave mentioned it, but, uh, the, the part that. kind of perked my ears up, was one, one time we were at, at one of Dave's seminars and he, he, uh, said to Linda, I'm gonna make you famous and rich.
[00:07:57] And, and Linda said, well, , I'm not too, I don't care much about the famous, but I'm very interested in that rich part. And, uh, my contribution to the book was pretty much to stay outta Linda's way while she was reading all those, all those 200 and some. Uh, and then throughout the book we needed, uh, campfire stories.
[00:08:18] And so that's where I came in and, uh, and wrote several of those, uh, those campfire stories, which I enjoyed writing, and I certainly enjoyed, uh, reading them, uh, when we did this audio book. And
[00:08:31] Travis Bader: there's something doing so human about. Yeah, yeah. Sorry. Say,
[00:08:35] David Grossman: say again, Dave. As we were doing the narration, uh, the campfire stories that Keith had, , well, really the areas that choked us all up.
[00:08:44] All right. That was so powerful. And then Linda did her homework. But they, all of the areas that kind of anticipated the one that came out of nowhere and really was most important was the whole business of, uh, of sustaining the ecology. And we got that Nairobi, you know, we got the, the Kenya versus uh, uh, uh, Linda kind of run with that.
[00:09:06] I think it's the most more thing in the book. And I didn't see that. Is where the hunter is really the deep pockets and the great resources to sustain conservation over the years. Yeah. If I may
[00:09:19] Linda Miller: be so crude, we're the only ones who actually give a damn. Yeah. Hunters. Hunters, yeah.
[00:09:25] Travis Bader: Yeah. It's not the first time I've heard that.
[00:09:29] You know, hu hunters will quite often be, you know, the bird watchers. They like going out there and watching the birds just like we do. But why aren't they contributing to conservation the same way? Right. Right.
[00:09:38] David Grossman: If they had hunter a hunting license to do it. And, uh, and, uh, you know, and, and pay for a tag for every deer that, for every bird that they spotted, they probably wouldn't, that it wouldn't pursue that sport.
[00:09:49] And then here are hunters paying vast amounts of money to do what they need to do. But, but Linda, dive into that Kenya versus, uh, Namibia model. Sorry, was there a question in there for me? Yeah, can you go ahead and, and you know what's happening Kenya, you, what's happening Namibia and that. Comparison dynamic.
[00:10:07] Linda Miller: Yeah. Um, Kenya had a really serious problem, um, decades ago with, um, with poaching and a lot, uh, b both for ivory, it was called the Ivory Wars. Um, but there were lots of other, um, uh, victims in, in what was going on, and, and there were lots of very powerful parties who were support. Uh, illegal meat trade and any kind of high value, uh, ivory or anything like that.
[00:10:43] Um, and so the government of Kenya said, absolutely no more. We're not going to allow anything to be taken, uh, in, in any kind of hunting or poaching. Well, it's easy to stop hunting because we're all law abiding and, you know, pay a great deal to hunt. But it's not so easy to stop poaching, right? So the first thing that happened in Kenya is that the animal population absolutely dropped, um, because everybody, there were no hunters.
[00:11:19] There was no investment in, uh, in anti poaching efforts. It just, they took over and they killed. I think the best estimate is something between 70 and 80% of the game in Kenya. Now it. Come back a little bit, but they still don't have the kind of funding that Hunters had brought. So they're still struggling somewhat.
[00:11:44] They have a booming business in, uh, in safaris, uh, photo safaris and, um, and that's great. Uh, but, but it doesn't contribute to the economy the way, uh, survey hunting does. Now, maybe on the other, had, um, had an unfortunate war with South Africa with a good outcome. The outcome was that Namia won their independence from South Africa, and the people who were in charge said, we're not gonna follow that Kenya example.
[00:12:14] What we're gonna do is we are gonna set up conservancies, and the conservancies are going to be owned. Uh, some are owned by tribes, some are owned by investors, some are owned. Um, people that have lived there for, uh, for several generations, uh, with some German background in them. And, um, the conservancies are huge.
[00:12:35] The one that we were on was 25,000 acres, and they are in charge of keeping their animal population up so that it can be hunted. And when it is hunted, the meat, of course, is all used. Uh, it goes either to the, um, running of the business on the conserv. Or to the local indigenous tribe, or if it's a, an indigenous, uh, conservancy, then of course they, uh, they take care of the meat and, and, uh, give it out or sell it, uh, in some cases.
[00:13:08] So it's, it's a booming business. Uh, the animals become assets and it's in everyone's interest to take care of them, and it's worked extremely.
[00:13:19] Travis Bader: Yeah, it's interesting that North American model of conservation and, and how it is applied and how other places can pick it up. Once you commoditize something and you realize that it's, it's a resource and there's a scarcity to it, all of a sudden the idea of conserving that becomes first and foremost, it gives it value.
[00:13:39] And, you know, if, if you outlaw hunting, the poachers will go around all of a sudden that life really. , it lacks the value that it has when it's when you're hunting. And I've, I've got friends who are, do security and work over in South Africa and you know, I remember we're having sushi over here in Delta and a guy gets a text message come in and he looks at this, makes kind of a funny face and puts it down.
[00:14:03] I was like, what was that about? He's like, oh, there's some poachers they caught over in and the fellow's property that they, he knows of. Really? And he's Ah, yeah. And he shows you the picture. And there's three guys that just killed them, and that's what they do with poachers over there. They just very, very ruthless justice.
[00:14:21] Now, it creates a very different system when you bring that value for the life of the animal out of it. And it's kind of like life and death, right? Death is what gives life value. When we start looking at these animals and our resources as something that is gonna be, I guess, a c. , all of a sudden it gets respected in a different way.
[00:14:44] At least that's my observation. And when looking, reading through your book, I, I see some of, um, the work, Dave, that you've done in the past on, from, on killing, bleeding over into this. And I, I see a parallel between the number of, uh, uh, these ideas. What, what are your thoughts on
[00:15:00] David Grossman: that? Well, you know, this, this really is, you can't understand killing, you can't understand combat until you understand hunting.
[00:15:10] So on killing, for example, if you go to Google Scholars scholar.google.com, uh, and you look up, uh, uh, any work and see how many times it's been cited in scholarly works, and, and I, I was at this thing where this one academic guy was retiring and they said his, his, his papers have been cited over, you know, 200 times.
[00:15:32] I thought, wow, that's pretty cool. You know, throughout his lifetime, his stuff has been, What about my stuff? I went to google.scholar.com and on Killing Alone has been cited over 3,600 times. Well, that's what On Hunting is gonna be. Wow. It's gonna be that level of scholarly dynamic. And Linda's laid that foundation.
[00:15:50] She did her lit review. You know, she put it all together. But here's the heart of the matter that Crazy American will pay. Well, what's the record, Linda? A quarter of a million dollars to, to go over it and shoot that, that, that. who's, and here's the key. He's at the end of his life cycle anyway. And oh, by the way, death by old age and nature is a horrible, hideous, slow death as you're eaten alive by rodents and insects.
[00:16:18] Mm-hmm. You know, nobody puts you unless there's a predator there. They put you out of your mercy. Out, out of your, you know, and uh, what we had one part in there where a guy said, if as they watched a calf will, the beast being killed and eaten alive on this photo, saf. Within, within 30 seconds, everybody on the Saari was screaming, put him out of his mercy bud.
[00:16:38] Put him out of his misery. Right? And that's the ethical kill at the hunter at the end of the life cycle. And that pays for all of the game wardens you would ever need to protect that game. This is so important to get across, is what we're doing. So killing, uh, as you said is, is commod. But they, they're gonna die.
[00:16:58] They're in the lifecycle in solo hideous death, and we can get value from that death. But we honor that creature. Uh, we honor their memory and, and, uh, and the money goes back into the community. It's, it's brilliant. And I, I never saw that coming. And Linda just, and Linda and Keith and their, uh, uh, in their, uh, their own safari, its had really given great information to make that come alive.
[00:17:22] Is that, is that tie in Keith, you know, from your perspective? ,
[00:17:27] Keith Cunningham: I'm sure. Was there a que I I have trouble hearing Keith. I have trouble hearing Gage, so I'm not sure if there was a question in there for me.
[00:17:36] Travis Bader: Yeah, just get around gunfire too long. Keith .
[00:17:39] Keith Cunningham: Thank you for that compliment. , what was the question?
[00:17:43] David Grossman: Just what, what, what you had to, to, to add into that equation of, that the, the hunting and your experiences in Namibia. How it kind of framed this model of the, the economics, uh, of, uh, of the modern, the hunter in the modern world.
[00:18:01] Keith Cunningham: It was incredibly obvious, uh, when you go and hunt on those, uh, uh, conservatories and, uh, and deal with the, the phs and all of their, uh, trackers, uh, exactly how all that model, uh, is playing.
[00:18:15] And it was, it was just so obvious. Uh, it would be good if our own, our, our own, uh, lawmakers here were to, to see that sort of stuff. One of the things that really stuck in my mind is, uh, the pH told us, uh, of a drought that was going on, uh, in the land, uh, and, uh, the animals on his conservatory, 25,000 acres were starving to death.
[00:18:39] Uh, and so he had to bring in. Uh, and it wasn't a lot. It was just enough to try to keep them, them going. You had to bring in feed and, and feed the animals until the next rain came. Uh, and it was hunters that, uh, that backed him on that with money. There wasn't one anti gunner, one greenie one, anybody else at all, uh, that helped them with that, uh, except the hunters.
[00:19:04] And I think that says a whole lot, right? There we're the ones that give a.
[00:19:09] David Grossman: Okay, man.
[00:19:10] Travis Bader: And these are little, why do you think that is? Because there's nothing. Oh, I was gonna say, why do you think that is? Because there's nothing stopping the bird watcher from buying a, uh, a migratory bird tag. There's nothing stopping the hiker or the photographer from going out and contributing to conservation in the exact same way that that hunters do.
[00:19:29] Well, I think that why, why is it the hunters?
[00:19:31] Keith Cunningham: Well, I think it is because if, if, if, uh, anti hunter goes out and beg and, and buys a. The concept is that he's supporting hunting. Uh, and in fact, if it was to ever get out that if they wanted to reduce the number of animals killed in a hunt, all they gotta do is go out and buy every tag, uh, that's available out there,
[00:19:51] Uh, but we won't let that get out. Don't do that. We won't let that
[00:19:54] Travis Bader: get out. . So some
[00:19:59] sometimes they do that. I, for example, when the grizzly bear hunt in British Columbia was permissible. Right now, it currently. Uh, there are indigenous groups that are like, they're saying, look at the conservation of our grizzly, uh, population is not being addressed properly, and we are now taking matters into our own hands and we are initiating coals or putting bounties on the grizzlies.
[00:20:23] I mean, the idea of this, this feel good, uh, live and let live and everything. It, it sounds good in theory, but the reality of humanity in recorded history would say that it doesn't play out in prac in the practical world. And there's probably a reason why, like maybe the life death cycle and that struggle B, both in the human sense as well as as with animals, is just an innate part of us.
[00:20:53] And I think you guys touch on that in a way in the book that that's really. ? Well, I think the
[00:20:58] Keith Cunningham: anti hunters, uh, just simply don't know what they don't know. Uh, they're in a very, uh, emotional bunch, uh, and they go off in, in, in that, uh, tangent. Uh, they don't, uh, look into it. They don't study it. They just don't know what they don't know.
[00:21:14] They figure, well, you're killing animals. You must be doing it all wrong. Well, they're wrong. , uh, you know, . , there's more conservation, uh, from us hunters than than they ever thought of providing.
[00:21:29] Travis Bader: Okay. How do we get that message to them? How do we get that message in a way where everyone's pushing together in a, in the, because we've got the same goals.
[00:21:37] We all want to see the animals. We all want to, it's not, as Shane Mahoney would say, that we have dominion over the animals. It's that we are one of them and we all work together in a certain way. And I believe that the anti hunters and the hunters both want that same goal of having. , having our ecosystem, having natural resources, having the animals around, but we're approaching it from two different ways.
[00:22:00] How do we kind of get in the same line? I think, I
[00:22:02] Keith Cunningham: think the, I think we gotta pursue exactly what we're doing. I think, uh, they pursue it from the emotional side, and of course the hunters pursue it from the scientific side. Uh, we've got lots of biologists out there that are, that are, uh, saying the way it needs to be done.
[00:22:17] And I think we just need to, uh, Steer the steady course and uh, and keep doing that and you, you hear a little bit less, I don't think I hear so much protesting as there used to be. And I think a lot of the protestors are maybe starting to have a bit of this scientific logic dribble into their little, their little brains.
[00:22:39] Uh, and it may be starting to, to show up just a little wee bit now, and I think if we just keep on. There's lots and lots of good models out there, Africa. It, it has lots of good models on how it happens, you know, here, uh, in North America we've got more, we've got more deer, moose and elk than we ever had, uh, you know, in the last hundred years.
[00:22:59] Uh, it's working and I think we just gotta stay the course, educate them whenever
[00:23:05] Travis Bader: we can. David, when is the last time that rational, oh, sorry Dave, go on. Don't, I was gonna say,
[00:23:11] David Grossman: if we could just. A really powerful book on this subject, a book that hunters could say, here, read, read this, and you'll understand.
[00:23:22] If we could just, yeah. If somebody would just write this book and, and, and then Hunters could grab this book and shove it at 'em. Say, here, read this now, you'll understand. If only somebody could just write that book. .
[00:23:35] Travis Bader: Well, I think,
[00:23:36] Linda Miller: yes. I think one of the things we have to be a little careful about, The hunters is fewer than 10%.
[00:23:45] The anti-hunt, as far as we can figure, are something fewer than 5% in between are a whole bunch of non-hunters. For a vast number of reasons. They just don't hunt and we've, we spent the last week doing an audio book with a fellow who fell in that category and he was absolutely educated, moved astonish.
[00:24:11] And said he felt blessed. It was a life-changing event for him to listen to our book. So I think it's that vast middle group that, that we can reach and, and get some effective
[00:24:25] Travis Bader: traction. I didn't realize that those numbers, I didn't realize from the way that the anti hunters. And have their voice heard.
[00:24:37] You would think they far outweigh the, the lowly hunters here. The, the few far and few between. I didn't realize that we almost, hunters almost double anti-hunting. That's interesting. Well, the rest
[00:24:48] Linda Miller: of this pathetic, well, huge, huge number of, of, of votes and determination and strength are with the non-hunters and they're a much more amenable group to our
[00:24:59] Travis Bader: message.
[00:25:01] I. Think of the last time when I've been able to use rational, logical thought to combat an emotional argument. And I think that's where the campfire stories like we're contributing there, Keith, are extremely important because we're humans, are storytellers at heart. I mean, we are drawn to the story.
[00:25:23] We're drawn to the visual story, the audio story, the whatever it might. And sitting around a campfire is as old as fire itself. I mean, soldiers, they would talk about having Hexie tv, right? Which is the little hexamine tablets, and they sit there watching that thing zoning out, and it's a bit of an escape.
[00:25:40] and the, yeah, the Hexie tv. Combining that with the stories of how things have been done in the past is the traditional way, how we've always, Carrie, Information forward. And I personally, I think you guys are probably touching on that key piece because it, the emotional argument side doesn't wanna listen to facts.
[00:26:05] But if you can touch that emotional side through the story that incorporates those facts, I think that's probably the best possible solution here.
[00:26:15] Keith Cunningham: I think you can start most discussions with the anti hunters with three words. And Namibia, go off and study those two from a hunting point of view, and, and you'll see the difference.
[00:26:30] Ah, and then you can stick our book in their face or maybe even slap them with it .
[00:26:36] David Grossman: But the, the other powerful component that I didn't see coming until we all got together and did it was this audio book. I don't think there's ever been an audio book like it. Uh, Keith was reading the, the, the summaries and the forwards and the, and then a chapter title.
[00:26:52] So went a subtitle, a section title. So, and then he read the campfire stories and then, you know, we, all these wonderful, wonderful quotes that, that Linda had pulled together, the best words for the best people. She read all the quotes, and then I read, you know, kind of the text in between and, and, and so there's all of us.
[00:27:10] But what's really cool is the guy who did the record, He was doing all kinds of outtakes. We would say, oh, by the way, you know, here's what happened here. And we'd laugh about this and we'd fumble over this. And so this may be the first audio book ever done, but an outtakes real that allows people, people, that's awesome.
[00:27:29] People take deep. It's just so much fun. You gotta listen to the audio. It's gotta be fun and it will be part of the tool that allows us to, to get this information in their hands. You know, who you, you know, you go for a drive, you plug in an audio book and you listen an hour a day during your commute. Uh, at the end of this book, you will be informed and transformed.
[00:27:48] And, and again, with Keith's, uh, you know, the, those campfire stories and uh, those great quotes, uh, it comes together to form something very powerful.
[00:27:58] Travis Bader: I think those outtakes are, are important too, cuz it humanizes you. Yeah. Instead of that professional at the other end of the microphone, that's just relaying information.
[00:28:06] They're like, oh, okay. Yeah. They're imperfect just like me. Or they, they, they can make mistakes or get upset or flood things just like me. And that humanizing process is something that I, I see. Um, modern social media and the way that people communicate it seems to be, Have a dehumanizing approach to it and it creates an us against them sort of mentality.
[00:28:29] And when we can start looking at people that we would say as the opposition or the other side and realize that their goals and intentions by and large will align very much with our own and one-on-one dealing with them, they're pretty darn good people. Yes. Uh, we just seem to differ on a few different ways of Implica application that humanization is hugely, I.
[00:28:54] David Grossman: you know, from the perspective
[00:28:55] Travis Bader: of that where talking about, so we're talking about ethics.
[00:28:57] David Grossman: Yep. Linda, tell him about on running. I
[00:29:01] Linda Miller: can't remember what I said. I said something about on running. It seemed right to me at the time and Keith came back with what,
[00:29:10] Keith Cunningham: um, let's write a book on, on Rucking. It seemed funnier at the time.
[00:29:17] I'm not sure. ?
[00:29:20] David Grossman: Yeah. So capture as
[00:29:23] Travis Bader: you're knee deep into all this stuff. And after a full long week of recording the audio, oh, let's write our next
[00:29:29] David Grossman: book,
[00:29:31] Keith Cunningham: ing, you'll, you'll hear it in more details in the, in the outtakes.
[00:29:35] Travis Bader: So eth ethics, we, you brought those up as one of the important pieces of the puzzle in here.
[00:29:41] So ex ethics, I always remember because, so we hold the contract for online hunter education in British Co. One of the things that the province wants, uh, BC residents to know is the difference between morals and ethics and how ethics apply and how morals apply. And, you know, ethics are external. Morals are my own right.
[00:30:03] Ethics are something that's kind of, everyone agrees on together. And morals are something that I will hold to myself and it's a standard that I'm, I need to be able to meet. So ethics are gonna change depending on where we are. People will have different ethics and. Areas of the world that have, that the culture and the group hold things perhaps a little bit differently.
[00:30:25] What was the take in the book on, was it thought to try and systemize ethics and so everyone's basically on the same page? Not,
[00:30:34] Linda Miller: not at all. Not at all. No. Okay. It's more, uh, an explanation of what ethics is, what some types of ethics are. So some people think they're being ethical if they follow all the.
[00:30:46] And some people think they're ethical if they're, um, one step closer to God. Do, do you know what I mean? Like they're, yes. Yeah. It's a very, very different kind of, of set of ethics, and most people subscribe to a few ethics from half a dozen different types of ethics, and, and you're exactly right. They're culturalized, so they, it isn't one size fits all at all.
[00:31:10] You, you really need to come to terms with your. Moral behavior. And, uh, I guess my favorite line in the book on that is that, uh, morals and ethics are the things that you do when nobody's watching.
[00:31:25] David Grossman: Right. But that brings us back, back to something really important at a, um, was that, that Hunter's Oath? Talk about that, Linda.
[00:31:34] So there is this, you know, all with all that said, there's still that hundredth oath that you introduced that's so.
[00:31:42] Linda Miller: Yep. And that's, that's Keith bailiwick.
[00:31:45] Keith Cunningham: Yeah. Well, I don't, I don't have it memorized and I don't have, I was just looking around here to see if there was a, a copy. Linda has the copy in there and, uh, and the hunter's oath is in there someplace.
[00:31:56] And it's a good sort of general, general statement to, uh, to follow from an ethics point of view.
[00:32:04] Travis Bader: Linda's looking for, well, perhaps, perhaps I add that to the description, but, What we do here in the, on the video and the audio format, and people can have a copy of the Hunter's Oath that they can kind of, uh, look at.
[00:32:17] But, uh, if that's all right with you guys. You bet. But maybe we just talk about it generally
[00:32:23] David Grossman: and, and it wraps up, the book, wraps up with the Hunter's prayer, which is also another, you know, it, it actually began as I understand the sniper's. and it evolved into this hunter's prayer. And that's another one about Linda and Keith's amazing contributions to the community.
[00:32:42] We've got a, well, that's
[00:32:43] Keith Cunningham: a very, we've got a book on the go right now called The Sniper's Prayer. Um, and, uh, and Linda wrote in the back, uh, the Sniper's Prayer. Uh, and it, what what's amazing about that, of course, is that Linda was never a sniper. She was never in the military. Uh, and yet she capture. , the whole essence of, of what it's like, uh, to be a sniper.
[00:33:04] Well, there's a very similar, very thin line between being a sniper and being a hunter. Uh, and so she, uh, she changed the words slightly and turned it into the hunter's prayer, and that's, that's in the book, uh, as well. And uh, they're just amazing. Did you find the oath there, Linda?
[00:33:22] Linda Miller: I did find the oath. Do you want me to read it?
[00:33:25] Yes, please. I can do that. I have the capability. The Hunter's Oath by Captain Keith A. Cunningham. I pledge on my honor as a hunter to follow the laws of nature always to hunt ethically and to obey the laws of the land. I further pledge to develop and maintain the skills required to develop an effective and humane shot to my quarry.
[00:33:50] I promise to always do everything within my power to recover my game animal and use it with respect for the life.
[00:34:00] Keith Cunningham: Oh, oh, I like
[00:34:01] Travis Bader: that . That's a poem, and it's so simple and it wraps, it wraps up what a hunter is. Very succinct. Succinctly. Yep. Yeah, because anyone outside of that is a poacher. That's right.
[00:34:12] Yeah. . That's right. Yep. I I mean, there's, and if, sorry, go, go on Linda.
[00:34:20] Linda Miller: If you're, if you're not following all of those elements, you might wanna just take a little look inside next time you're sitting in a tree. Wondering what you need to be spending your time on. Just take a look at that oath and see if you have done everything, all of those elements as well as you
[00:34:36] Travis Bader: want to.
[00:34:37] You know, it's very easy for people to get caught up in the competition of it all right? When they spend so much money to get their kit and gear, when they spend so many seasons chasing game and being unsuccessful. Uh, travel to a remote location. They take time off of work and they start getting very, the goal for people can quite often be the animal, I've gotta get this animal, and sometimes otherwise, ethical people are people that you would view as ethical, can get caught up in the, the excitement or the competition, or the ego, or whatever it might be of the moment.
[00:35:21] Really challenge what their core beliefs are. And I remember, you know, any hunter out there who's been hunting for some time will have a story of when their ethics are put to the test, when their morals are put to the test, and how they responded to that. I, I remember even just last season, a friend of mine says, let's go out.
[00:35:44] We, neither of us were able to get a draw in BC for a bull. But they've got an open season in this one area for Spike Fork, so they've gotta have a maximum of two on, uh, on one side. And, uh, let's see what we can do. And we were putting in long hours, trekking through swamps and, uh, recovering tons of territory on a, uh, side by side.
[00:36:11] Tons of, tons of territory by foot. And anyways, one evening we're driving back to base. Going out the hill, we're about a half a kilometer away from base camp. But what do we see? Two moose ske daddling up the road and first thing you go is like, holy crow, look at that. You look and it's, that's a spike fork.
[00:36:30] It's illegal. It's one that it's illegal animal that we are allowed to harvest, we're allowed to take. And you're looking at this and look at the watch and it's like, nah, we're, we're about five minutes after last. Light can't. . But for a lot of people they would say, who's gonna know ? Nobody's gonna see this.
[00:36:49] Right. The problem is you take that and the worst part about these two moose was we're we sat down, we look at each other and say, no, it's, it's after last sight. We can't do it. Let's just let 'em skedaddle. So we wait and they go around the corner. We give 'em about 20 minutes or so, cuz they were kind of going slow.
[00:37:08] We go around the corner there they are still , like they just weren't going and we've been searching forever for these. But the problem is you go home. Are you gonna enjoy that? Are you gonna be able to tell that story afterwards around the campfire and say, oh, that one time we were able to shoot those animals after last slate.
[00:37:24] Are you gonna, every time you eat it, you're gonna remember the time that you were a poacher and not a hunter. It's just not worth it.
[00:37:32] Linda Miller: Yep. You were an ethical
[00:37:33] Travis Bader: hunter, sir. Well, there's always gonna be times when those ethics are put to the test, right? It's, it's in those moments that you can then turn around afterwards and be proud of yourself and share that experience with others and share it with your family and your children and, and, uh, hope hopefully that bleeds off in others and you build an environment of people who are sharing those same core values.
[00:37:58] Linda Miller: What was that saying the other day, Dave? Somebody said, you don't convert people by evangelism. You convert people by your own behavior. Yeah.
[00:38:07] David Grossman: Better to live the sermon than to.
[00:38:10] Linda Miller: There it
[00:38:10] Travis Bader: is. Yeah. What was it Better to what
[00:38:13] David Grossman: better to live the sermon than to preach it? Oh,
[00:38:16] Travis Bader: yeah. I, I a thousand percent believe that the example is the best way of leadership, right?
[00:38:26] The, everyone has that rules for the or, or he rules for you, but not for thee. And yeah, when they talk about politicians, the ones that we truly admire and truly respect are the ones who will actually walk the. And they will do what they say and maybe not so much out there preaching to everyone else, telling them what's up and how to do it.
[00:38:46] But you can see through their example that they're living the lifestyle that you aspire to. That's a, that's one of the things in this book that, uh, I would imagine would be a difficult thing because if you're coming across as an authority and you're trying to provide the information, is to walk that delicate tightrope of telling people what's up with a wagging finger.
[00:39:08] And laying out information on the table for them to be able to make a decision from.
[00:39:14] Linda Miller: Actually, it's pretty
[00:39:14] Travis Bader: easy. Well, I think you guys made it look easy.
[00:39:18] Linda Miller: We, we went through a voyage of discovery and, and if you remember your own voyage, it's very much easier to tell the story in a way that other people can share your voyage rather than you telling them where they have to mourn the boat.
[00:39:33] Travis Bader: Mm. . So when we look at hunting and over in North America, this is predominantly, there's a term that a, another fellow runs a business here in Vancouver. He taught me about, he calls 'em Gouts, G o wds. I'm like, what is a gout? He's like, it's a grumpy old white dude, . And that's the stereotypical hunter of the past is this grumpy old white dude.
[00:39:59] Like, you can't come on this area. This is my land. My area. I've been hunting it all this time. And, um, they're trying to take away my rights and they're trying to, and there's a, there's this negative connotation associated with hunting by a lot of anti-hunt and, and new people getting into hunting as well.
[00:40:17] There's a barrier to entry and one thing that I was talking about with the executive director of the Wildlife Federation in the podcast that just released recently was. The face of hunting is changing and the demographics are changing and the way that we are able to incorporate traditional belief systems and values into all of those who are getting in, who come from different backgrounds and different ways of life.
[00:40:44] And I think the future of hunting as it's being approached currently is actually looking pretty opt. , but I'd be curious, after all of the research you've done in on hunting, what does the future of hunting look like to you?
[00:41:01] Keith Cunningham: I think there's, there's enough biological or biologists out there who are, are, who are preaching the importance of hunting. I think it's got, uh, it's Scott legs yet. Um, I don't think the, the greens are, uh, and anti hunters. are, are loud enough yet or to, to take that away from us? I think it has, it has a future.
[00:41:24] I think it'll continue for, you know, generations yet. And that might be me wishful thinking, but I think that's . I I also am very hopeful that we'll vote Trudeau out Mexico around too. And so if we just, if we just think positively enough about it all, it just may come.
[00:41:44] Travis Bader: Well, you and the majority of other Canadians according to recent polls or teeth.
[00:41:48] Keith Cunningham: Yes. Yes. Thank goodness. And I see that the liberals are, I I did,
[00:41:54] Linda Miller: go ahead, Linda. I did a lot of research, uh, of, um, trends around the world and what I found now, it was hard to get really recent numbers because we were in the middle of a pandemic and nobody was doing anything, including gathering stats.
[00:42:08] They were busy taking care of the home. But, um, the trend since certainly the early 2010s or so, has been for hunting numbers to be increasing in most areas around the world, and for the percentage of females hunting to be increasing Now, it, there's a huge barrier to entry for women, and it's not, it's not what you might think, it's that they don't know how to get started.
[00:42:38] They don't know where to go to get. So we do have some suggestions in the book. There are some universities running courses. There are, um, in fact, one of our dear friends just started hunting by going and getting a guided hunt. Now it was for Turkey. It wasn't an expensive hunt, but it, it gave her an opportunity to, to be schooled in some of the ways of hunting that you don't, you don't necessarily get from reading a book or trying to figure out what your granddad might have been doing with that old.
[00:43:08] So I think there's a, a lot of hope. I honestly, in complete candor and humility, think that the On Hunting book will give support to those people so that they'll see that, yeah, I'm, I'm part of a growing community here. I'm, I'm not a freak. Uh, this is really something that's right for people to do and, and really right for women to do, to get involved in.
[00:43:31] So I, I'm also opt.
[00:43:35] David Grossman: I think it's interesting. Linda talked about
[00:43:37] Travis Bader: some, some of, if not the,
[00:43:41] David Grossman: not, Linda talked about a, uh, an anti-hunt online and he said, well, I support the World Wildlife Foundation and I contributed them. And oh, guess what? Uh, they support hunting as a part of conservation and, uh, and that's a victory that their, their official.
[00:43:59] Supports. Hunting is part of conservation. You know, you, I got the little stuff. Panda. Panda, you know, and I, I support the animals and, and wwf, is that right? Is that right? Uh, Lin, I get that right. W yeah. Wwf,
[00:44:15] Travis Bader: I didn't realize that they were supporters of hunting.
[00:44:17] Linda Miller: Yes. Yep. They, they aren't as noisy about it the last couple of years as they have been in the past, but they have stood with hunting and.
[00:44:27] Because they see what the economics are. The money comes from the hunters and the animals be benefit and they, they get that cuz that's what
[00:44:36] Travis Bader: their mission is. I, I think from a societal standpoint, when we looked at the last few years going through the covid, lockdowns and pandemic and all the rest, that, that associated with that there was a, uh, a rekindled fire in people to want to get outdoor.
[00:44:56] To wanna learn some traditional skills to be self-sufficient to, and that combined with the movement, the food movement of knowing where your food comes from, local sustainable food. And I think the pendulum of moving away from hunting, I think the pendulum is starting to swing a bit because people are having a difficult time trusting where their.
[00:45:22] Uh, the chemicals that might be used and how the farms are, are, uh, treating the animals that they might be getting and they're looking at the hunting for more than just that one split second when the trigger is pulled or the arrow is let, loose hunting is everything that surrounds that. It's the lifestyle of being in tune with the nature of being in tune with the animals, of being in tune with the seasons that are, and there's a very natural part to the human condition that I think is drawn towards that.
[00:45:52] I think we're moving away from this. Everything comes in processed food and where here's one pill you can take a day and you get all your vitamins and nutrients from it. And I think people are realizing the sort of spiritual side of just being out and communing with nature that's associated with hunting.
[00:46:08] And most people will never, if they haven't hunted, will not experience the range of emotions and connectedness to their natural environment like those who do.
[00:46:21] Linda Miller: 100%.
[00:46:22] David Grossman: Amen.
[00:46:23] Travis Bader: There's a quote that you guys have in the book that I really liked. Let me see if I can pull that up really quick. And it's, um, yeah, here it is.
[00:46:32] It says, one of the delights of hunting is getting mentally and emotionally lost in nature. It is a total absorption in the present moment. The reality of everyday anxiety fades and the hunter becomes immersed in the natural. He feels connected to something much bigger than himself. Can you guys talk a bit more on that?
[00:46:53] Like, what is that to you?
[00:46:55] Linda Miller: That's, that's what it's all about. That's the hunter who goes out on the first day of the season, sees his, the kind of animal that is perfect for him to take and doesn't take it because he doesn't want the hunt to be over in less than 24 hours. He wants to hold onto that feeling for as long as he.
[00:47:16] and, and yes, get his gay animal if he can, but it's being there for that feeling that puts him in the bush and keeps him coming back.
[00:47:26] Keith Cunningham: Uh, I think I agree with, I agree with Linda, although there certainly has been times when I have spent lots and lots of cold, wet, miserable days out there and not seen anything, um, that I am sometimes fearful not to take the first.
[00:47:43] Uh, the first good one that comes along. You know, the old saying, yep, don't bypass, uh, on the first day, the one you'd take on the last day. Uh, so there is, there is that to it. But, but certainly being out, being out in the wilderness, being out in the bushes, I've often said I get a much more spiritual, uh, feeling, um, being out in the bush than I ever did when my grandmother used to drag me to church and make me sit in the, in the shadow of, of stained.
[00:48:12] And hard back seats. Um, if mm-hmm. , if I could, if I, I really like the, the religion that the, that the natives had where everything had a spirit out in the bush. Uh, and, uh, and that's, that's where I'm most at, certainly most at peace out there. You know, I think, well,
[00:48:32] David Grossman: you, Dave. Yeah. One of the, one of the pathologies of modern life is thinking that you don't have to.
[00:48:40] You're taking yourself out of the natural cycle of life. It's a, it's a deep pathology. Well, you know, I, I'm a, I'm vegan. Well, we exterminate billions of rats and mice around the grainery every year. Otherwise, they would get in the grainery and they would reproduce exponentially and we would all starve.
[00:49:00] Your body right now is killing billions of microorganisms. When you stop doing that, your body rots and dies. to live is to kill and to think that you don't have to kill because you buy it packaged in this store or you, you get it secondhand and just, I'm a vegan, right? But all of these creatures had to die and all of this, this piece of land had to be turned into farmland so that you could be a vegan yet to live is to kill.
[00:49:29] And, and, and so hunters are in, you said, oh, I can be spiritual, I can be in the woods. I can identify. If you're not part of that cycle of life, and that's one of the things that Linda has nailed over and over again, if you're not part of that cycle of life, if and hunters truly understand death, that that deer died so I can live and I will die and I will be warm food someday.
[00:49:54] And that's okay. You know, one of the things that, that enter, well, how would you like to be eaten? Well, you will be . You, you just don't know it.
[00:50:06] Travis Bader: Something's gonna consume you, right? Ashes. Ashes dusted, dust. You missed. Um, what would you guys view as a success for this book once it's done, you know, number of copies sold, uh, messages received. What? What would be the ultimate success? This book is out into the general public
[00:50:30] Keith Cunningham: for you. I think if we could get more people, uh, thinking the way our sound engineer, um, has, where he is a non hunter.
[00:50:40] He's certainly not against hunting. He just didn't do it. Uh, and, uh, he ex explained to us in, in incredibly wonderful terms just what this book has done for him. And, and he listened. , he got emotional at the, at the, the parts that, uh, we intended people to get emotional at. And, and he absorbed that book and, uh, it has turned him around.
[00:51:04] And I think if we could get, and Linda mentioned that crowd before, uh, the non-hunters, uh, is a much bigger group than either the anti hunters or the hunters. And if we get more people of the non-hunting to, uh, read that book and just simply understand where we're coming. Uh, I think that would be a, a great, great success.
[00:51:25] Just, just more of what Rick did. Yep. I
[00:51:29] Linda Miller: agree with that. Uh, one of the fellas that kindly read through the manuscript told was right near the last draft, um, who's a non hunter, uh, but a very meticulous person. He read through it and he came back and said, you could call this book on humans instead of on hunting, because it's really about every one.
[00:51:52] And every person that reads it, that comes away with that in their mind. Success.
[00:51:59] David Grossman: Now Travis, I, I go out there to book on gun control with Glen Beck. They're called Control the Truth about Guns. New York Times Bestseller, not one single review, nobody nowhere. They just give it zero oxygen. And, and if, if, and the point is that we've gotta have hunter.
[00:52:21] That are inflicting this book on non-hunters. We've gotta create a buzz, we've gotta create an energy, and we've got this tool that we can place in their hands, but they've got the turnaround. And, uh, and, and have your kids read it. Have your, your relative read it. Uh uh, and, and we gotta get through that.
[00:52:38] You know, when, when you write about hunting, what do you write about guns? They will automatically censor it and they give it zero oxygen. So all the hunters out there and all the people. Who love our way of life and understand what this's about. They've got to become, you know, they've gotta become missionaries, you know, and, uh, uh, you know, it's, it's, oh, you're preaching to the choir.
[00:52:59] Well, you preach to the choir, you get missionaries, you know, so let's go out there and, you know, evangelize for our faith, which is, is as, uh, as Keith said is, is out there in the forest being a part of that food cycle. And this is the tool that you can use to, to, to make that transit. For, to be the, the, the evangelists, the, the missionary that will, will take our, our, our faith and, and our beliefs and put it in the hands of others so they understand it and embrace that dynamic.
[00:53:30] And it truly will bring you deeper the understand of humanity, even if you never hunt, even if you never have hunted. This book will give you far, far deeper understanding of our humanity, who we are, what we do, and our place in the world. So success would be all those hunters out there grabbing this book and, and creating buzz about it, and talking on Facebook and talking online and, and wonderful, wonderful podcasts like yours.
[00:53:56] Uh, picking up on this and help us get the word out.
[00:54:00] Travis Bader: You know, as you're talking there, I get this image of people not in white shirts and black ties. Dressed up in camouflage two by two, going through neighborhoods, knocking on doors. Have you heard the good word, ? Hold it. Hold it up. Hold it up on hunting.
[00:54:17] Keith Cunningham: outstanding.
[00:54:20] Travis Bader: Maybe they won't get the door
[00:54:21] Keith Cunningham: slammed in their faces often.
[00:54:26] Travis Bader: Oh man. Is there anything that we should be talking about that we haven't already talked about before we wrap things up? I think I've. Okay. Well, I tell you what, I'm gonna make sure we have links to where people can buy the book, where they can find out more information on the book. We'll put this, it's gonna be up on YouTube.
[00:54:48] It'll be up on the podcast. Linda, Keith. Dave, thank you so very much for taking the time to write this book and for taking the time to be on the Silvercore podcast to talk about it. Appreciate it.
[00:55:01] Linda Miller: Thank you, Travis.
[00:55:03] Keith Cunningham: Thank you, Travis, for all you do.
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