A few weeks back, one of the big hunting conservation groups sent out a press release announcing a “strategic partnership” (whatever that is) to promote hunting ethics among the young hunters of today. Exactly how the “strategic partners” planned to do that I’m not sure, beyond vague mention of “outreach.” What I do know is that, most of the time, whenever I suggest writing about hunting ethics, editors roll their eyes and insist their readers don’t want to hear about it.
This is understandable. Long ago, I stopped going to church for much the same reason. No one I’ve ever met enjoys being preached at. Any editor who can recognize preaching and forestall it gets my vote, and should get yours as well.
However, for some years I’ve been exploring the whole question of hunting ethics (mostly in the privacy of my own home) simply because hunting is what I now have in place of church, and when you are that dedicated to anything, I believe you should learn as much about it as you can. Sort of like reading the Bible.
Before going any further let me just say, in my opinion, a hunter can learn all that needs to be known about the practical aspects of hunting ethics by reading Robert Ruark’s The Old Man and the Boy and José Ortega’s Meditations on Hunting. Toss in Ruark’s Horn of the Hunter, and you are pretty much covered. And, you’ll have had some great reading.