Hunting Hero

The following LTE  appeared in the Colorado Springs Independent on 10/3/12

As the sights and smells of fall portend another hunting season, it's heartening to know that more Americans are heading outdoors to hunt and fish these days, reversing a two-decade-long decline. Eleven percent more Americans (ages 16 and older) fished and 9 percent more hunted in 2011 than in 2006, according to a new five-year survey from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

On the other hand, more hunters and anglers today are increasingly pressed for time, and some seek shortcuts to their outdoors experiences — like hunting over bait, or paying for guaranteed-results hunts using high-fenced/canned "hunting" operations. But David Petersen is not one of them. David is an accomplished Durango-based author, renowned elk hunter, effective advocate for America's public lands and wild places, and one of Colorado's most dedicated wildlife conservationists.

David worked tirelessly for five years as public lands director for Trout Unlimited's Sportsmen's Conservation Project, served on Colorado's Roadless Areas Review Task Force, and founded Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. Every year David spends a month in the wilderness near his mountain home, hunting elk with a homemade longbow. A currently in-process hunting documentary (The Good Hunt) will follow this master huntsman at close quarters as he discusses a lifetime dedicated to traditional bowhunting, wildlife and public lands conservation, the study of wild nature, and an uncompromising way of life.

As David's writing and philosophical mentor Edward Abbey once phrased it, "Hunting is one of the hardest things even to think about." But as more hunters with less free time on their hands take to the woods this fall, the ethics of hunting is something we must think about. To find out more, visit

— David Lien

Colorado Springs


About Caitlin Thompson