Mentoring and the Future of Hunting
One of the big topics in the hunting world today is its decline. We can blame ourselves, but we can also blame a culture—we are becoming more urban, families are getting smaller, people are relocating for jobs, politics comes into play... there's no end to playing the blame game on this.
While I don't have the complete answer, I do believe we can take some steps to reverse the trend. I've mentioned three in today's column, but you can probably add many more. Two things are sure: (1.) Hunting is conservation, and if hunting goes away, we have no model for wildlife management that will replace it. (2.) It's going to take a concerted, heroic effort from all of us to preserve hunting by bringing more people into our ranks.
Check out my June 25 column—read Mentoring and the Future of Hunting online in the Jamestown (NY) Gazette. It's an excerpt from a longer article that will be appearing in Deer & Deer Hunting magazine later this year, which draws on the insights of John Annoni, the person who is doing more for the future of hunting than anyone I know. John is quoted extensively in the Deer & Deer Hunting article, and the ideas in this column distill some of his thoughts (especially the second and third points). John is not your conventional hunter, but if hunting demographics tell us anything, they tell us this issue callot be approached in the conventional way. We will NOT save hunting simply by reproducing ourselves. So if you are interested in the future of hunting, no one is more insightful than John Annoni.