With the fall hunting season well under way, hunters would do well to take a minute and reflect on who it was that introduced them to the outdoors and built the tradition of hunting into their lives.
By executive proclamation, Gov. Tony Knowles has once again proclaimed the second week in September as "Take A Young Person Hunting Week." To quote the proclamation:
Hunting is an important part of the Alaska heritage, and for many Alaskans, an important part of their lifestyles.
To perpetuate the honored traditions of hunters, gatherers, and conservationists, it is essential to educate children on gun safety, hunting skills and hunting ethics.
Experienced hunters have an obligation to pass along their wealth of knowledge to ensure future generations respect the natural world around them, and make smart and safe decisions when choosing to hunt.
Now, therefore, I, Tony Knowles, Governor of the State of Alaska do hereby proclaim September 9-15, 2001 as:
"Take A Young Person Hunting Week" in Alaska, and encourage experienced hunters to teach young Alaskans the outdoor tradition of hunting and to educate them on the importance of gun safety.
Based on license sales, around 10 percent of the United States population actively participates in hunting. Another estimated 10 percent are anti-hunting. The other 80 percent are generally supportive of hunters and hunting.
For our hunting heritage to survive we must be willing to share the experience with others, young people in particular, so they can make informed choices. Remember that today's youths are tomorrow's voters and policy-makers.
Take your kids hunting this week (and the next!) and make it an enjoyable and memorable experience. Sign them up for Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Hunter Education Program. Pass on the customs and traditions of our hunting heritage.
Larry L. Lewis
Fish and Wildlife Technician III
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
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