|© Jim Posewitz|
New generations replace the old subtly, and we face the new millennium with new people. Among them are hunters who never knew wildlife’s bad times and know little of their own history. Access to hunting opportunity is critical, yet there are some among us who engage in practices of exclusion to give advantage to themselves. The society we are a part of consists of a significant majority who do not hunt, are unaware of the hunter’s history, and unappreciative of the wildlife renaissance crafted by hunters.
Hunting’s survival in our democracy will be decided by people who are neither for nor against hunting. If there is freedom in truth, our liberation from the aggravation of anti-hunters will come as we revive and teach the historical reality to the whole community. The anti-hunting notion that wildlife will flourish when human hunters are retired from all natural communities is a myth that can only flourish where the truth of history is ignored or denied. Hunters can free themselves from this irritation by embracing, and then extending, the conservation ethic of our predecessors. When the public sees us as hunters and as custodians of wildlife, the pedestal of social acceptability will be ours, and hunting will be secure.
Jim Posewitz is the founder of Orion-The Hunter’s Institute, in Helena, Montana. Orion is the premier hunter ethics organization in North America. Since retirement as a biologist from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Jim has worked tirelessly to educate the public about the traditions of the hunter-conservationist and the ethics of fair chase hunting. He is the author of Beyond Fair Chase: The Ethic and Tradition of Hunting, Inherit the Hunt: A Journey Into the Heart of American Hunting, and most recently Rifle in Hand: How Wild America Was Saved. Jim has been gracious enough to help advise our organization and to allow us to use some excerpts from his writing. He lives in Helena, Montana.
Copyright and permission from:
Posewitz, Jim. Inherit the Hunt: A Journey Into the Heart of American Hunting. Falcon
Publishing: Helena, MT, 1999.