NM Head Hunters Association Passing the Heritage on.
By Jana Waller
Oct 4, 2009 – 3:00:27 AM
With age comes wisdom, or so they say. Part of that wisdom earned throughout the years is a greater understanding and appreciation of one’s heritage. Most children and young adults do not have the knowledge of why their ancestors settled where they did or how they survived off the land.
Appreciation and reverence comes from education, both in the classroom and the real world. From a personal perspective, my passion for hunting has exploded over the years by connecting with others who recognize the importance of preserving our country’s and our individual state’s hunting resources.
I recently became introduced to the New Mexico Head Hunters Association who’s main purpose is just that. The New Mexico Head Hunters Association (NMHHA) is a group of members united in promoting the heritage of hunting and protecting it through knowledge of the outdoors.
Michael Washam, along with a other concerned outdoorsmen, formed the association in early 2008 when they felt that the voice of the ordinary hunter fell on deaf ears. With the Game and Fish Department dictating the laws and regulations all the while being influenced by political groups, ranchers and other anti-hunting parties felt the ‘people’ had no un-bias representation. Hunting and fishing regulations can often be unclear and confusing with little explanation as to the changes being made.
Most hunters would not dispute that strict laws and management tactics are necessary in protecting each state’s precious hunting resources. But the debate lies in the intentions behind the regulations and their effectiveness. According to Washam, “This is a very confusing time in New Mexico. It’s become very political on the hunting scene and we feel that the there needs to be a middle ground between the government and the people that is not politically motivated. The NMHHA is not ‘Pro’ anything.”
The highly controversial wolf debate is a topic, for example, that needs discussion when it comes to developing a strategy for management. The ranchers have a different perspective than the anti-hunting groups and who better to grasp the situation and discuss options than hunters who are in the field and experiencing the problems first hand. New Mexico has an amazing potpourri of hunting opportunities from elk, mule deer and whitetail to antelope, turkey and big horn sheep.
“We have incredible genetics for monster bull elk here in New Mexico. The habitat is ideal and it’s our mission to promote and preserve our state’s incredible wildlife!” stated Washam. Michael and his wife Charla, along with other administrators of NMHHA donate 100% of their time and energy to the organization. Every dollar earned through membership fees and fund raising goes directly back into the association. Along with the goal of fostering better relationships with government agencies and other recreational groups, their focus remains on youth.
They are committed to improving hunter education programs and promoting the outdoors for kids. “When you can get children involved in hunting and teach them a reverence for the outdoors, they will carry that respect into their adult life and have a greater appreciation for their environment”, commented Washam.
There are many benefits to joining the New Mexico Head Hunters Association. Your memberships includes:
* The official Head Hunters hat and decal.
* Access to member only merchandise.
* Access to members only forum which allows members to give and share advice, buy and sell items, get discounts, enter for drawings and more!
* Exclusive content including newsletters, blogs, and photos
* The Ability to submit photos to the members only photo gallery.
* Special discounts with Head Hunter Outfitters and store.