by Ron Spomer
The idea of “chasing” game is foreign to most of today’s hunters, who’d rather wait in ambush, but that doesn’t diminish the ethical need for “fair chase hunting.” The question is how one defines it. And the Boone & Crocket Club is so eager to know your opinion that they might select you to win a rifle and scope at #fairchasecontest.
The founders of the Boone & Crocket Club — pioneer conservationists like Theodore Roosevelt — enshrined fair chase as a tenant in their definition of responsible sport hunting. Technological advancements of the day, which made it ever easier to find and take game, were threatening its very existence. B&C was formed, in large part, to save wildlife from overharvest, protecting and perpetuating it for its intrinsic value, ecological value and multiple use value.
Technological advances today make unfair chase easier than ever, so B&C wants to raise awareness, to get sportsmen thinking and talking about how far they want to take technology while hunting. And they’re offering a hell of a prize to entice your opinions: a Blaser R8 Professional S rifle and a Leupold VX6 2-12x42mm scope and two tickets to the B&C 29th Big Game Awards presentation in Springfield, MO.
To win all you have to do is describe in 350 words of less what fair chase hunting means to you. Easy! You love to hunt, live to hunt, couldn’t imagine a world without wildlife and your right to hunt it, right? So tell B&C what this passion you have for fair chase hunting means to you. And your kids. And grandkids. And win!
What do you write? That’s up to you, but here are a few ideas to get you thinking…
The chase had been integral to hunting for millennia. The French word for “hunting” is “chasse.” Humans have used horses and dogs to chase down game. Native Americans were known to chase entire herds of buffalo off cliffs. African tribesmen have surrounded game and chased them to the center of an ever tightening circle to be speared. Most hunter-gatherers have taken advantage of environmental conditions like mud or crusty snow to chase down deer. But is it fair to chase pronghorns with a motorcycle? Hunt caribou from an airplane? Catch up to fleeing deer with a 4-wheel drive truck?
The advantage mechanical propulsion provides is easily seen as unfair chase, but what about using a spotlight for night hunting? Baiting waterfowl with corn? Calling it with electronically recorded and played calls? Is it fair to lure bears with donuts? How fair are digital scopes that measure the range, move the reticle and signal when it’s time to pull the trigger? Are 4X scopes fair by 20X unfair? What about lighted arrow nocks, 80 percent let-off compound bows and sabot projectiles in muzzle loaders?
In short, how does restricting the high tech tools available to all of us enhance your hunting experience? How does limiting yourself to fair chase increase the joy and satisfaction you feel out there?
Social media submissions:
- Tag Blaser USA and/or Boone and Crockett Club in your post or tweet
- Use #FairChaseContest in your post or tweet
- ‘Like’ or ‘follow’ Blaser USA and Boone and Crockett Club on Facebook or Twitter
- Email submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send entry by mail along with name and phone number to: Blaser USA Inc., 403 East Ramsey, Suite 301, San Antonio, TX 78216
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