Texas Parks & Wildlife, Volume 23, Number 8, August, 1965 Page: 3
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HUNTING has carved its place in
American history from the time
men pursued game to put food on
the family table to the present-day
form of recreation. It has evolved into
an activity to relieve the tensions
of a modern civilization.
As more sportsmen take up hunting
as a recreational activity, the
problem of hunter safety becomes
more apparent. Hunters eager to enjoy
their limited time in the outdoors
forget that handling a firearm is like
driving a car-without regular practice
a person becomes "rusty" and is
prone to make mistakes. After working
eight to five in an office or shop
for 50 weeks out of the year, the average
hunter's association with his
firearm is less than perfect.
Aside from representing a safety
problem, hunters limited to a definite
amount of time they can spend enjoying
the outdoors are prone to see it
as an opportunity to shoot instead
of hunt. Shooting is an activity that
should be enjoyed on a rifle or skeet
range, leaving more time for true
hunting in the field.
Some hunters complain after a
day's hunting that all they saw to
shoot at was "a couple of armadillos,
a few rabbits, and a bobcat." Yet in
the same breath they will express
dismay at the lack of deer in the
area they were hunting. More hunting
and less shooting would probably
result in better success.
Another possibly more important
and pressing question along the same
line concerns our younger generation.
They often enjoy the shooting
activity before they understand the
personal obligations of hunting.
For instance, two hunting buddies
recently journeyed to investigate a
piece of property they were considering
leasing, and one fellow took
along his young son because the boy
had just acquired his first gun. A
small hunter's cabin stood on the
property and the trio entered to
determine if it would be comfortable
through the winter ahead.
A noise in one corner aroused
curiosity, and a closer look turned
up a ring-tailed cat, cornered in a
roll of wire. Immediately, the boy
wanted to shoot the ringtail but was
restrained, not by his father but by
the other hunting partner.
Relating the story later, the protecting
adult said a great argument
ensued that resulted in dissolving any
future hunting partnerships. He
stated that the ringtail episode
capped off a day that saw two scissor-tailed
flycatchers, three mockingbirds,
four lizards, one quail, and six
sparrows fall to the youngster's .22
slugs. He protested with every shot,
but the father only laughed and
bragged of his son's above-average
Such acts of wanton killing are not
only violations of state and federal
laws, they contradict every principle
of good sportsmanship. A conscientious
hunter never aims at anything
he doesn't want to shoot, and never
shoots anything he cannot utilize in
Hunters, especially the youngsters
and "rusty" oldtimers, should sharpen
up their shooting eye on targets
or tin cans before the season begins.
In this way they will gain a certain
amount of accuracy and confidence,
and will be ready to settle down to
some serious hunting when they go
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Texas. Parks and Wildlife Department. Texas Parks & Wildlife, Volume 23, Number 8, August, 1965, periodical, August 1965; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth36166/m1/5/: accessed September 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .