Editors Note: The North America model of conservation that has hunting as its core management tool is the greatest conservation system ever devised by mankind. For those that are against hunting please recognize what this system has and continues to accomplish and put aside your personal feelings while giving credit where credit is due.
Nevada – -(AmmoLand.com)- A few weeks ago I attended the 2019 SCI (Safari Club International) Hunter’s Convention in Reno, Nevada. This show was always a favorite of mine because it was semi-local to me and I always get to see a few friends that I only see once in a while at the show, be they local hunters and shooters or longtime pals from the firearm industry. It had relocated to Las Vegas a few years ago, and it was sorely missed. So the return to Reno was a highlight of my year!
Hunting is probably mankind’s most ancient tradition passed down from the earliest times of man to the present day. While most people probably get their daily meals from the grocery store or a restaurant, there are hundreds of thousands of Americans who derive much of their food from hunting throughout parts of the year.
If the 2019 SCI Hunter’s Convention is about anything, it is about the celebration of the hunt. You can book hunts from all around the world, hold expensive African double rifles or Purdey shotguns that cost as much as a hunting cabin on 50 acres of land or pick up a Damascus skinning knife from the Charlton family.
For me, the celebration of the hunt is most evident in the taxidermy displays on exhibit at the show.
At the sound of that many hunters and non-hunters will dismiss it as “pointless trophy hunting” or even express their outrage over the display of dead animals. I, on the other hand, see it as something different.
I see it as preserving our hunting traditions for future generations.
This is important on several fronts, mainly as anti-hunting and anti-gun forces work in tandem to strip away our rights.
When we speak of hunting as a tradition, the antis are quick to dismiss it. When posed with the same questions about other cultures who hunt, such as the Inuit, Zulus, Massai, etc.; they are often quick to embrace those as legitimate hunting traditions going back hundreds of years.
While the United States as a nation may be slightly shy of 250 years of existence, as a people we have been here for hundreds and, in the case of indigenous people, thousands of years and our hunting roots go back equally as far.
It can be easy to lose those traditions in a generation or two within a family. Especially as younger generations show less interest in hunting and shooting. The biggest obstacle to this is a lack of sharing stories of a hunt or any other event.
Showing pictures of a large buck or cagey antelope that took several days to track and the associated stories can quickly be lost as sharing the photos of an office party or other mundane events.
How quick can those stories be lost if there is an actual piece of taxidermy that shows the poise and grace of an animal right down to the last flaw in antler growth or scars from the animal’s life? Someday that grandchild might be pointing out the elk mount to his grandchild and reliving the story about how his grandfather tracked him for two days in Colorado and needed two friends with horses to transport the meat, so he would have enough food for that winter to feed his family.
The taxidermy on display at the 2019 SCI Hunter’s Convention represents some of the best artists in the world at that craft. Most are so lifelike that the photos of these mounts are indistinguishable from their living counterparts.
Hunters participate directly in the natural world and care enough to make sure that it continues in all of its remarkable beauty and diversity. It is essential that we protect and preserve this tradition in America.
Hunting is not a uniquely American tradition, however. It is a tradition that belongs to all of humankind. Although some cultures have lost this link with the past, we must ensure that ours does not, for the sake of future generations.
Safari Club International is a U.S.-based organization of more than 50,000 hunters dedicated to protecting the right to hunt and to promote wildlife conservation worldwide. Between SCI and its sister organization, the SCI Foundation, they have put more than $70 Million on the ground for conservation since 2000. In the U.S. and abroad, hunters are part of a system that keeps the rivers, forests, and fields intact and maintains the wildlife for all to enjoy.
About Mike Searson
Mike Searson’s career as a shooter began as a Marine Rifleman at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire adult life as a Gunsmith, Ballistician, Consultant, Salesman, Author and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1989.
Mike has written over 2000 articles for many magazines, websites and newsletters including Blade, RECOIL, OFF-GRID, Tactical Officer, SWAT, Tactical World, Gun Digest, Examiner.com and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.
- Homepage: www.mikesearson.com
- FB: www.facebook.com/mike.searson
- TWITTER: www.twitter.com/mikesearson