Outdoor Tracker Systems, Inc.

Communication, Safety & Management Products and Software for Outdoors Men and Women

What’s Your Responsibility as a Hunter?

turkey-050514I had the pleasure of attending the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) Annual Conference in Charleston SC last week. In addition to being surrounded by many of the most dedicated and caring hunting industry professionals, it also provided an opportunity to reflect on my early years of hunting and how I progressed over the past couple decades. I attended the conference to present the concepts of our HuntResponsibly.com initiative, but found myself attending seminars and discussions on topics like personal safety & courtesy, completing basic and advanced skills training, continuing to develop your knowledge base, situational awareness, and passing along our hunting heritage. I don’t often think about these during my sometimes hectic days, although I hunt more than most people I know. But when you’re surrounded by folks who live and breath the lifestyle, share their skills and knowledge tirelessly, and stress the importance of responsible actions, it becomes very enlightening.

We had some familiar industry professionals in attendance as guest speakers at lunches or dinners, but the voices that resonated thru the week were those of the Hunter Education Coordinators, Instructors and Volunteers. These are the folks on the front lines every weekend. Taking time away from their families and friends, most often working with other people’s kids…and never thinking twice about doing it. They not only love hunting and the outdoors, they keep the lifeblood of our hunting heritage flowing. They give everything to others and ask only a few things in return:

  • respect others, wildlife, and the rules
  • be safety conscious and know your limitations
  • get involved and represent our sport honorably
  • introduce someone else to hunting and the outdoors

During this event, there were occasions where members were quizzed about the 10 Commandments of Firearms Safety, the Pittman-Robertson Act, or the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. I scratched my head in wonder a few times because I was sure I knew and/or heard them all before. I certainly couldn’t recite them word-for-word or start a discussion about the merits of each, but something just seemed very familiar about them. Then it occurred to me that I wasn’t ignorant or oblivious to them, they had just become second nature and were a permanent part of who I am. And that’s how it is for many of us who’ve been responsible hunters our entire lives…and those who show respect and admiration for others and the chase…and those who give time to youth, the disadvantage or needy…and those who are involved in conservation organizations…and those who give tirelessly of themselves to preserve our heritage…and those who will defend what is right and justified…and…you get the picture…these were true Americans.

During my 600 mile trip to Charleston, my thoughts were focused on introducing hunting safety professionals to our business model and all the benefits we had to offer. As I made my way back to Ohio, I had a different vision.  I was grateful, honored and blessed to have been in the company of hundreds of America’s finest outdoorsmen and women.

Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety:    http://www.remington.com/10commandments

Pittman Robertson Act:    http://www.fws.gov/southeast/federalaid/pittmanrobertson.html

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation:    http://www.boone-crockett.org/conservation/conservation_NAM.asp?area=conservation

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This entry was posted on June 11, 2014 by .
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