“Huntin’ is good!” it insisted. Not just hunting, but huntin’, which I suppose is meant to convey a certain deep and informal intimacy with this particular activity.
What really grabbed me was the registered trademark symbol, which seemed to assume that this phrase was just so darned clever that it was inevitable that some unscrupulous varmint would be tempted to try to steal it…
But I declare, I don’t believe I’ve ever run across anything as vanilla as that in my life. There was no indication why huntin’ was good, or why anyone might think it wasn’t. It didn’t say it was particularly good in this or that locality, or at any particular time. Nor did it bother to reach for any adjective more descriptive or precise or evocative than good.
It was a marvel, and I had to look it up on my phone during the morning meeting at work. That’s where I found this website, huntinisgood.com, which offers all sorts of merchandise, such as the very decal I had seen.
The website seems dedicated to perpetuating the art or hobby or whatever of hunting at a time when the number of hunters is dwindling in our once rugged, intrepid nation of pioneers. I had known that. I had read before about how the industry was worried about how few children of hunters were taking up their forefathers’ outdoorsiness, and how marketers were trying to entice the kids, as well as women, to the pasttime with such innovations as pink rifles.
But I had never seen such a full litany of threats to hunting as what were detailed on this site:
Hunting Industry Under Attack
Tracking Down An Industry-Wide Problem. Across the United States, and for well over three decades, the population of hunters in our country has been on the decline. Since 1975 alone, the number of hunters in the field has been reduced by over one third.
Since the issue of attrition within the hunting community has only recently become a cause for serious concern, usable research is still limited. But just as writers, industry experts and retailers all speculate on the causes, we have developed our own list of suspects which have created a negative impact on the hunting culture.
Erosion Of The Family Unit. With divorce rates and single parent families on the rise, the number of Dads and Grandfathers in a position to mentor our youth, and pass on an appreciation for the hunting culture, are dwindling fast.
The Anti-Hunting Community. Highly organized, with seemingly unlimited budgets, their goal, simply put, is the elimination of the hunting industry.
The Lure Of Technology. These days, our children are “jacked-in” to video games, hunting only in Cyber Space. They’ve become masters of Wi-Fi and pixels, not the way of the woods.
Industry Fragmentation. We have evolved into a highly fragmented industry… bow hunters, turkey hunters, rifle hunters, safari hunters, duck hunters, muzzle-loaders, gator hunters, low-fence, no-fence, high-fence… it’s all become a lot of nonsense!
One thing we can all agree on 100% is that:
Huntin’ Is Good!®
The day is fast approaching when we all must decide a course of action, or face the reality that our industry, and the way of life it represents, may become extinct.
It’s time we draw the line! The Hunting Tradition, and its’ Way of Life, needs your help! Please wear your HIG gear soon and often. This will let other’s know, what you already know, Huntin’ Is Good!
Whoa. Huntin’ may or may not be good — I’m neutral on that point — but it certainly seems endangered. Either that, or paranoid. (Of course, if some outfit as ominously named as the Anti-Hunting Community got after you, you’d be paranoid, too!)
I’ve never gotten into it myself. I like to go out shooting now and then with my uncle in Bennettsville, who does hunt, but I prefer to shoot at tin cans and pine cones to living things. On account of the fact that pine cones don’t have to be skinned and dressed and butchered and put up in some freezer bigger than the one I have at home. They’re just a lot less trouble.