Editors Note: While this deviates from the standard “article” that we publish in the Mountain Life column, the argument can be made that it is of equal, if not greater, importance and relevance.
Like some of you, the Journal of Mountain Hunting is fortunate enough to call British Columbia its home base. In many ways, B.C. represents one of the few remaining vast and wild places left on this continent, boasting rich and varied ecosystems and dozens of species to hunt.
Many of you, our readers, are not residents of this beautiful province, though we hope the importance of this message is not lost upon you. Some of you have hunted here in the past, others may be planning to do so in the future, while many of you may only dream of one day cutting a tag here in B.C. Regardless of where you fit in that spectrum, we ask that you take a few minutes to read the press release below.
The Wild Sheep Society of British Columbia, in concert with the Wild Sheep Foundation, is the greatest advocate for Wild Sheep habitat, conservation, and management in British Columbia — something we strongly support at the JOMH. The project outlined below is of critical importance.
Hunter Heritage: The Wild Sheep Society of British Columbia
Our way of life is under attack and science-based wildlife management has taken a back seat to emotional and ideological decision making. Under the weight of politically manipulated social pressure, hunting opportunities have been eliminated here in British Columbia and around the world.
Last year’s grizzly hunting ban was a wake-up call, a stark reminder that we cannot afford to be complacent. The antis are far from done. The battle to save our hunting heritage is just beginning. And so far, it’s a battle we’ve been losing.
What will our community do? What will be our legacy when, years from now, people look back on this critical point in time? Will hunting still be “a way of life”, or just a memory of what some of us once enjoyed?
The Wild Sheep Society of BC is not going down without a fight.
With the support of its members, the WSSBC will soon be launching an aggressive project through our Hunter Heritage Program dedicated to ensuring our right to hunt is preserved. This is consistent with 2e of our Constitution, which states:
“The purposes of the Society are to maintain and promote the right to hunt in a safe and ethical manner and to foster good will, sportsmanship and fair chase in light of all rules and regulations.”
It is important to acknowledge that our primary focus is, and always will be, wild sheep conservation. The Hunter Heritage Program was established so that our conservation dedicated funds would remain isolated from any other purpose. This is where we need your help.
We have engaged Kelowna based Monashee Media to execute on our vision to take back control of the hunting narrative and the image of the hunter in popular media. This is not a small undertaking. It will take the support of our entire community to achieve our goals.
The program will be officially unveiled in February 2019. We have already received a commitment of over $40,000 to the program from a handful of our dedicated members. We are now asking for your financial support. The future of our hunting opportunities depends on it.
We are asking for a minimum donation of $100 to help us fund our Hunter Heritage Program via a donation drive that will run from November 16th, 2018 – January 15th, 2019. Italian Sporting Goods has donated a Tikka T3 Stainless Synthetic .300 Win Mag rifle in support of this cause and for every $100 that an individual donates, they will receive one entry to win the rifle*. For example, if you donate $1,000 you get 10 entries. Every dollar raised through this drive will go to funding our Hunter Heritage Program and preserving hunting opportunities for years and generations to come.
You can donate online or if you prefer, send a cheque made payable to the Wild Sheep Society of BC. Be sure to indicate that this is for our Hunter Heritage Program. Donations received prior to January 15th, 2019 will be eligible for the rifle giveaway. If you prefer you can also call 250- 961-1908 to make a credit card donation over the phone. We can do anonymous donations, however, if you do not give us your name you won’t be eligible for the rifle giveaway. Please note that all individuals are eligible to win this rifle, not just WSSBC members, subject to legal firearm requirements (PAL). You do not need to be a member of our Society to donate or win the rifle so if you are a member, please share this with your friends and family!
For payment via cheque, make payment to:
Wild Sheep Society of BC
101-30799 Simpson Road
Abbotsford, BC V2T 6X4
THE HUNTER HERITAGE PROGRAM
This ambitious project will be unveiled the week of February 3rd , 2019. It is important to note that if we are to change the public perception of hunting, we must focus on the non-hunting public. The harsh truth is we have been doing a poor job of this to date. We must adapt.
Although the anti-hunters are the most vocal, the overwhelming majority of people remain neutral on the topic of hunting. It is their hearts and minds that we must win over and educate. This campaign is designed around that premise.
The initial launch will consist of several short videos that will be distributed via digital media channels with the purpose of driving traffic away from the toxic environment of social media to a new stand-alone website. This platform will host longer videos, articles, and a podcast series, along with other thought-provoking material.
In totality, the content will serve the express purpose of engaging, inspiring and educating the non-hunter, and through these efforts, show the average non-hunter that our way of life is relatable and acceptable in modern society.
If we win their hearts and minds, we will win this war.
*The winner of the rifle draw must provide a valid Firearms License (PAL) to take possession of the rifle. If someone without a PAL wins the draw, they can transfer the privilege to another person that holds a PAL. Non-Canadian citizens are eligible for the draw; however, they are responsible for all aspects of shipping and export requirements. WSSBC will not cover any of the cost or work associated with export from the country. By donating you are automatically entered in the rifle drawing. A donation is not necessary to win the rifle. If you wish to enter the rifle draw without a donation, mail your name and contact information answering the following question: “What year was the world record Stone’s Sheep Chadwick ram killed?” to Wild Sheep Society of BC, ATTN: Hunter Heritage, 8095 Larson Road, Prince George, BC, V2N 6S1.