Alternative to the NRA

Dear fellow hunter: This week, just like pretty much every week during the late duck hunting season, I've been thinking about an

Dear fellow hunter:

This week, just like pretty much every week during the late duck hunting season, I've been thinking about and preparing for my weekend hunts. Do my waders have any new holes? (I loaned them to my son-in-law and he said they leaked) Do I have enough cold weather camouflage gear? Are my decoys still looking good? Do we use layout or standup blinds?

Usually I also spend a lot of time worrying about which of my hunting buddies I am going to invite to hunt with me. They all want to hunt with me because I have one of the best wild duck hunting leases on the eastern shore of Maryland. But the past few years, I haven't been thinking about that much at all, I've just been worrying about whether or not there will be any ducks. Last year they didn't show up until the last few weeks of hunting season and the year before we only had a few good hunts.

Unfortunately, the leaders of the National Rifle Association (NRA) value their political ties and the perks of their jobs more than the hunting heritage. You'd like to think the NRA, an organization founded with a commitment to conservation, would use its supposed power to protect hunters and hunting lands. They don't -- as we witnessed in the debacle over the Bush Administration's decision to allow road construction and logging on national forest lands.

At AHSA, we believe responsible and ethical actions are the duty of all hunters and shooters who use the outdoors. That includes support for sound environmental policies that preserve the outdoors and support for candidates who share those values.

Our environment is slowly being destroyed and if we don't do something about it soon the glory, beauty and diverse hunting grounds of America will be just a memory for our children and our children's children. Thanks for your support,

Ray Schoenke
President of the American Hunters and Shooters Association

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