I almost became ill upon hearing that Hunter Nation, a “hunters’ rights” organization founded in part by “pay to play” Don Peay, was selling raffle tickets to win a five-day guided hunting trip in Utah with Donald Trump Jr.
They go on to say that Don Jr. is a like a "modern-day Teddy Roosevelt" because of his passion for trophy hunting. This statement alone had me running to the nearest commode.
To mention Don Jr. in the same language as Theodore Roosevelt is to know absolutely nothing of Roosevelt's public lands legacy.
Yes, DJ is a passionate, skilled hunter. But, at a time when hunter numbers continue to fall, I would argue that seeing Don Jr. kneeling beside another trophy will do more to harm hunting than to help it.
When non-hunters see another celebrity kill shot, from a guided hunt that they know costs thousands of dollars, probably on private land, where a giant trophy is the ultimate goal, it paints a negative portrait of hunting.
It's Europe in the 17th century all over. Only royalty and the rich can afford to hunt the king’s beasts. Not only are people turned off to ever becoming a hunter, but I would argue they are more likely to become an anti-hunter.
This, and the fact that Donald's father has done nothing but assault Roosevelt's legacy since his time in office, makes DJ the perfect anti-hunting poster child.
As a public land hunter, I know the spiritual nature of hunting and the connection it maintains between man and nature. But, sadly, I feel that the commercialization of hunting by groups like Hunter Nation fly in the face of the spirit of hunting and of the conservation ethic that Roosevelt so strongly stood for.
Thom Filgo, Sandy