The War Within: Are We Killing the Hunting Tradition?on Dec 7, 2012
As hunters we all have certain issues pertaining to our great sport that we feel strongly about. No matter what part of the country we hail from, there is no doubt several topics that local hunters discuss most often amongst themselves. This can sometimes result in rather heated debates. But why is that? What causes this tension between fellow hunters? What can be done to stop it? To answer these questions lets first examine how our sport began.
Hunting has a long and storied tradition in North America. From the Native Americans to the pioneers and mountain men who settled this country, hunting began as a means of sheer survival. Certainly, the phrase “hunting is a way of life” really meant just that to the earliest inhabitants of this continent. After centuries of progress, development, and industry growth, hunting has become less and less about survival, and more about sport. Very few people in our day and age rely solely on harvested game for survival.
Hunters should try to make a good impression whenever we come into contact with non-hunters.
Nevertheless, hunting is in the blood of each and every one of us. It's an instinct passed down from our ancestors centuries ago. Unfortunately that instinct remains hidden and untouched by the majority of people today. As a result of the constant urbanization of the land, hunting is thought to be by many as a silly, pointless, and even cruel act. Fortunately though, there are still a few million of us who understand and appreciate the hunting culture and heritage.
Despite what anyone thinks, America has a long hunting tradition.
The War of Access
Unfortunately, as America grows bigger and bigger, access to hunting land is becoming harder and harder for hunters to find. In fact, loss of property access is the number one cause for hunters leaving the sport. Many hunters become frustrated with having to settle for hunting small pieces of property or crowded public grounds and give up hunting for good. Many feel that the effort is no longer worth the reward. Disputes over hunting land access can even spawn disagreements between friends and family members.
In many heavily hunted areas of the country, gaining access to the best hunting spots can resemble cutthroat warfare. Hunters tend to get pretty upset when they feel like their hunting spot is being encroached upon or threatened. This has also created problems for many landowners, which further contributes to the problem. Many landowners have simply decided to not allow hunting at all in an effort to avoid conflict and drama between hunters. The only surefire way to escape these issues is to own your own hunting property; which many hunters simply cannot afford to do.
Unfortunately, hunting has become a rich man's game. The cost of a lease is going in excess of $10,000 a year (for prime land) and even land prices for hunting property has skyrocketed as of late. All of these things are making it continually harder for the “average” hunter to gain access to quality ground to hunt. We should keep this in mind, and keep a cool head, when situations over land access arise.
A hunter should be free to exercise personal choice when selecting a hunting weapon.