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Copyright Lark Ritchie 1990 - 1998.

Hunting - Ethical & Moral Considerations

Hunting in recent years has come under attack by several different interest groups. Long before these issue arose, I, and the people who make up the Bill Ritchie Hunting organization have worked under a set of principles that are driven by the appreciation of nature, wildlife, and traditional hunting.

The Bill Ritchie Hunting Organization is a group of hunters who have come to an articlated understanding of hunting and related issues. Bill Ritchie was a northern Ontario Native American guide. I am one of his four sons.

These principles are not new; what's new is that few hunters and those in the hunting business are willing to give you a philosophy or personal attitude up front(although this number is growing.) Few are up front, willing to stand on a long term record of success and at the same time tell you that a successful hunt is not necessarily measured in the killing of the game, and few will state that without government controls, that they will actively limit their personal harvest of the game animal. We do.

To us, the hunt is a deep and meaningful thing involving much more than a trophy. To us, the hunt is an experience in comradarie , learning, self awareness, personal development, and respect for nature. If hunting is to continue, these things have to be understood, valued, and communicated by hunters. We aim to provide and disseminate these things, and we prefer to do it in a group setting. We consider ourselves Guides in the special sense held by Bill Ritchie, and transmitted to us. He took the designation "Guide" to mean "one who leads or directs to a destination", the destination includes developing and maintaining in himself, and bringing others to a personal attitudinal stance to life in general. The particular vehicles he used were experiences in the wilderness and hunting, since that was what he knew best. He considered the Guide as a teacher and mentor. He also knew bear hunting, and passed this knowledge and these values to ourselves and those who now work with us. We continue this tradition.

We are definitely guides, and damned good ones at that, and we do produce notable results or those that hunt with us. What's different about us and other guides is that we are professionals in more than one sense. Each of us has full time employment other than guiding. We make our living in a broad selection of fields spanning the engineering, computer, educational, forestry, construction, and business worlds. Each of us loves the outdoors, the wilderness and hunting in a personal way. We consider ourselves "Professional" in the Guiding field in that we "profess" a view as defined in the dictionaries. We do it voluntarily, we share it, and we admonish each other when we don't live up to the standard. Each of us, including myself are still learning what it is to be a Guide. We are constantly seeking to include others in our group, to influence and widen our scope of awareness and effectiveness in the Guiding Profession.

These pages are a vehicle for the non interpersonal profession (e-mail/internet) of our concepts. Many "hard-core" (I use this in its most negative sense) hunters may not agree with us, and many will decide to not to associate themseles with us, because for them a "trophy" is all that matters. That attitude is what has given the anti-hunter his leverage and lobby position.

I feel that the battle against the anti-hunting attitude can be won, not by justifying killing, or a constitutional right to own guns, but by recognizing that hunting is a cultural activity of significant value, once deeply rooted in all peoples, and now being eroded because of a lack of understanding as to what true hunting is about. Game and Forest Management, Conservation, Ecological Considerations, Constitutional Issues etc. are all means to this end. They must continue to be refined and improved, but they in themselves cannot be the end goal. The end goal is that we retain a valuable piece of human culture which is global in scope. We hope that in these pages we can provide information for all hunters seeking regain those true values of hunting in the traditional sense.

You can help us by supporting and relaying our views to others, photocopying and distributing this document, submitting our articles to other publications (with our prior permission), hunting with us, providing content for these pages, and adhering to the principles we profess. Our attitudes are interlaced throughout the articles. We hope that they give you something to think about. We hope your choice of association is swayed to us.

"Ritchie Reports" is published by the the associates of the Bill Ritchie Hunting organization.

All rights reserved. Copyright 1990 - 1997

Excerpts, articles and columns may be reproduced in other publications only with the written permission of the repective authors.

This publication may be reproduced for general distribution in its entirety under the condition that this notice is included.

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