Wednesday, June 21, 2006

News: WHA: Open Letter to All Hunters - “A shot in the Arm”

You could say many things about David Faberman, the CEO of the World Hunting Association, but lack self-confidence is not one of them. Faberman published an open letter to all hunters on his website. An attempt to extinguish the fire of fury he created with the announcement to launch his concept of competitive game shooting with tranquilizer guns and arrows. To me it looks like he just added some more fuel to the fire with that letter.

Having received thousands of letters from angry hunters that caused his sponsors to pull out of his high fence live target shooting plans, he now feels that he has to justify his great idea and add a little patronizing to it. He writes; “Let’s face it, our sport could use a shot in the arm…It’s time to improve that image and show the world the complexity, skill and strategy that is the core of hunting.”

I like the “shot in the arm” bit. Did he intend the pun? Beats me how he wants to “improve” the image of hunting. How? By shooting tranquilizer drugs at penned animals and then having them scored and flashing a big cardboard check for x-thousand dollars in front of the camera I can see it now how PETA and other such organizations endorse that type of sport as “ethical” treatment of animals.

Faberman also believes that his competition sport game-chasing endeavour will have a positive impact on game conservation, disease control and other “valuable scientific impacts.” No he is not kidding. That seems what he truly believes. I guess it would be like doing research on livestock like cows, that is what penned game is, and then use that data for wild living bison. He also says that
licensed veterinarians will do blood samples on the bucks and then mark them so that they will not be shot with drugs twice in a competition. Tranquilizing wild animals is a very dodgy affair. Every veterinarian will tell you that to get the dose right you have to know the age, weight and general health and physical condition of the animal. That is not possible with wild animals, unless they are tame, and thus the chances of fatally “overdosing” is quit high.

For me there is also another issue with that sort of sport. Animals suffer high stress in a tranquilized condition. Remember they are not knocked out cold and sleep. Tranquilized animals are fully conscious and aware; they just can’t move or feel pain. Next to overdosing the stress is what kills a lot of so treated animals. I imagine the stress level could be even higher for the animal with all the hoopla of high fiving, hollering, cameras and light around them.

The letter ends with; “Now is the time for all hunters to stand together, shoulder to shoulder. While new ideas and change can sometimes be uncomfortable, this is a great opportunity for hunters to elevate the sport, clear up misconceptions and expand the next generation of hunters.”

It is just me that thinks Faberman is a tad patronizing in the last paragraph? “While new ideas and change can sometimes be uncomfortable…” Why does he think real hunters are uncomfortable with his new idea? Has he not read the letters and e-mails he’s gotten from highly concerned outdoors enthusiasts? Could it be that we have every reason to be uncomfortable with the idea that the hunting heritage is to be turned into a spectator’s sport like tennis or baseball? You bet I am uncomfortable with it and so are thousands of other hunters judging from what we have heard.

I am not sure at all how Faberman thinks that his “sport hunting”- and big money paying –use of game animals as live targets and doping them up to their eyeballs could possibly clear up “misconceptions” about hunting let alone “elevate the sport.

I do not know Faberman personally and have no desire to remedy that fact. But I do know that he has absolutely not the foggiest idea what the spirit and the heritage of hunting is all about. Neither does he know what stirs deep down in our soul when we enter the great outdoors and follow our natural instinct that has been with us from the beginning of time.

Faberman welcomes hunter’s feedback and suggestions, he says, to build his “sport hunting tour.” Please write him and let him know what you think about his ideas and plans:


Frank Baron said...

It's sad when someone gets married to a Very Bad Idea and refuses to divorce it.

Othmar Vohringer said...

You are so right Frank. However, in this case I think the guy got married to money.

Like so many in the hunting and fishing industry. He does not give a damn about what hunting is really about. His interests in hunting a puerly guided by the idea, "Let's see for how long I can milk that cow for all that it is worth."

Folks like Faberman need to be stopped dead in the track before they manage to bring hunting down to rock bottom and with that endanger our hunting heritage with a negative perception by the general public.

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