Last week, Fox News posted a story about a Wisconsin man who harvested a 19-point buck after pursuing it for five years. As you can imagine, this started a debate between those who don’t understand the value of hunting as a means of sustainability and those who are proponents of hunting. Over the course of time, nastiness prevailed and the debate lost any opportunity for real thoughtful commentary.
We see these extremes everywhere these days. The middle ground doesn’t get represented.
The solution to bridging this gaping difference in point of view is better understanding developed through education. If people don’t experience hunting and the outdoors way of life, they don’t have a basis to understand it or others who love it.
One day, years ago in early November, I was hunting alone not expecting to see any ducks. A HUGE flock came into the flooded field and stayed there. All of the other hunters in my group were away on trips. I called a very good friend who is not a hunter and pleaded for him to bring his daughter and join me. He did and after spending that beautiful afternoon in the blind he completely understood my passion for this experience.
Shortly after that he became an MHHF life member and was later elected to our Board of Directors. Now, he and his wife frequently volunteer at our waterfowl clinics. While I doubt he will ever become a hunter, he has become an advocate for hunting as a means of conservation. While this is just one example, it represents one of the many reasons why I feel the mission of our organization and the efforts of our volunteers and supporters is so important.
We shouldn’t for a minute think all the young people who participate in our hunter education clinics will become lifelong hunters. But we feel they will have had the experience to understand the love of the outdoors, the hunting traditions, the importance of conservation and why others have such a passion to get outside and “be amongst’em.”
You can help introduce a family to Missouri’s hunting tradition by inviting them to participate in our Henry Country Waterfowl Clinic, December 7-9. If you know an adult with a young person who would be interested, please send him or her my way at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your support and Happy Thanksgiving!!!