Saturday, July 28, 2007

Hunting and Fishing

I used to fish a lot. My family would spend a lot of time in the Adirondacks, and we would always set up camp above Brant Lake at a little campground called Hidden Pond. When we were set up at Hidden Pond, for a ten year old, life revolved around fishing, and that was basically all I would do.

I never did get rolling on hunting, but I have always respected friends who hunt, most of whom have done so since they were kids. I'll never refuse a venison dinner.

With the changes in society, hunting and fishing have been declining in popularity. The big issue here revolves around the fact that in order for hunting and fishing to remain sustainable, there needs to be oversight, management, and regulation. Otherwise, after a spell of "anarchy" there are no fish to catch of deer to hunt. How do we pay for this management, regulation, and oversight? With license fees, and if the sports are declining, so do those license fees.
"Hunters and fishermen are the position that drives the conservation engine," said Shane Mahoney, a Canadian biologist and philosopher who has become the point man in a groundswell effort to reintroduce Americans to the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation.

"If you take hunting and fishing out of the equation, the whole (wildlife management) effort collapses."

We've worked with Shane Mahoney at the NCTC, and he is a passionate spokesman for fair chase and hunting. Whether you hunt of fish or not, these sports are a key to the future of our kid's health and the survival of our natural world. If you ever have a chance to hear Shane speak, do anything you can to make it there.

Arizona has the rest of the story.

The look on a kid's face the first time they catch a fish tells the story. Early interest and experiences are what will turn the tide.

Here's a link to a good program that's working on this issue today.