It pays for shooters to shop with their supporters.

By Marcus O’Dean

Readers will have noticed that we have featured a few articles focussing on photography in the field of late, because recording our hunt for posterity is an essential element of our outdoor life. At times in the past, we have also run articles or columns on four-wheel drive techniques and tips to make the hunter’s life a bit more trouble free. This is all well and good, but while Sporting Shooter and other publications like ours form a small part of that huge collection of publications known as “the media”, we have been frightfully discriminated against by many of our mainstream media brethren over the last 20 or so years; bear with me.

It is common to see coverage of crimes committed with firearms by unlicensed people segued into calls for unfair and excessive additional restrictions on licensed firearm owners, because we have been an easy target (pardon the second pun). With the recent election successes of the Shooters and Fishers Party nationwide, these unscrupulous reporters now know they will be held accountable for their bias.

But this is not the only area in which we suffer prejudice. Shooting and hunting media, like any other, rely upon the support of advertisers and sponsors to offset the costs of publication to remain viable businesses, serving our readerships. Now there are two glaring deficiencies in advertising presence in our gun-oriented market and that is in vehicle manufacturers and camera makers.

Many times over the years, approaches to all the major four-wheel drive vehicle distributors in Australia have resulted in zero support – they know they have a captive market and they cynically exploit it. Would they dare do this in the USA, where shooters have huge NRA clout?

Similarly, camera distributors do not want to be seen supporting “blood sports” and approaches to sponsor photographic competitions have also drawn a blank. Again, a captive market is hypocritically milked by big business.

They think that other lucrative supply contracts will dry up because those buyers will desert them for involvement with the most law-abiding sector of Australian society. If you think there is not an undercurrent of prejudice, think hard of this recent example. At a recent outdoor show, Tony and I spoke with the Australian distributor of Coleman products and their rep’ meekly squirmed away from any involvement with our publications because they were afraid of buyer backlash from greenies.

Why are they so afraid? Our long-time major advertisers, ARB and Zen Imports (who do a great line of camp stoves, by the way), proudly wave their banners in Sporting Shooter and guess what. Their sky has not fallen in and their businesses are booming.

Maybe it’s time we hunters and shooters really thought about our purchases and commit to those businesses that support and sponsor our lifetime pursuit. We need to be much more discriminating in our behaviour to counter the active discrimination we have suffered at the hands of businesses who leach our hard-earned for no return.

Note: Zen Imports will shortly be releasing an excellent line of camp stoves from Kovea. Watch our coming product pages.






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