Wild Sheep Foundation Lends Support to Boone and Crockett Club's Hunt Fair Chase Initiative
MISSOULA, Mont. (June 28, 2017) - The conservation group Wild Sheep Foundation is the latest name added to a growing list of supporters behind a new initiative led by the Boone and Crockett Club intended to highlight the core values of fair chase and to strengthen the image of the North American hunter.
"Hunting is an integral part of the success we have achieved in wildlife and habitat conservation, but it is subject to increasing attack and misrepresentation," said CJ Buck, the Club's vice president of communications. "The constant stream of destructive criticism directed toward hunting is slowly eroding the public image of all hunters. The Hunt Fair Chase initiative seeks to help hunters become better brand ambassadors and putting our best foot forward by using the time honored traditions of fair chase."
The Hunt Right: Hunt Fair Chase initiative will launch later this summer with the purpose of inspiring sportsmen to unite behind an effort to improve their own public image and control of the narrative about hunting that others have taken.
"We know that hunting instills admirable traits such as self-reliance, self-respect, determination and restraint," said Buck. "Hunting also taught us to value nature and the benefits of conservation. There is no better time than now to remind ourselves of the principles of fair chase and the positive image it creates for the non-hunting public."
Theodore Roosevelt and the Boone and Crockett Club popularized the concept of fair chase at a time in history when the unregulated harvest of game was a significant factor in the extinction of some species and the near loss of others. Conservation was being promoted as the new model for the treatment of natural resources, to not only recover wildlife populations, but also to ensure they would never be threatened again.
Sportsmen of that era took it upon themselves to embrace conservation and aid in the recovery of the game they cherished by practicing a new code of conduct that spoke to their character and commitments. The new initiative asks today's sportsmen and sportswomen to step up once again.
Buck said, "The Wild Sheep Foundation is the leading conservation and advocacy group for wild mountain sheep around the globe, and is yet another example of a sportsmen's group being the lone beacon of hope for an iconic species. Their members work passionately each day to put and keep wild sheep on the mountain. If anyone understands a fair-chase pursuit as part of an overall conservation ethic, it's these mountain men and women. We are proud to have their support."
"The Wild Sheep Foundation is pleased to join our partner, the Boone and Crockett Club, in this important and much needed outreach initiative. Hunters and anglers were the first and remain the foremost conservationists of our wild lands, wild fish and wildlife, but we are lacking in communicating this fact to an increasingly uninformed majority," WSF President and CEO Gray N. Thornton stated. "Often, our messages miss the mark, or worse, portray not the essence of hunting, the bond and passion hunters have for wildlife and hunting's crucial role in wildlife and habitat conservation, but rather hunting as nothing more than blood sport. The Hunt Right: Hunt Fair Chase initiative's aim is to help set our noble record straight and educate our own community that our actions, words, and messaging have consequences."
The Hunt Fair Chase initiative will launch this August with an interactive website and social media effort.
To date, the Wild Sheep Foundation joins the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Buck Knives, and YETI in support of this campaign.