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 with Rob Miskosky

Thank You Hunters, Trappers & Anglers

I was kicked back, enjoying a warm fire in the wood stove, a cold beer and a hockey game on the tube. The game was being televised from Colorado, as the Avalanche were playing a home game that night. Yes, I’m a hockey nut and have the NHL’s Center Ice package, virtually guaranteeing me almost any game on any night that I might want to watch.

And I find it interesting to watch hockey games from different American cities, as you also get to see the commercials that are being shown in those particular markets. On this night, I was surprised to see an advertisement suddenly appear that was promoted not only by commercial, but also by the game’s announcers. The commercial was “brought to you by The (Colorado) Wildlife Agency”, promoting all that hunters and anglers do, with the storyline being, “Coloradans are proud of the wildlife and natural beauty in Colorado. And we have hunters and anglers to thank for helping to support it. So if you love protecting Colorado and its natural beauty, go ahead and hug a hunter.”

“Hunters, trappers and anglers are being recognized
for their contributions to conservation.”
The commercials played throughout the game from two themes, one being the hug a hunter theme, the other being hug an angler. At the end of each commercial, viewers were encouraged to visit the website, which I did of course.

The website is nicely displayed and offers a section that talks about the benefits of hunting and angling to the state’s fish and wildlife, to its public land, and to the state of Colorado itself.

Under the “Campaigns” section of the website, where you can watch “public awareness videos”, basically the same commercials that were being shown during the hockey game I watched, The Wildlife Council says, Most Coloradans have no idea that fees from hunters and anglers pay for the protection of wildlife and the open spaces they call home. The Wildlife Council of Colorado hired an advertising agency to help them educate the general public about the benefits hunting and fishing bring to our state. The council’s most recent campaign targeted non-hunters and anglers with one simple message: Once you understand everything hunters and anglers do for our state, you may want to give them a hug.”

It’s somewhat ironic that hunters, trappers and anglers haven’t really been acknowledged for their conservation initiatives, at least not on a grand scale. But much of that appears to be changing, not only across the border to our south, but also here at home as well.

Rick Norlock
On November 6 of this year, Rick Norlock, Member of Parliament for Northumberland-Quinte West, was rejoicing his Private Members’ Bill C-501 receive Royal Assent from the Canadian Senate. Bill C-501 is an Act Respecting a National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day.

Beginning in 2015, the third Saturday of every September moving forward will allow “families and friends to honour a proud part of Canada’s history.”

“In recognition of Canada’s history, this Bill acknowledges the significant role that hunting, fishing and trapping have had in the development of our nation; forming the fabric of the Canadian experience and the significant contribution that these activities make to the national economy,” said Norlock, an avid hunter and angler himself.

“Hunters, anglers, and trappers are Canada’s first and most effective conservationists. MP Norlock’s bill provides a fitting recognition of this magnificent legacy,” acknowledged Robert Sopuck, MP chair of the Conservative Hunting and Angling Caucus.

Just as Furbearer Defenders were launching their “Make Fur History” campaign in Canada and the Petards their “Winter Without Wool” and “Help Turkeys” campaigns targeting trappers and hunters (and farmers), real Americans and Canadians were rejoicing all that hunters, anglers and trappers do for their countries. Which, by my estimation, is far more than any of the aforementioned groups have ever done... or will ever do.

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