Mike “Hawk” Huston has done both the hunting and non-hunting world a huge favor with his piece in Bulls and Beavers entitled Cross Roads. He uses a wonderful story to set up this defense of hunting [my emphasis added].
“I am a hunter. I make no excuses for my conservation efforts, or for my love of the creatures I pursue. Somehow there have been lines drawn between those that are trying to save “all” creatures, and those who conserve them through proper management and selective harvest. Animal rights activists are just that activists. No different than the bar stool hunter spouting off about his right to kill anything he chooses, whenever he chooses. As human beings we are held to a higher standard, we have the ability to destroy, or protect our hunting heritage, our wildlife, and their habitats. No matter what side of the fence you choose to stand on, you must be vigilant of the facts. Stay concerned about doing the right thing and remain always honorable in your efforts to ensure a future for the wild places and wild creatures. Lets ensure a future for those who will follow in our footsteps. Without proper management, our wild life will perish; through disease, starvation, and human conflict. Without habitat and habitat control such as winter range and wetlands for wildlife to prosper the hunt would not be possible.
Someone recently said that they won’t kill any creature, but will instead get their meat from the store. This kind of ignorance is why all hunters should make an effort to let the non hunting community know that we are the first line of defense for the wildlife that we hunt and manage. Steaks and fish from the store all once had a heartbeat, not long before the plastic wrappers and fancy labels.
I am a hunter not a killer. I believe wholeheartedly, that the future of our sport belongs not only to good conservation, but more importantly, to educating those who would listen and coming together as wildlife warriors, instead of fighting about who is more right… or less wrong…