Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Roosevelt’


The original hunter image has a special place in my mind and imagination. Humans have been hunting since their very existence on this planet. Dressed like Rahan the French comic figure, they used drives and spears amongst other tools to hunt mammoths, saber tooth tigers as well as the distant cousins of today’s Cervidae.

In order to appreciate the image of these hunters we had to rely on artifacts, cave paintings and finally our history books. But do we truly possess the expertise or knowledge to create an exact mental image of them or even an opinion?

If we jump forward in time and look at the North American natives, it is true that they hunted for food and fur trading. But I am confident there was a type of hunt similar to today’s sport hunting and this hunt may have been used for young men to prove themselves capable of mastering their fears and demonstrating their courage and abilities to provide for their tribes. This would have been a brilliant image for hunters. They were the providers and it did not matter what kind of rituals were associated to this practice of hunting but at least for that moment in time they were not judged but rather respected.

I recently read a book called “Adventures in the new world” The saga of the Coureurs des Bois, Written by George-Herbert Germain. This book is not just about their saga but about their history and more importantly about building an image of a nation. All Canadians share a sense of pride in this history and we can almost all identify ourselves with the Coureurs des Bois as they are part founders of Canada. There are several Québécois festivals that I have participated in or watched where the image and clothing of the Coureurs des Bois was quite visible. They are in a sense pioneers and hero hunters that are respected for their accomplishments and contributions.

One thing that struck me in this book is the chapter about the young and often poor Normans who left French ports such as Honfleur in search of new wealth. And in their quest to become the new bourgeoisie in this new land, instead they became negotiators with the natives sparing several European lives from being lost under the scalping blades of the Iroquois. They also learned the first nation’s languages and married native women bringing into perspective the importance of cultural awareness to improve trading. Yes, some did become wealthy but the majority lived a very tough life as hunters, trappers, traders and farmers all this under the shadows of the war between their nation and the British Empire.

Let us jump forward in time once again to 1901 until the mid 1940’s during the time of Theodore Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold “The father of wildlife management.” Let us observe their contributions towards the image of the sport hunter. The twenty-sixth president of the United-States was an avid hunter and promoted conservation in an exceptional way by assisting in establishing millions of acres of national parks and preserves. (The following article below is an interesting read)

http://www.calwaterfowl.org/web2/communications/magazine/magazinepdfs/ND%2016-30.pdf

Modern day sport hunters whether they are aware of it or not are conservationists and the majority of their purchases of material and licenses goes towards wildlife management and conservation programs. This is part of our image and we should be proud of it. We are also taught ethics, respect and laws during the hunters’ education course. A great example of this is the following; it is not illegal to parade your trophy on the hood of your vehicle through a busy urban street, however you might create reactions and not all would be positive, therefore damaging the image of the hunter. Discretion is a great form of respect.

Activists have sport hunters in their sights for a wide variety of issues, ranging from animal survivability to gun ownership; the unfortunate thing is they often show up at the range without any ammo due to misleading facts amongst other reasons. Unfortunately there is still a lot of work to be done against the illegal activity of poaching and working on improving the stereotypical image of hunters.

We are all ambassadors of the sport and with this we have a responsibility to educate not only ourselves but others on issues that are directly related to our sport and its traditions, so that our image remains a proud one. On that note, I love my plaid shirt and my Browning sticker on my car.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: