Many of you are aware of state programs targeted at retention of existing hunters and recruitment of new hunters. As a private venture, My Dog Hunts also has upland bird hunter retention and recruitment as our goal. It's our belief that current bird hunters can be retained by providing awards chronicling the memorable "1st's" of their bird dogs' hunting careers and also by awarding outstanding achievements by the dogs of more aggressive bird hunters.
My Dog Hunts is: MORE SPECIES - MORE STATES - MORE OFTEN
My Dog Hunts is not: In all the years that I've spent observing and contributing to hunting forums I've realized that their are four primary divisive discussions among bird hunters:
Internet Scouting: My Dog Hunts will not tolerate posts that lead to internet scouting nor is it a sounding board for complaints of internet scouting. The below list clearly defines what is permissible to be included in a post:
Quadrant or region (Northwest, sandhills, front range, coteau, etc.)
BLM, Forest Service, Army Corps, and nameless state lands: WPA, GMA etc.
and not permitted:
Towns, counties or specific public areas
(More descriptive locations may be relayed via private messaging.)
Residents own birds: Many states provide season and access advantage to residents. If as a resident, you feel that you're being shortchanged by the inclusion of nonresidents in your state regulations, than take it up with your state offices. I won't tolerate any expression encouraging further limitations on non-residents from access or the taking of birds on this forum.
Limits: Animosity toward fellow hunters seems to be expressed by those who shoot fewer birds toward those who shoot more. Although I fully understand the protective nature of hunters, I'm convinced that state regulations and My Dog Hunts Story Band requirements sufficiently restrict over harvest of birds by our members.
Considering that golfers who take lessons keep score and shooters who take lessons also keep score, it should be expected that new hunters will keep score as well. And a fraternity that advocates empty score cards for the sake of promoting good dog work will do little to retain the interest of new hunters.
Seasonal Harvest: Contrary to what many may think, I have developed a personal dislike for seasonal harvest numbers. The difference between those who may shoot 100 of a species in a season and those who shoot 25 or 50, is possibly, but not necessarily, skill. But more likely access and time. There are better and more acceptable means of displaying skill than amassing overall numbers of dead birds for the sake of bragging in a bar or on a public board. Try taking what would be considered an inconceivable combination or double limit. In my opinion, there are a lot of them out there.
Lastly, If you can't accept the nature of hunting as being a consumptive sport, than My Dog Hunts will quite probably prove to be too harsh an environment for your views.
I'm glad we had this discussion.