July 4th is not just any ordinary day in America. It’s the day we celebrate, as a country, our freedoms awarded to us by our founding fathers. Independence Day. The day that a new country was formed and the day that kicked off a revolution. Along with this new country and revolution came the beginning of new ideals and traditions. When we think of great American traditions, we may think of apple pie or baseball but here at The American Hunting Lease Association we think every day about the greatest of the American traditions, Hunting. Whether you walked up to someone’s front porch to ask permission or hunt public land, hunting is an important part of American Heritage.
Since before 1776, our forefathers have been living off the land. For them, hunting was not just a sport, it was their way to survive. Hunting meant dinner on the table and clothes on their children’s backs. It meant surviving another winter. Today, hunting in America takes a lot of forms. Many still use it to put dinner on the table and others see it as sport. The one thing that brings us all together is that we still hold the great American tradition of hunting near and dear to our hearts. Every time we step out of our trucks and head off into the woods, we are following the trails and the footsteps of those hunters that came before us. Whether you’re sitting in a tree stand or on the ground stalking a whitetail you’re continuing a great American tradition.
While modern techniques make for an easier hunt in some ways, the basics of hunting haven’t changed. We still know to respect this great land we call home. That’s why, as a group, hunters contribute around $1.6 Billion per year for conservation. Hunters have been one of the biggest contributors to conservation for many years, and we should always strive to. As hunters, we know that passing on these traditions is a big part of what we do. We love taking new hunters into the woods for their first time. The look on their face as a deer walks right into their shooting lane is indescribable. That’s why, along with conserving the land we hunt, we also must protect our freedoms that allow us to step out into the woods each year.
There are many groups in America today that would love if hunting was a thing of the past. It’s not that easy though. Hunting is more American than baseball and apple pie (we wouldn’t turn down a piece of pie though). It’s ingrained in us down to our DNA. Luckily for us, there are groups out there fighting for us and standing up to the big dollar special interest groups that want to take away our freedoms. Groups like Sportmen’s Alliance and The National Deer Alliance are working every day to protect our freedoms and ensure the future of hunting for generations to come.
While us hunters have been conserving public lands and protecting our freedoms for many years, new issues have arisen recently that require our attention. Modern problems require modern solutions and with American landowners feeling the pressure of higher costs to run a modern farming operation, leasing hunting rights has become their modern solution. When you pay to lease the hunting rights to a family farm you are helping offset some of the costs for repairs, taxes, and general maintenance that needs to be done. Without this extra income, some farmers might be forced to sell their farm and it could become a subdivision or a strip mall. In those cases, access is lost to hunters forever and a little piece of this American Hunting Tradition is lost.
Another way to protect the American landowner, and in turn their huntable land, is by always having a lease agreement and liability insurance. These are important aspects to any hunting lease to ensure both yourself and the landowner are legally covered and protected so that you can continue to support this tradition and pass it on to the next generation of Americans. So while you enjoy the parades, the hot dog eating contests, and the fireworks this 4th of July. Let’s also think about the traditions that are year round. Let us thank those who fought and died for our freedoms, as Americans, to have traditions and ideals to uphold. And also, let’s thank the American landowners who allow us to hunt their lands and continue to follow in the footsteps of our ancestors.
From all of us here at The American Hunting Lease Association, Have a fun and safe Independence Day and good luck this coming season.