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Become a Hunting Mentor

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Participants attending the hunting mentor seminars will: Understand why hunter recruitment and retention is important; Hear personal accounts from experienced mentors including mentoring tips and suggestions; and learn about social networking and opportunities to connect with other hunters.

“As a resource-based agency, the Wildlife Commission tries to connect people to resources,” James said. “The agency also can reinvigorate, not reinvent, hunter mentoring. These hunting mentor seminars will address informational barriers and communication barriers by connecting people to people.” The seminars are free and scheduled weekday evenings throughout North Carolina. Online registration is required.  The seminar here in the mountains will be held at Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education: 1401 Fish Hatchery Road, Pisgah Forest, Sept. 25 (6:30-8:30 p.m.). For more information or to register, visit www.ncwildlife.org/sbs.

This is a good time to share the 10 Ways to Protect America’s Hunting Heritage as prepared by the Boone and Crockett Club. Nearly 85 percent of Americans believe in legal hunting, although only 15% hunt. If that 85 percent stops believing in us, we will lose our hunting rights in the country. And despite what you may think, they are always at risk.

Hunting is allowed today because the vast majority of hunters through the ages have respectfully followed laws, regulations, safety rules and high ethical standards known as fair chase-the sporting pursuit and taking of native free-ranging game species in a manner that does not give the hunter improper advantage. Continue the tradition.

Remember: Any animal taken in fair chase is a trophy.

America’s system of conservation and wildlife management is the most successful ever developed. It works only because of funding from hunters. Spread the word.

Respect the customs of the local area where you’re hunting, including the beliefs and values of those who do not hunt.

This season, make every attempt to take a youngster hunting. If you already hunt with your son or daughter, invite one of their friends to come along.

Technology is a wonderful thing until it replaces the skills necessary to be a complete hunter. If it seems gratuitous, leave it at home.

Always ask permission before hunting private land. Respect landowners.

Tread lightly, especially on public land. ATVs have their place-on roads and trails. If you pack it in, pack it out.

Sportsmen have always been instrumental in managing big game herds. If antlerless harvest is encouraged in your area and you have the opportunity, take a doe or cow.

Remember: The reason for a hunt is intrinsically about the experience. A kill is a justifiable outcome but not the only definition of a successful hunt.

Let us keep all the ten points above in mind as we start a new hunting season. Our ethical behavior will determine the future of hunting in our country. How we act over the next few months will impact whether or not there is a Hunting Heritage to pass on to the next generation. American hunters are the original Green Movement.

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