Jim Zumbo - Everything Outdoors
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The Future of Hunting
Maine Hunter Connie Webb is all smiles with a beautiful black bear she took a couple years ago during the veteran's hunt. Connie got her moose early in the hunt and went on to take this bear. I was proud to pose with this warrior, and I'm happy to say that Maine bear hunting is no longer in jeopardy.
When considering my first blog post, all sorts of ideas came to mind. When I saw the results of Election Day, I was profoundly happy, and I'm not talking about the big Republican win. Maine voters rejected a referendum that would have outlawed bear hunting in Maine as it's been done for decades. That news is important to hunters around the country, and reflects, I think, a change in thinking about hunting from the general public. I may be wrong, but I see a broad acceptance of hunting, not in a dramatic way, but subtle. Here's why.
People are more in tune with their food and their environment. Twenty years ago, you didn't see organic food in a grocery store. Now there are entire sections. We're increasingly concerned with what we eat and what it takes to produce our food, whether it's meat, fish or vegetables. What's more organic than a deer or elk that lives a wild life, eating natural foods? That alone is an important factor in the switch in thinking about hunting.
And then you have a change in reality, in honesty, and an increased willingness to seek the truth. Anti-hunting organizations are being exposed for their ruse of soliciting money for animals when most goes to administration and salaries. The public isn't stupid. They see through these phony organizations. Their credibility is decreasing in a big way.
Mark Zuckerberg, billionaire founder of Facebook, is a good example of honesty and integrity. A couple years ago, he made the decision that if he was going to be a carnivore, he was going to hunt and kill his own game. He shot a bison and wild boar, and this news was promptly reported on the front page of big newspapers around the country. This was profoundly positive for all of us hunters. We have a new, respected, powerful icon who tells America that hunting is okay.
Last December, Time magazine ran a picture of a whitetail doe on the cover. Are you serious? On the COVER? The accompanying article addressed the plight of the increasing whitetail herd in urban areas across America. Now then, it wasn't a pro-hunting story where all the dollar benefits of hunting used to support wildlife management were explained, but it wasn't anti-hunting either. In my opinion, the value of hunting shone through between the lines in the article. Now then, I'm not a fan of Time, never have, never will, but I was impressed with the tone of the story.
And I haven't even touched on the great news that there are far more women hunting today than ever before, and their numbers are increasing.
I'm not suggesting that we've won, but I think we're slowly gaining ground with the American public. My opinion, and I hope it holds true.
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