American Hunter - December 2012 - 81

Visit: www.nrahuntersrights.org

Over the years, we can be proud of all
that has been accomplished. - has
constructed and passed Right to Hunt and
Fish state constitutional amendments that
provide meaningful protections against
attacks by the illogical and emotional
animal "rights" zealots for generations to
come. Along with our partner organizations, we have helped to adopt youth and
mentored hunting legislation in  states.
Mentored hunter license sales are nearing
the  million mark; and mentored hunting
is proving what we've said all along-that
it is the safest form of what is already one
of the safest activities in the country.
Other policy efforts include eliminating Sunday hunting bans in the few states
that still have them on the books; allowing
for the expanded use of crossbows during
archery season, enacting legislation that
helps protect against net loss of public
hunting lands, authorizing bow hunters to
carry firearms for self-defense in the field
and encouraging the active management
of recovered wolf populations through
regulated hunting.
These are some of our finest accomplishments in the past but there are some
newer subjects that will share our attention in the near future. Some of these
include the following:

Photo: Tony Bynum

Hunter Safety Education Exemption for Servicemen and Women

I hear too many stories of military personnel returning from combat overseas
just before or during hunting seasons
and being prohibited from participating
because they have not completed hunter
education training. Some of my friends
in one of the military's most elite special
operations units have been the most
recent victims. Their training and deployment schedule is brutal by every measure.
As a fellow American, it's embarrassing
to try to explain to them that they are
assigned some of the most dynamic, complicated and dangerous combat action
the world has witnessed, but states don't
trust them enough to allow them to sit in
a duck blind with an over/under.
Many states have appropriately
exempted citizens with military experience
from training requirements associated
with obtaining concealed handgun licenses.
These policies have not caused problems.
It's time that states offer the same consideration to those seeking hunting licenses.

As always, there will be those who claim
that policies such as this will increase the
number of hunting accidents. But I hope
there will be fewer doubters than normal
in light of the trained, experienced heroes
who stand to benefit. If we can exempt
older hunters from hunter education
requirements (as virtually all states do),
we should be able to exempt our military
personnel.

Resident Status for College
Students

Policy makers must pay special attention to opportunities to enhance hunter
recruitment and retention. One easy way
to do this is to treat out-of-state college
students as residents for the purpose of
obtaining hunting licenses. Of course,
because of limited opportunities, big
game tags may be a more complicated
factor in some western states, but this
can be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Most college students have very
limited financial resources available for
discretionary spending. Kids who have
hunted all of their lives with a license they
obtain for  or  a year experience
sticker shock when they move to another
state to attend college and are faced with a
- to -fold increase in license prices as
non-residents. Treating them as residents
will help to ensure that they continue to
hunt. If high costs discourage them, we
might permanently lose them and their
future children from the hunting ranks.
Resident status in this realm also makes
sense due to the fact that the students live
in the state where they attend school for
the vast majority of the year and pay many
local and state taxes as a result.

Use of Tracking Dogs

I've dedicated an entire article in this
magazine to this subject in the past but
now it is time to press forward and help
to right wrongs in state statute and game
regulations. Incredibly, many states prohibit hunters from fulfilling their ethical
obligation to recover wounded game animals by using the best resource they have
at their disposal-a dog's nose. When
policy prevents hunters from doing the
right thing, the system is clearly broken.
Those who think it is always best to disadvantage good, honest hunters in order
to make it easier to apprehend the few
lawbreakers will defend the status quo but

. ❘

 ❘  

there are ways to address concerns even
if those concerns are illegitimate. The
supposed concern here is that hunters
everywhere will begin to hunt deer with
dogs and claim that they are pursuing
wounded animals if questioned by law
enforcement officials. That's not going to
happen but paranoid policy makers could
simply establish a system that allows
hunters to call a number to report that
an animal is wounded and that they are
going to use tracking dogs in a recovery
effort. If the same person calls every other
day, it might be worthy of investigation.

Acceptance of Technological
Advancements

Statutes and hunting regulations should
be more flexible to allow hunters to try
new technology. One good example is
Leupold's bow-mounted rangefinder. It
allows a bow hunter to use the rangefinder while at full draw; something that
should enhance the probability of a more
accurate shot by providing the hunter
real-time data.
It boggles my mind that many states
prohibit the use of this product for hunting. Why? What could possibly be the
justification? Does it provide an "unfair
advantage" as is so often claimed when
increased choice is denied? Of course it
doesn't. It is no different than having a
friend standing next to the hunter and
reading real-time distances using his own
hand-held rangefinder. This is just one
of many examples but new technology
should be embraced more often than it
is prohibited.
Many of you will hear from -
asking you to contact your policy makers
in support of our agenda and possibly to
oppose restrictive, anti-hunting legislation where it arises. Please be ready to
help, because the effectiveness and significance of individual citizen contacts
with policy makers simply cannot be
overstated. ah
org
huntersrights.
Visit: www.nra


http://www.nrahuntersrights.org http://www.nrahuntersrights.org http://www.americanhunter.org

American Hunter - December 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - December 2012

American Hunter - December 2012 - 1
American Hunter - December 2012 - 2
American Hunter - December 2012 - 3
American Hunter - December 2012 - 4
American Hunter - December 2012 - 5
American Hunter - December 2012 - 6
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