Our prehistoric ancestors were hunters. To them, animals were as sacred as life itself. A good hunt assured survival.
Paleolithic cave paintings discovered in Europe expressed early man's reverence and gratitude for the animals that sustained life. It is believed that this animal art symbolized assurance of the success of the hunt.
The famous Lascaux caves in southern France are a sanctuary of paintings that have endured for more than 17,000 years. These ancient cave paintings depict the vital grace of deer, bulls, horses and the figures of our ancestral hunters relying on intelligence and tools of stone, wood and bone to conquer the animals they revered. This ancient art tells the story of how cooperating in the hunt helped to shape our basic societies.
"Hunting is as old as mankind and new as tomorrow. We will continue to
hunt for as long as we honor the game, shoulder our fair burden of
responsibility for the natural world and require more of ourselves than
others require of us." --National Shooting Sports Foundation
Back then, hunters and the game they sought were inseparable. Human existence and hunting were one. Today, few of us hunt to survive. As modern hunters, our role is to ensure the survival of wildlife.
We have properly assumed responsibility for our natural heritage and strive to practice an ethical standard similar to that of our ancestors.
Our cooperative efforts are evident in a host of organizations that benefit wildlife. The license fees and taxes hunters pay contribute to a significant portion of the nation's conservation funding -- from habitat restoration to research.
Though our tools are more efficient than those of our ancestors, as ethical hunters, we avoid the use of technology that would place the game we hunt at an unfair disadvantage.
We abide by ethical standards to preserve the challenge of the hunt.
We honor the majesty of wildlife and wilderness and respect the game we take.
We are not wasteful.
We understand the difference between right and wrong and behave accordingly because we appreciate the opportunity and privilege to encourage and preserve the continuation of our ancient role as hunters.
Hunting on someone else's land is a privilege, not a right. The ethical hunter always asks for permission, follows the owner's wishes and leaves the property as it was found.