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The Proud Heritage of Hunting

A brief look back at the history and individuals in hunting

Hunting is more than a sport. It is a way of life that helped to shape our great country.

Photo of Fred Bear

Fred Bear 1902-1988

Fred Bear was an accomplished Bowyer and Bowhunter. He began bowhunting at the age of 29 after seeing Arthur Young’s “Alaskan Adventure” at the movie theater.

Though it took him many years to master the sport, he is widely regarded as a pioneer in the field of bowhunting. He is the founder of Bear Archery and is famous for creating world-class bows.

In 1952 he created the “Grizzly” bow, the first truly mass-produced bow in archery history. With the coming of compound bows, Bear introduced the famous “Whitetail Hunter” and became a legend.

He was a world traveler, film producer and along with Glenn St. Charles, founded the Pope & Young Club and served on the first board of directors.

Photo of Carolyn Zanoni

Carolyn Zanoni 1929-2011

Carolyn Zanoni was an avid outdoorswoman, and a forerunner for many modern-day female bowhunters.

She took up the sport in the early 1960s when friends invited her to go rabbit hunting. She brought back three and was hooked. She hunted into her mid-fifties when her arthritis prevented her from drawing back her bowstring.

Even though she couldn’t hunt, she continued to accompany her husband, also an avid bowhunter, into the Utah mountains where she had harvested many antelope, elk, deer, bears and mountain lions.

She was known for her understanding of animals and ethical hunting practices. She knew how to put animals down quickly and humanely and always gave a fair chase. She was Bowhunter magazine’s 1980 Female Bowhunter of the Year.

Photo of Ishi

Ishi (ca. 1860-1916)

Ishi was the last member of the Yahi, the last surviving group of the Yana people native to California.

He is believed to be the last Native American to have lived most of his life completely outside of American culture.

In 1911 at about 49 years old he came out of hiding and spent his last five years at the University of California, Berkeley under the care of Dr. Saxton Pope.

Ishi taught Pope about his culture, and how to make and hunt with bows and arrows the Yahi way. Soon, Ishi, Pope and fellow archery-enthusiast Art Young began their famous hunts.

Many methods that Ishi taught Pope and Young are still used today by archers. They proved that bows were effective not only on small game but large game as well. Ishi died in 1916 of tuberculosis.

Art Young (1883-1935)

Photo of Art Young

Art Young was a close friend of Ishi, the last of the Yahi Indian Tribe, and through him met Saxton Pope. Together Pope and Young would bring bow hunting to the national scene.

They began hunting in Northern California, harvested grizzlies for the San Francisco museum on special permission in Yellowstone National Park and also hunted together in Africa.

Young made many hunting trips to Alaska and recorded some of the earliest movies about bow hunting. He proved that archery could be used to kill big game.

He took many brown bears, grizzlies, and even two Polar Bears in Alaska and many large African animals. He is known for being the best shot of the group and was also an accomplished violinist.

Saxton Pope

Photo of Saxton PopeSaxton Pope (1875-1926) was a legendary outdoorsman and the father of modern bowhunting. He is well known for his close relationship with Ishi, the last known American Indian (Yahi tribe) to be raised isolated from Western culture.

Ishi taught Pope how to make bows and arrows the Yahi way, and how to hunt with them. Pope became an accomplished bowyer and bowhunter, making all of the bows and arrows he used.

In 1920, on one of his most famous hunts, Pope and Arthur Young hunted grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park, harvesting several. They also hunted together in Africa, seeking the African lion, of which they took many.

His book Hunting with a Bow and Arrow tells the stories of many of his hunts and has inspired millions to take to the sport of archery hunting. Many consider it the bible of modern bowhunting.

Howard Hill

Photo of Howard Hill

Howard Hill (November 13, 1899 – February 4, 1975) could well have been the greatest archer who ever drew a bowstring.

He began shooting the bow and arrow at an early age and very quickly demonstrated an exceptional skill with the bow and arrow.

He has won 196 consecutive field archery tournaments between 1926 and 1942, more than any other archer in history.

He excelled in all branches of archery – flight, target and field. But it was his remarkable success as a hunter that most distinguished him from other famous archers in history.

He designed and used his own bow and arrows, including arrows with a specially made aluminum shafts that he used to hunt elephants in Africa. In addition to bull elephants he has successfully harvested lions, tigers, Cape buffalo, and leopards among other big game, with a bow and arrow.

Howard was one of archery’s early writers and his book Hunting the Hard Way became a best seller in the 1950s. In this book Hill shared his methods and knowledge which made him the world’s all-time greatest hunter with bow and arrow.

He also had a very successful film career. Many short films played in movie houses showcased his skills hunting big game in America as well as trick shots such as shooting an apple or even a prune off a man’s head at sixty feet or more, shooting a flipped coin from a distance, or sitting on the ground pushing his bow with his feet while pulling the arrow back and hitting a bullseye.

In addition to his short films he worked as a stunt archer and instructor in Hollywood. His most famous on-screen moment was shooting the famous Robin Hood shot in The Adventures of Robin Hood, splitting the shaft of one arrow with a second shot.

No other man has made such a lasting impression both with skill and equipment design as Howard Hill. He has inspired many to try their hands at bow hunting.

President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

Theodore Roosevelt with rifle in hand

“I heartily enjoy this life, with its perfect freedom, for I am very fond of hunting, and there are few sensations I prefer to that of galloping over these rolling limitless prairies, rifle in hand…”

Perhaps one of the best-known hunters in the history, Teddy Roosevelt remains a larger-than-life figure.

In 1884, because of ill health, Roosevelt took a sabbatical from politics and purchased a cattle ranch in the Badlands of Dakota Territory. He became a passionate hunter, especially of big game, and an ardent believer in the wild outdoor life which brought him health and strength.

He became a passionate hunter, especially of big game, and an ardent believer in the wild outdoor life which brought him health and strength.

An elk in Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park

Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937

In 1937, hunters successfully lobbied Congress to pass the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to establish, restore and protect wildlife habitats.

It originally placed an eleven percent tax on all hunting equipment exclusively for use in wildlife conservation programs. Since then, it has been amended to include funding for hunter training and safety education, as well as for target ranges.

This Act proved to be extremely beneficial to hunting, and its benefits extend to cover a much larger number of people who never hunt but do enjoy such wildlife pastimes as birdwatching, nature photography, painting and sketching, and a wide variety of other outdoor pursuits.

For more information, visit: http://www.fws.gov/southeast/federalaid/pittmanrobertson.html

The White House

The Current Administration’s View

The current Administration “recognizes the great conservation legacy of America’s hunters and anglers and has great respect for the passion that hunters and anglers have for their sports.

Were it not for America’s hunters and anglers, including the great icons like Theodore Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold, our nation would not have the tradition of sound game management, a system of ethical, science-based game laws and an extensive public lands estate on which to pursue the sport.”

Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/additional-issues/

The above article was contributed by Outdoors Magazine, the online publication that brings sports and adventure to your computer screens. They cover a wide variety of topics for every outdoorsman and woman.

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