Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Guest post from Michael M.

One of our old friends at Grousers, Mr. Michael Mieszczak, weighed in recently with his thoughts about what he found on the website of Orion, The Hunters' Institute.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Orion Doesn’t Fence Around Fair Chase

When it comes to hunting and fishing, the gang at Cold Duck all consider ourselves to be “good sports.” We’ve never actually sat down together and tried to nail down just what “being a good sport” means. We buy all our required licenses and permits; never shoot or fish above the limit; reflexively let a youngster, or a newbie, or someone with challenges take the first shot or fish the best pool; and, if we kill it, you can be darn sure we’ll enjoy eating it. These behaviors, and a few activity-specific others that we’ve picked up along the way, have pretty much let us feel we’re good sports even if, as admitted earlier, we haven’t spent a lot of time parsing out the term.
On a random scoot through the Internet recently, I learned that some people care a whole lot about good sportsmanship, or what they call Fair Chase. Jim Posewitz founded Orion - The Hunters’ Institute in 1993 to pursue the stated goals of “cleaning up” hunting’s image and of placing hunters in the leadership position in defining and guarding our nation’s conservation ethic. I found all sorts of interesting reading at the website and its associated blog, Fair Chase Hunting.
A core element of Orion’s outlook is that hunters should only occasionally succeed, but the animals should generally “win” by avoiding being taken. If Jim had been following me and my perpetually underweighted game bag around NY’s fields and swamps, he would never have seen need to form his organization. Apparently there are plenty of outfits out West that offer the opportunity to “hunt” large game-species mammals that’re penned up in enclosures of various sizes; and Posewitz condemns both the outfits and their customers to the farthest regions of Dante’s Inferno.
Jim and his crew have lots of other ideas as well. Orion would like to see large tracts of wilderness preserved so that wild resources will be democratically available to hunters of all economic strata. I bet you’ll enjoy roaming through Jim’s website as much as I did, and so rather than try further to reduce his group’s prodigious efforts to 50-words-or-less here, I recommend you click on the link and give it a tumble.
When you do, you’ll love the photos of Bighorn Sheep and snow-covered Rocky Mountain vistas. Check out this beauty from Orion’s homepage:
from Orion - The Hunters' Institute's website
While some NY hunters may daydream of chasing those Bighorns out West, we at Cold Duck genuinely prefer hunting feathered or furred small game behind our doggies of choice. I’d love for Orion to expand on its Western large game focus and speak to the hunting that many of us do in the East. Come on, Orion, let us know what you think of chasing Adirondack snowshoe hares behind bawl-and-chop beagles, or “rough shooting” grouse, woodcock and ducks behind a busy-tailed flushing spaniel up on Tug Hill.

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