A Message from RAY SCOTT Founder of the Whitetail Institute of North America
Because Hunting Is About Much More Than Just Killing As we all know, hunting and fishing are about much more than just killing or catching. A whole lot more.
hat a great issue of Whitetail News you're holding in your hands. Two articles in it really struck a nerve with me: One, a great article by Zeke Pipher (page 62) about representing our sport and one, a classic R.G. Bernier piece (page 65) about the total hunting experience — well beyond the pull of a trigger or the release of an arrow. Actually I had to chuckle about Zeke’s experience as the lone outdoor writer at a writers conference consisting entirely of non-hunting women. As you can imagine, in spite of his knowledge and diplomacy, the initial sentiments in the room were decidedly negative when it came to killing beautiful deer. I am proud of Zeke’s thoughtful and respectful response defending our sport that ultimately earned praise and hopefully some genuine understanding from the ladies. Zeke’s article also brings to mind some of my experiences years ago as founder and CEO of B.A.S.S. (Bass Anglers Sportsman Society of America) when we were confronting anti-fishing sentiments expressed in the slogan that “fish have feelings too.” As we all know, hunting and fishing are about much more than just killing or catching. A whole lot more. Both Zeke’s and R.G.’s article do an awesome job of illustrating this.
4 WHITETAIL NEWS
/ Vol. 30, No. 2
I remember an article that appeared a number of years ago in Whitetail News about a father who checked his son out of school to hunt one particular day. Although he provided an honest and upfront excuse to the teacher, he was nonetheless called in for further explanation for why his son had missed that day of school. The father explained to her in a very respectful way that in the course of that day he introduced his son to the outdoor world in a way no book or classroom ever could. In essence his son had a course in zoology, botany, geography, agriculture, ecosystems and more. That’s all in addition to proper firearm use and safety… not to mention sportsmanship and respect for the outdoor resources. And last but not least, there were the invaluable benefits of father/son bonding. As I recall the teacher could not, and did not, argue about a day full of genuine learning, never to be forgotten in that young lad’s life.