By Jason Reid
Las Vegas, NV -(AmmoLand.com)- With the Safari Club International convention floor now closed we begin reflecting on the fun we all enjoyed this week while looking forward to booked hunts in the coming year.
Well, maybe it will take a few days. Safari Club International’s 2016 convention was full of excitement and proper planning for the future.
As conservationists and hunters, we care about the future of our heritage. We care about the people involved and most certainly care about habitat and the animals. I could feel the passion from people regardless of what exactly it was they were talking about. From Ivan Carter talking about social media use to Deb Ferns helping empower women through shooting. How about the smiles on the faces of the older guys when the Jim Corbett rifle was pulled out of its case and passed around?
The Safari Club Foundation spoke with a passion for humanitarian and educational projects. The passion for the legal work in Washington, DC headed by a dedicated team willing to live and breathe the daily opposition and fight to protect our rights as hunters. There was a passion and enthusiasm from exhibitors. The guides and outfitters as always were classy and professional providing such a wide range of hunts and fishing adventures to choose from, you can’t help but have a running list of dream hunts to embark on. The Safari Club International convention is just a small snap shot of the global impact conservation and humanitarian efforts hunting has served as the vehicle for in our world.
As I travel home was the question posed in the panel discussion sticks with me. “What is the future of hunting?”
What I find continually discouraging and frustrating, and I believe all conservationists and hunters can relate to, is the continued ignoring of the positive aspects of hunting in the mainstream media. Will this ever change? Potentially. What I learned from this year’s convention is the need to take the conversation back. It is taking back the conversation through consistent and professional well articulated communication. Melissa Bachman mentioned in a panel discussion one of the best things we have working in the favor for hunting is the Organic Movement. People who may have never considered hunting are taking advantage of the opportunity to have a connection to what they eat. We need to foster and encourage this growing trend by being teachers for those who are curious. Each of us need to see ourselves as being a representative of our heritage and it should not be taken lightly.
In listening to conversations it almost felt like there were some who wanted to wait for the public to give us back the conversation on hunting. Like it is a cookie for being good.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is our conversation.
We must acknowledge the issues with a commitment to setting a better example for the future. Each hunter has the power to contribute in owning the conversation.
Ten years ago when I was allowed to begin bowhunting for deer, I never could have foreseen this critical time in hunting. I’ll be there on the front lines to ensure the ability for others to have those same experiences. Will you be there as well?
About Jason Reid:
Jason Reid is a writer and business professional from upstate New York. After deciding to pursue his dream of becoming an outdoor writer, Jason started a blog from his dorm room at Houghton College, growing it and working hard to earn opportunities. While bowhunting big game is his ultimate passion, Jason welcomes all outdoor challenges which force him to push his limits. See more from Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Jason's work can also be viewed on his website Pushingthewildlimits.com.