Your Vote Counts. Believe it!

Your Vote Counts. Believe it!

IF HUNTERS BELIEVE that a single vote doesn't really matter much, think back to the 2000 election. After all the political dust finally settled, it was former president Bill Clinton who groused that NRA members and the Democrats' active gun control efforts had cost Al Gore the extremely close election. True or not, one fact should be clear as a cold mountain spring: Pro-hunting voters have the ability to impact the outcome of any election -- local, state, or national.

And if hunters harbor doubts that individuals can't effect positive change in our ongoing war with the hunter-haters, check out how angry sportsmen recently convinced the tire-making giant Michelin to cease its donations to the American Humane Association (AHA). That antihunting organization freely admits it "opposes the hunting of any living creature for fun, trophy, or simple sport." And when concerned hunters spoke, Michelin listened.




Unfortunately, the AHA is only one of many groups dedicated to ending all hunting. The current cause du jour is black bear hunting. The antis, encouraged by their past successes in Ontario, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Massachusetts, have succeeded in getting referendums on the 2004 ballots in Maine and Alaska, a ploy which will allow voters the opportunity to outlaw bear hunting over bait. Even in New Jersey where antihunting forces failed to stop the state's 2003 hunt designed to control problems created by a growing black bear population, antis' continuing efforts aim "to protect" Garden State bruins during future hunting seasons.

Savvy and well-funded hunter-haters continue toiling to convince uninformed urban voters and issue-sensitive politicians to join a misguided crusade that ignores the recommendations of pro-hunting wildlife managers and game biologists. Despite defeats in Idaho and Michigan, where voters rejected bear hunting restrictions, antis continue to use the ballot box and misleading emotional propaganda to attack hunters. This year it's black bears. In the future it will be deer. And elk. And wild sheep. And moose. And on and on. Count on it! The antihunters readily admit their goal is to end all hunting.

That's why it's especially critical that hunters fight back with votes of their own. Collectively, North America's hunting ranks include millions of registered voters. It makes no difference whether you're strictly a bowhunter or someone who enjoys hunting with both bows and firearms. All hunters are in this battle together, no matter whether we wear camo or blaze orange. Unless we recognize this very real threat, support pro-hunting organizations, and join forces at the nearest polling place, we're putting ourselves on the endangered species list.


Democrat. Republican. Independent. Libertarian. Whatever candidate you support, take time to explore and evaluate that person's voting record and public stance on hunting and gun control. Some politicians, quite naturally, can be evasive. Masters of doublespeak and determined not to let the NRA and voting sportsmen beat them again in '04, many office-seekers claim to support the 2nd Amendment, as well as "reasonable restrictions" on owning and using firearms. Other candidates make no bones about their goal: an outright ban on all hunting -- including bowhunting -- and gun ownership.

So whom do you trust? For whom will you vote?

It has been said that you can't really get to know a man until you've spent a week together in hunting camp. Unfortunately, few of us will ever have that opportunity. All we can do is examine each candidate's public position on issues meaningful to hunters. And trust our gut instinct. Then vote.


I, for one, would never waste my vote on any politician -- whether seeking the presidency, a congressional seat, governorship, or some local office -- who won't clearly state a positive pro-hunting position. I would never help elect anyone who has ever sided with any antihunting group or gun control zealots. Neither would I vote for any politician I'd hesitate to invite into my hunting camp. Nor would I ever neglect to vote.

I hope you feel the same way and will cast your vote accordingly.

Recommended for You

A micro project could enhance the action. How-To

Small Prescribed Burns for Your Treestand Locations

C.J. Winand

A micro project could enhance the action.

From fixed to hybrid to mechanical, we've rounded up the best new broadheads from the 2019 ATA Show. ATA Show

Best New Broadheads for 2019

Brian Strickland - January 10, 2019

From fixed to hybrid to mechanical, we've rounded up the best new broadheads from the 2019 ATA...

Check out our roundup of the best new release aids from the 2019 ATA Show! ATA Show

6 New Archery Release Aids to Consider for 2019

Colton Bailey - January 11, 2019

Check out our roundup of the best new release aids from the 2019 ATA Show!

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Kentucky Bowfishing Competition

Kentucky Bowfishing Competition

Bowhunter Editor Curt Wells has a friendly bowfishing competition with members of the Muzzy Bowfishing team on Kentucky Lake.

Kansas Turkey Bowhunt

Kansas Turkey Bowhunt

Bowhunter contributor Matt Palmquist sets up shop for a turkey hunt in Kansas.

Canyon Ranch Bowhunt

Canyon Ranch Bowhunt

Bowhunter Equipment Editor Tony Peterson sees plenty of action while hunting whitetails and hogs in Texas.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Chasing predators is great for calming big-game nerves. Other Game

Tips for Bowhunting Predators

Joe Bell

Chasing predators is great for calming big-game nerves.

Curt Wells explains the importance of momentum and penetration. How-To

Heavy Vs. Light: Choosing The Best Hunting Arrow

Curt Wells

Curt Wells explains the importance of momentum and penetration.

Go farther, hunt deeper, and trek lighter while enjoying all-day comfort. How-To

Tree Saddle Hunting — Demo Climb With Aider

Mike Carney - June 07, 2019

Go farther, hunt deeper, and trek lighter while enjoying all-day comfort.

See More Stories

More Politics

                  The Archery Trade Association (ATA) is known as an organization that promotes Politics

ATA Fights For Bowhunting

November 04, 2010

The Archery Trade Association (ATA) is known as an organization that...


By now, you've probably heard all the hoopla over Donald Trump's sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, and Politics

Zimbabwe Officials Defend Trump Brothers' Hunt

Bowhunter Online Staff - April 02, 2012

By now, you've probably heard all the hoopla over Donald Trump's sons, Donald Jr. and Eric,...

                  For 10 years the Connecticut hunter harassment bill has been at work. In one Politics

Courts Make Smart Decisions

November 04, 2010

For 10 years the Connecticut hunter harassment bill has been at work. In one

See More Politics

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.