Your Dec. 30 column closed with the statement — which in my view included the most significant thought you expressed in 2012 — “Let’s give thanks not just for success, but for the opportunities to have success.”
Your message may be read as looking to the past, but in a subtle way you are calling attention to the future. I’m struck with the need for the hunting community to seriously focus on the future.
Hunting success cannot happen without opportunity. Future opportunities to freely enjoy hunting without overbearing restrictions are in danger.
For those who can look back on many hunting seasons, personal health and hunting location with relatively easy physical access are necessary for opportunity. For those with much of their hunting careers in the future, and their kids and grandkids, the opportunities are far from certain. There are many ominous signs.
In a recent issue of Turkey Call magazine it was stated that 6,000 acres of upland game habitat are disappearing each day. Urban sprawl and development are special concerns in the East where large population areas are eating up rural land. Investment interests are taking large blocks of land for various reasons.
Government budgetary concerns will reduce or eliminate programs which support habitat protection, hunter access and other programs which support hunting and shooting recreation.
In states across the country, laws which restrict or make it more difficult to hunt are being proposed and sometimes enacted.
Some laws are subtle, but when examined, the intent to make it more difficult to hunt becomes apparent.
In the column cited above, you report the appointment of a member of a well funded anti-hunting organization to the Maryland Wildlife Advisory Group. Right now we are witnessing the beginning of what will be the strongest anti-gun effort in most of our lifetimes.
Those who want to heavily restrict or eliminate private gun ownership are joined by those who want to eliminate hunting.
When laws and regulations prohibiting or making it more difficult to own firearms and hunt are put into place there is no going back. Here I’ve mentioned but a few examples of real threats to our hunting heritage.
I believe every hunter should belong to at least one organization which supports hunting and habitat protection, provides information on hunting and gun issues and represents the hunting tradition.
There are a number of good organizations whose cost of membership will not break a hunter’s bank.
Really, this is an investment we cannot afford to avoid.
Reading your remarks calls to attention how blessed I am for the opportunity to hunt.
To freely take my gun at any time within legal seasons and drive to a hunting location of my choice without fear of interference by overbearing restrictions is a freedom not available in many countries.
We must work to ensure this freedom is not eroded here in the U.S.
There must be some sort of Gregorian mechanism I don’t understand that makes calendar time go by faster from Sept. 6 through early December.
Hunter, 90, bags buck
I had the pleasure of meeting you about four years ago during a banquet for the Allegany/Garrett Sportsmen’s Association. I was that year’s recipient of their annual scholarship.
- Happy hunter
Pa. bear numbers reported
Hunters killed 2,308 bears during the recent Pennsylvania season, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Safari Club winner’s bear killed illegally in Alaska
A Michigan woman who received a prestigious award from an international hunting organization for killing a grizzly bear in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge four years ago was sentenced in federal court in Fairbanks recently for illegally killing the bear.
Three bears recently shot
The number of bears to have perished on Maryland roadways in 2013 rose slightly to 39, according to an unofficial count maintained by the Cumberland Times-News.
Quota met for Kentucky bear bow hunters
Hunters met the quota of 10 bears during Kentucky’s inaugural archery/crossbow season for black bears, which recently ended.
Times-News will use deer photos
The Cumberland Times-News will use photographs of hunters with deer that they harvested during the 2013 seasons. There is no charge.
Venison main course
I have an unscientific observation for
What’s new, right?
Go online for W.Va. hunt/fish info
The expression “information at the
touch of a button” could have been
coined for the newest feature on
the Division of Natural Resources’
- More Outdoors Headlines
- Time flies