It seems that no matter what the activity there are always folks that think they know best or at least better.
I remember when the compound bows came out. Oh boy, you could hear the wails of the traditionalists. There was much gnashing of the teeth, hair pulling, and beating of the chest. I remember well the looks of disgust that the older fellows at the local sporting goods shop had for those first four wheelers; it was the same as the ones they gave the magnesium risers on the Ben Pearsons, and the same look they had for the first fiberglass laminates. Being young I wasn't as inflexible as they, and when the two wheelers came around I got a Browning Cobra. But I find myself looking askance at the newest bows with their fancy eccentric cams and laser illuminators.
Funny thing though, they still throw a stick with feathers on one end, and a pointy sharp thing at the other, into target butts and deer. Not much different than the neolithic flat bow my prehistoric cousins used a few dozen millenia ago.
A lot has been made of the disagreements between the inline muzzleloader and the traditionalists. Othmar Vohringer in his article, A Muzzleloader by any Name is Still a Muzzleloader points out the foolishness of the argument between the camps and resolves it neatly.
"This is the 21st century and we’re faced with huge problems that could end the hunting and shooting tradition for the next generation if we do not wake up to the challenges we face. I am glad that with sound reasoning and knowledge I was able to convince my hunting club acquaintance that with a little good will and respect all types of muzzleloaders can be combined into one. I am also pleased to see that the guy realized that we’re faced with more important issues then who shoots what. It is my hope that in the future we can concentrate more on what unites us all and less on what divides us. We’re all in the same boat and the sooner we realize that the better our future will look."
Interestingly enough, just days before, Othmar had posted another article on the crossbow. It seems that Pennsylvania has finally permitted the use of the crossbow for hunting. In Pennsylvania Permits Crossbows, Othmar again defends the use of another tool that has been discriminated against for as long as I can remember.
"Personally I welcome this decision and think it is about high time to make the crossbow a legal hunting tool everywhere. Here in Canada we use crossbows for many years and it has proven a great asset to bowhunting and the recruitment of bowhunters. It might also be interesting to mention that none of the often fabricated negative aspects of crossbow hunting have been noted."
This brings me in a round about fashion to "Religious Falconry."
Sometimes reality is far funnier than anything made up by any comedian. As it turns out, the aficionados of the ancient and honorable sport of falconry have their fair share of controversy. First one must be careful about how one uses the appellations; a falconer flies a falcon; an austringer flies a hawk. Get that wrong and you run the risk of losing an eye to a falconer's hawk or an austringer's falcon!
There's the whole short wing vrs long wing debate, and you can't leave the industrial park vrs open ground opponents out of the mix. As you can see, these can lead to terrible bloodlettings in the mews.
Now when I said "funnier" I really didn't mean it. And I don't think that Issac Nichols thinks it too funny either. He has written a beautiful piece, one that is so well thought out, that I want each and everyone of you to go and read it in its entirety.
Here is an excerpt:
"...While our beliefs about the afterlife, or lack thereof, may cross the spectrum, individuals reading this article most likely all share the religion of falconry, and it is this “religious falconry” to which I would like to speak. It is my intention with this article to encourage all falconers to adopt the above mentioned tenet of my faith as it applies to falconers.
Claim the privilege of practicing falconry according to the dictates of your own conscience, and allow all falconers the same privilege, let them practice how, where, or what they may."
Claim the privilege of practicing falconry according to the dictates of your own conscience, and allow all falconers the same privilege, let them practice how, where, or what they may...
Think about those words. Truer words, I haven't heard spoken lately.
I would like to change that around a little, just as Issac has done:
Claim the privilege of hunting, according to the dictates of your own conscience, and allow all hunters the same privilege; let them practice how, where, or what they may.
I would encourage that all hunters, regardless of the tools they use, adopt the foregoing statement. It is simple and true beyond the few words it contains.
I would like to thank Issac for his well written and thought out article, and I extend an invitation to Issac and all his friends in the falconry world to join us at the Outdoor Bloggers Summit. We all have a stake in the future of each other's sports, and in defending our sacred rights.
Albert A Rasch
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