managing editor: John mogle
Farewell, 2015. Welcome, 2016.
Another year is in the books. As I take a moment to reflect upon 2015 and the world of hunting, many things pass through my mind. I was fortunate enough to go on individual hunts with all of my family members who were still at home with me in 2015. My 16-year-old son Gage and I traveled to Colorado for a muzzleloader elk hunt, and although unsuccessful, it was an incredible hunt. Let’s just say we had our chances. My youngest son Creed turned 12 in 2015, which meant he got to hunt for the first time in his home state of Utah. He harvested his first mule deer buck on opening day of the season. My wife Fawntell and I traveled to Spain for an Ibex hunt in December. We had an extraordinary vacation that we capped off with two nice Ibex that were dispatched with our Fierce Firearms rifles. I treasure these experiences and memories of 2015, hunting with my family.
The hunting world seems to have some bright spots as well. The number of women flocking to our sport is increasing rapidly. Statistics show that from 2001 to 2013 the number of lady hunters has nearly doubled. Can we give this credit to the bow-wielding, Katniss, from The Hunger Games, to the ever-popular female hunter, Eva Shockey, or to the many women who have graced the cover of Hunting Illustrated and other hunting magazines? My wife says that women are figuring out that if they want to spend more time with their hunting husbands, they need to hunt as well. Once they do this they have a blast and become hunters themselves. Whatever the reason may be, the huntress is on the rise. Youth hunting numbers are also on the rise. You can thank states that make it much easier for our youth to draw tags, but more importantly, you can thank the countless volunteers, youth hunting programs, and camps across the nation that target our younger generation of hunters. Hunting Illustrated’s very own Ted Nugent is a huge advocate of youth hunting programs. Ted’s Camp for Kids encourages and teaches kids how to shoot both a bow and a rifle and educates these youngsters about hunting. He has reached nearly 20,000 youths in his 25 years of Camp for Kids activity. Thank you, Ted, for setting the example for all of us.
2015 had plenty of negative attacks on the hunting world and our gun rights. The liberal spin on the hunt of “Cecil” the lion has become the “Cecil factor,” which has now persuaded the Obama administration to list the African lion as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. This forbids any African lion to be imported into the United States. Our President, Obama, has taken any every opportunity to go after our guns, but thanks to a strong NRA, he has failed.
The only way we fight the negatives on hunting is with the positives. In 2016 take a kid hunting, and more importantly, your own family members. Volunteer your time to youth hunting programs whenever possible. We are stronger in numbers, but change starts with each of us, individually. Let your voice and actions be heard in 2016.
john mogle editor