It’s the new year, and relative to hunting and the future of hunting, I decided to put together a “wish list.” Why not? Anyone can dream. Right? OK, this list may not match yours, and in fact, you may disagree with things I’ve listed, but here goes.
# 1 Wish. I wish state wildlife agencies didn’t have to spend so much of their valuable money and time dealing with anti issues in court. Wouldn’t it be nice if the anti hunters and anti hunting organizations (HSUS, PETA, etc.) would just get out of the court rooms, forcing our state and federal wildlife agencies to spend millions of dollars fighting law suits, injunctions, etc. that do not serve the good of our wildlife, and take away those dollars that could be used to benefit wildlife? I know that is just a pipe dream, but it is my wish. Here is a prime example. Bear hunting in New Jersey. There are lots of bears in New Jersey, and many live in and around towns where they cause damage to property, and create safety issues for citizens. Bottom line is that the citizens need help and a closely managed bear hunt helps citizens, still allows plenty of bears to roam the woods, and benefits the state at very little cost to non hunters. Yet, with some political support, the antis tied up the wildlife agency in court for years fighting a bear hunt while bear problems worsened. Thankfully, the agency persisted, in-house politics changed, and there is now a bear management program in place.
# 2 Wish. I wish I could watch television hunting shows minus all the ridiculous hunter statements given after the kill. Here are some examples of things hunters in the real world never say, yet we hear them all the time on television. “Let’s go get that bad boy.” Get real. OK, you’ve just bow shot a good buck and your buddy comes to your stand to help you follow the trail and retrieve the buck. When he arrives, you say to him, “let’s go get that bad boy.” Yeh, sure you do. Your deer isn’t “bad” and nobody says that. How about this one? Right after the killing shot, the hunter says (after pumping his arm up and down thirty times, while repeating, “yes, yes, yes” 21 times) “I center punched that sucker.” Give us a break. That never happens. When you are out there alone and you make a great shot on a good buck, you may say “yes” once. You probably sit down for a few seconds and look up or point to the sky and say “Thank you Lord,.” but you don’t go crazy and defile that wonderful moment with garbage. We just don’t do that . . . except on television hunting shows. Not all of the shows, thank goodness, but enough to make this my number two wish.
# 3. Wish. I wish folks who say that wild game is “gamey” so they won’t eat it, would have the benefit of eating wild game that has been properly cared for in the field, properly butchered, properly wrapped and frozen, and properly cooked. Healthy, wonderful, gourmet food that some non hunters are missing.
# 4. Wish. I wish all inner-city kids could be exposed to the woods and wild nature. They don’t necessarily have to be exposed to hunting, though that would be great, but just have a situation where our city youths could experience, then appreciate, what the woods can do to their spirit, their senses, their outlook on like, their ethics, etc, etc. No question we’d see a huge drop in the use of drugs, use of technical toys, school drop outs, crime, etc.
# 5. Wish. I wish that all kids, everywhere, could experience the fun of shooting bows. I know that our National Archery in the Schools Program does that for millions, but wouldn’t it be nice if that program, or something similar, could reach all grade and middle school kids? Wow.
# 6. Wish. I wish that we could somehow get rid of that small percentage of bowhunters (actually I hesitate to call them bowhunters, but they do bowhunt in some form) that steal trail cams, tree stands, etc. from those of us who obey the game laws. Selfish, lazy, stealing, thieves who probably learned such behavior from a parent who did the same selfish acts to other bowhunters. I wish you would just go away. Course, wishing won’t make that happen, so I wish that every legal bowhunter had a trail camera out there that would catch you in the act and lead to your arrest.
# 7. Wish. I wish everyone who donated to the Humane Society of the United States understood where that money goes. According to Humane Watch, there are now 38 HSUS employees making over $100,000 a year, up from 24 the previous year. The President of HSUS makes $395,000. HSUS spends 41 % of it’s budget on fund raising, and of the $120 million they raised in one year, they spent 1 % on animal shelters. Your local humane society animal shelter has nothing to do with HSUS. Nothing. I wish the donors who waste their money giving it to HSUS would just give their money to those local animal shelters.
# 8. Wish. I wish that hunters on television shows would all make some effort to use good grammar. Some of you may think I am being elitist here, and maybe so, but I get so tired of hearing hunters saying things like, “I seen three deer.” I saw them, but you “seen” them. Ouch. No wonder lots of non hunters struggle in their efforts to look on the positive side about hunting. They think we are not educated, and when we don’t know proper grammar that we learned in middle school, those feelings are understandable.
# 9. Wish. I wish you all had the wonderful hunting friends and guides that I had this past year and the past four years. As some of you may know I had a medical accident five years ago that has seriously impacted my life. I’m still able to do some hunting because of friends and great guides who know my limitations and help me get into the woods. Five years ago I thought I’d never be able to walk to the woods, much less bowhunt. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to God for putting wonderful people in my life that make some bowhunting possible. You know who you are and I appreciate you more than I can ever say.
# 10. Wish. I wish that your 2014 will be the greatest year for you, your family and your hunting.
For more please go to: The Future of Hunting