Conservation

Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™

Hunt Fair Chase

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Because hunting is too important to be lost over misconceptions and a poor public image due to the unethical behavior of a few.
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If you’re still wondering where hunting ethics come from and why they have been passed from one generation to the next, the man’s name is Theodore Roosevelt. He was more than just a president who was a hunter. He not only got it, he is credited in history for inventing it and popularizing it. Roosevelt saw conservation as a duty of citizenship, on the same plain as a commitment to one’s family, religion, career and country. In riding, shooting, hunting and exploration he saw the character in what it meant to be a man; a fair man, a free man, an honest man, a straight shooter and a hard worker who commanded respect and deserved a square deal.
The first rule in solving any problem is admitting you have one. If the conversation is about the public image and perception of hunters, which is a conversation about continuance, we can no long ignore the fact that the word “trophy” now plays a significant role in what people think about hunting.
High-fence hunting is one of the most complex issues faced by our wildlife conservation community. It is a multi-faceted conundrum that includes aspects such as private property rights, public ownership versus privatization of wildlife, the spread of wildlife diseases, wildlife and hunting ethics, and the public perception of hunting.
The old saying, “waste not, want not” means if you don’t waste anything you will always have enough. In the context of hunting ethics and public perception, it means far too many people have the wrong impression of hunters and hunting. There is a growing belief that hunters waste the game they harvest.
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It’s hard not to be preoccupied with the siege against hunters and hunting being put forth by the anti-hunter establishment. Their rhetoric and outright lies have gone on unchecked for too long. But lets be realistic about two things.
The great conservationist Aldo Leopold reminds us that, “Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching—even when doing the wrong thing is legal.” Leopold also made the point that, in the field, you are your own referee. There is no one else to “call the shot.” At the end of the day, the measure of the hunt is a measure of oneself.
Hunting, by its very nature, teaches valuable life skills such as problem solving and organization. It also instills character traits such as self-reliance, self-determination, self-discipline, and self-respect. It is because of these teachings that for centuries sportsmen were respected members in their communities, not only for their woodmanship skill in being able to provide food, but how they carried themselves in everyday life.
One of the best and worst things that has happened to hunting in the last 20 years has been hunting shows on television. On the best side, having shows about hunting on television started out as a vindication and validation after hunting on TV went dark when “Personal choice” is mentioned many times throughout this website. There is no escaping the fact that hunting itself is a personal experience, preceded by personal choices. The issue of legal versus ethical raises another very important personal choice question.
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One of the best and worst things that has happened to hunting in the last 20 years has been hunting shows on television. On the best side, having shows about hunting on television started out as a vindication and validation after hunting on TV went dark when the American Sportsmen show left the air in 1967. Hunting shows being aired on television again was viewed as hunting’s coming out party. After all, everything else was making it to television, why not hunting? On the worst side, well that’s a can of worms subject to differing opinions and evolution.

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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt