The concept of fair chase hunting was established more than 100 years ago, if not earlier, by hunters and conservationists concerned about ethics, sportsmanship and the public’s perception of their actions.
Those tenets still hold true today.
We in the hunting community, and the angling community as well, decry the slobs who kill more than they need, are wasteful, who only kill for thrill, and who kill in “guaranteed” events where pay-to-kill is absolutely the furthest thing possible from fair chase. We abhor the poachers and trespassers, the law violators and hypocrites, and do not want to be cast in the same light with them.
The Boone and Crockett Club has re-stated its position on fair chase as part of a new effort to promote these tenets. Here is the press release from B&C about this:
A new initiative launched by the Boone and Crockett Club – Hunt Right; Hunt Fair Chase – promotes the values and supports the ethical standards that have long been at the heart of our hunting heritage.
Club founder Theodore Roosevelt and the Boone and Crockett Club nationalized the concept of fair chase at a time when sportsmen of the day needed to separate themselves from a wrongful association of being no different than commercial market hunters whose only motivations were quantity of kill and profits.
“Fair chase is a commonly used term within the hunting community,” said CJ Buck, vice president of communications for the Boone and Crockett Club. “It’s been around for well over 100 years, and many sportsmen practice and live by it, yet may not know it by name or its significance. Because fair chase is a morally grounding principle affecting the choices we make, it’s a good idea to occasionally revisit its principles and see how they apply in today’s world.”
Fair chase is an ethical way of hunting that enriches human character and virtues, both emotionally and intellectually, with the purpose of fostering the essential relationship between the human hunter and the life/death continuum in a way where hunting is not only in support of sustainable use conservation, but enhances the well-being of the species being hunted.
Buck explained, “Although hunting ethics are both a matter of personal choice and those deemed appropriate by the hunting community at large, the actions of individuals do represent all hunters, which can affect the way hunting is either publicly supported or opposed. It’s therefore important for us, and those who do not hunt, to know that fair chase hunters share these important principles.”
The Fair Chase hunter:
— Knows and obeys the law, and insists others do as well.
— Understands that it is not only about just what is legal, but also what is honorable and ethical.
— Defines “unfair advantage” as when the game does not have reasonable chance of escape.
— Cares about and respects all wildlife and the ecosystems that support them, which includes making full use of game animals taken.
— Measures success not in the quantity of game taken, but by the quality of the chase.
— Embraces the “no guarantees” nature of hunting.
— Uses technology in a way that does not diminish the importance of developing skills as a hunter or reduces hunting to just shooting.
— Knows his or her limitations, and stretches the stalk not the shot.
— Takes pride in the decisions he or she makes in the field and takes full responsibility for his or her actions.
“These principles are important for many reasons,” Buck said. “If I had to put my finger on just one reason, it would be the fact that hunting is actually a privilege, not a right. Like any privilege, it is something that must be earned repeatedly. In our democratic society a fair chase approach helps to ensure our opportunity to hunt.”
For more information and to join the conversation visit huntfairchase.com.