THE POPE AND YOUNG DEBATE
Read the letters in Between Bowhunters and you will see plenty of positive but fairly benign input. And if you're really following the issues, you might ask: "Hey, we know people responded to the feature, 'Pope and Young Club: Club at a Crossroads,' and to M.R. James's Editorial, 'Time for a Change,' in the Oct/Nov 2003. Where are those letters regarding the P&Y Club and its 65-percent letoff rule?"
If you're thinking that, you're right Ã‚â€“ people did respond, and their letters ran the gamut. Some called us idiots for our stance; others said we were right on. Some said the amount of letoff makes no difference; others said high-tech gadgetry threatens the future of bowhunting.
All of these letters have contained thoughtful and cogent points, but we have chosen not to publish any of them because they're now all moot. In October the P&Y Club sent ballots to all of its voting members to settle the issue once and for all. Thus, continuing the debate is meaningless. You can read the outcome of the vote in this month's Bowhunter's Journal.
The initial two editions of Stickbow Hunting appeared in the last two Aug/Sept issues, and another will appear in that issue this year. But we hope you will be pleased to find Stickbow Hunting in this issue as well. Given adequate support, we plan to make Stickbow Hunting a permanent fixture in the March/April issue in addition to Aug/Sept.
Stickbow Hunting will never replace our regular features and columns, nor does it signal a move toward all traditional. We will continue to cover all bowhunting styles, from ultra-modern to the most primitive. Our goal is simply to publish good bowhunting stories, and Stickbow Hunting gives us an added forum for expanding our feature offerings.
And good features they are. In this issue, Canadian David Unger takes us on what some bowhunters would consider the ultimate adventure, a safari for a leopard. Indianan Brian Sorrells is the first to hunt caribou on a special lake in Nunavut. Ron Rohrbaugh, a biologist from New York, travels to Florida to stalk wild hogs for the first time. Montanan Mike Lapinski offers guidelines on picking traditional arrows. Regardless of your tackle preferences, you'll find these all great reads.
YOUTH HUNTER ESSAY CONTEST
In Bowhunter's Journal, on page 32, you will see a short reminder that the deadline for our Youth Hunter Essay Contest is March 3. If you are between the ages of 12 and 17, I urge you to enter. All you have to do is write a 300-word essay on this subject: "Describe the perfect bowhunting mentor." Your mentor could be a parent, brother or sister, grandparent, friend, schoolteacher. Your essay will make them feel good, and it could win you a free bear hunt to Saskatchewan, a new bow, or other bowhunting gear.
To judge these essays, each member of our staff reads every essay and assigns a numerical rating from 1 to 10. We do this independently of each other. We then average the scores, and the essay with the highest average score wins. While our judgments are subjective, we believe the averaging process makes the results fair and equitable.
I enjoy reading all the essays, because they're brimming with enthusiasm, excitement, and insight. From reading hundreds of essays, I can offer a couple of helpful tips for writing a winning essay: 1) Write about a personal experience or relationship. Personal essays have a stronger impact than those that simply state broad, general principles. 2) Choose a strong theme for your essay. Before you start writing, figure out exactly what point you want to make, and state that point clearly in the beginning. That's your theme. Then use the remainder of your essay to prove and support that point. We look forward to reading all of your essays!