Ducks Unlimited and Hunter-Conservationist Groups Raise the Bar for Sportsmanship Through Awareness Campaign
Memphis, TN June 29, 2004---“Hunt Fair Chase is a national campaign to foster the importance of the use of good hunter ethics by all members of our hunting community,” said George A. Bettas, Executive Director, Boone and Crockett Club.
The new initiative recently started and seeks to unite all who shoulder a firearm or draw a bow to adhere to a code of conduct to be a true sportsman or woman.
Ducks Unlimited (DU) is among the first sponsors to promote hunting ethics and sportsmanship through the Hunt Fair Chase Program, an idea that began at the turn-of the-century according to Bettas.
“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,” Bettas said.
Fair Chase allows the hunter to pursue game, using hunting skills, knowledge of wildlife & outdoor savvy, without putting the game animal at an unfair disadvantage. The principles of fair chase encourage hunters to: show respect to landowners & managers; respect wildlife; obey game laws; show courteous to other hunters and those that don't hunt; clearly identify your target; and remain ethical and safe at all times.
According to DU Executive Vice President Don Young, these important principles should be the credo of all sportsmen. “As a group, hunters are more interested in wildlife issues and contribute more to conservation efforts than the general public—that commitment should continue while a-field by showing the utmost respect for the resource. High standards of conduct are essential to establish credibility and foster sportsmanship for future generations. It is the responsibility of all hunters to help maintain the hunting heritage, especially in the face of anti-hunting sentiment. The future of the sport depends on it.”
Bettas concurs, “As animal-rights groups continue to defame the hunting community and attempt to destroy the image of hunter-conservationists, Hunt Fair Chase will unify the powerful force of the hunting community to combat such propaganda. The sponsors of this effort stand united to teach and maintain high ethical conduct, and combat anti-hunting messages that are so often sent to America’s youth.”
“DU's founders were all devoted, visionary sportsmen who realized the value of conservation work to the future of hunting-one of our most cherished traditions,” added Young.
For more information about the Campaign and to collect a Hunt Fair Chase window decal call (406) 542-1888 or see: www.huntfairchase.com