Responsible Hunting-by Ken Kollwitz
I believe there are actually two parts to this and the first is being a responsible hunter and the second is hunting responsibly. Now everyone is going to have their own take on things including this topic and this is my take on “Responsible Hunting”.
Over the past 25+ years that I have been diving I have seen lots of changes and yes I am more into taking pictures nowadays and it isn’t because I have gone anti-hunting it is because finding some good size fish to hunt is getting harder and harder. My wife would rather me hunt because she enjoys the benefits of having fresh fish and I still like to hunt lobsters and spear fish but it is really all about location and the locations for some good hunting are getting less and less.
Because I have seen a decline doesn’t necessarily mean everyone else has although I would have to think the divers who have been at it for a while like myself would agree with me that our baseline was set years ago when fish and lobster were more plentiful and the newer divers baseline has been set from more recent times and as we all know things are different now as in everything and times have changed much in the past 20+ years.
So where am I going with all this? I am just trying to set the stage because not everyone can see both view points to things and the reason why we need to police ourselves sometimes. For some people it can be easy to get greedy, take too much, not worry about rules, take game and ask questions later and I have seen all this plus more over the years and wonder what are these individuals thinking or NOT. Obviously they aren’t thinking except for themselves and these are the individuals that are NOT responsible hunters and shouldn’t even be allowed to hunt except there is no way to keep them from doing what they do best and that is hunting recklessly.
Now I also believe there is another group of irresponsible hunters that I see more and more and I think they still have an excellent chance to become responsible hunters. This group isn’t like the first that I mentioned because this one I believe mainly suffers from not having the experience, knowledge, technique and not having someone teach them what responsible hunting is. This is where I think some of us can really help out. There really isn’t any place nowadays to go and learn these things like there used to be and most people learn from others and if those others don’t really know the right things than the problem just continues.
So what can we do to help? We need to teach by example and try and educate those that don’t know any better. Being a responsible hunter helps but isn’t always a must. If you’re someone who can see things that might not be right and can relay the correct information across to others without out making them feel bad or yelling at them we are off to a good start. Some people really want to learn to be better but don’t know where to start but then they also shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions because if you don’t know something there aren’t any dumb questions.
As the owner/operator of Channel Islands Dive Adventures I can say without any hesitation that “Responsible Hunters” or people wanting to become a responsible hunter are always welcome on CIDA trips that are suitable for hunting and “Irresponsible Hunters” are NEVER welcome on any CIDA trip!