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The following is an abstract BHA Member, Karl Malcolm, Ph.D. for a presentation that will be given at the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, National Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 15-19, 2014.
The modern wilderness movement as we know it germinated in the fertile glow of a hunter’s campfire a century ago. Humankind stalked the animals sharing their habitats when “wilderness” would have described all corners of our planet during the Pleistocene. More now than ever wilderness provides sanctuary for wildlife and humans alike, a cherished holdout offering reconnection to land, nature, family, food, and our past.
Personal connections to wild places inspire hunters to be among the most devoted advocates for wilderness yet there is a perceived division between hunters and other backcountry aficionados. The degree of future success in conserving, promoting, expanding, and stewarding wilderness will depend on how well various stakeholders find common ground and present a cohesive front on behalf of wild places. Securing acres in the public domain and ensuring public access to those lands, including wilderness, should be a paramount goal to all conservationists and all conservation organizations, regardless of any other differences that might exist.
By BHA Development Associate, Grant Alban
With an elk and an antelope in my freezer, the sun began to set on my hunting season. The last two days I did give in to a mildly frantic desperation that had me trying to fill my deer tag – but alas, nothing. Back in my garage that Sunday night, I emptied my hunting pack with some relief. Hunting was over for the year. The thing that I had looked forward to for so long had come and gone – but with it came sleeping in, fewer stops at the gas station and a sense that I gave it my all. For the next two or three weeks I would continue to eat like I was still hiking 8-10 miles a day off-trail (and then it’s the Holidays …and then) but I digress.
Emptying out my pack I noticed gear that I had used several weeks or months ago. Items fell on the concrete that I hadn’t taken the best care of, but I always know they’ll be there next year when I need them.
By Tim Brass
It was lunchtime and I had managed to escape from the computer, put on a pair of cross-country skis and take a few laps around the perimeter of my landlord’s property. It was an hour that any outdoor enthusiast dreams of: walking out the front door, grabbing a rod or gun or pair of skis and getting-after-it - without having to pile in the truck or compete with others for a shot at snagging a rising trout, shooting a cupping goose, skiing fresh, untouched snow.
As I circled the fenced pasture and approached the corner of the plot, an immature bald eagle rose from a craggy legacy cottonwood, swooping over the neighbors grove – the grove just on the other side of the fence, the grove that always harbors flocks of taunting Eurasian Doves. Watching from the corner of ‘my’ land I couldn’t help but feel a bit like the guy on the treadmill, in the sweaty gym. I was him, a guy stuck exercising in a cage (albeit an outdoor cage).
We asked our Facebook fans “When it comes to finding elk on public land, what is one tip that you would give to a new elk hunter?” Overall, the top 3 public land elk hunting tips were:
Here’s what we heard from fellow boots-on-the-ground, public land elk hunters on our Facebook Page. Have a public land elk hunting tip that you would like to share? Pass it along using the comments section below.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure North America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands and waters.