New Fair Chase Site Open to Public
The importance of hunting ethics and sportsmanship will be on display like never before thanks to a hunter education program orchestrated by the Boone and Crockett Club and sponsored by hunting products manufacturers, conservation organizations, and the outdoor media.
“The circumstances of today's society indicate that it is time to reaffirm the importance of ethics and sportsmanship among hunters,” explains George Bettas, Executive Director of the Boone and Crockett Club. “A movement has been at work attempting to destroy our image as hunters in a world where fewer and fewer people have any contact with the land, its wildlife, or our hunting heritage. Our credibility as hunters who ascribe to a self-imposed code of conduct is a powerful force in confronting this anti-hunting effort,” Bettas continues.
The concept of “fair chase” as the ethical and sportsman-like pursuit and taking of wild game was first promoted by Theodore Roosevelt and the Boone and Crockett Club at a time in our history when there were no laws governing the taking of game for food or for sport. It became a universally accepted code of conduct among hunters and was the cornerstone of our first game laws. By accepting and practicing this sportsman’s code, our hunting forefathers gained the credibility needed to nominate hunters as the most qualified guardians over our wildlife resources, which in turn launched the most successful wildlife recovery and conservation system in history.
“In the late 1800s and early 1900s hunters were at the center of the movement which saved our wild places and wild things when no one else could,” states Bettas. “A lot of time has passed since then and most hunters today do not know how important our hunting heritage is to wildlife and habitat conservation. The Hunt Fair Chase campaign is designed to educate hunters and provide unity and leadership, all in an effort to improve our public image, which has been misleadingly represented by those who want to see hunting presented in a negative light,” commented Bettas.
This fall, hunters will be exposed to series of “public service” print and Internet advertising communicating the importance of making responsible and ethical choices while hunting. The ads will lead to an informational website – www.huntfairchase.com. Visitors to the website will receive a free Hunt Fair Chase window decal (while supplies last) and be able to read and download a host of information about hunting history; the origins of sportsmanship; how ethical hunting saved hunting and our wildlife populations; and what we can do as hunters to see that our tradition of conservation leadership will continue into the future. Leading hunting industry manufactures and hunter-conservation organizations are underwriting the cost of this program. The outdoor media is doing their part by helping deliver this message to millions of hunters.
“This message has been long overdue and the support we have received from everyone involved has been overwhelming,” states Bettas. “Influencing personal choice is tricky business, but everyone associated with this program agrees that the timing is right, the message is motivational and educational, and rallying the hunting community around the concept of sportsmanship will go a long way toward improving our image and ensuring that hunters continue to have a strong voice over issues that affect wildlife and hunting,” Bettas concluded.
For information on how your company or organization can participate in this program call the Boone and Crockett Club at 406-542-1888. For more information on hunting ethics and sportsmanship visit the Hunt Fair Chase website at www.huntfairchase.com.