Blaser’s short-story contest had a simple, yet profound prompt: “Hunting has a future, because …”
Writers had two incredibly difficult questions to tackle and few words to do it with. Submissions had to be kept to fewer than 150 words (or under a minute for video submissions) to qualify for a free Blaser R8 Professional S bolt-action rifle and guided tours of the Blaser, Mauser, and J.P. Sauer factories in Isny, Germany. The obvious question was why hunting had a fuure, but the broader and harder to come to terms with was does hunting have a future?
The future of all things related to shooting seems bleak at times. Proposed gun legislation has progressed past the simple AR-15 and high-capacity magazine bans to new bills calling for bans on many semiautomatic shotguns and rifles. Hunting is being attacked by those who anthropomorphize every deer, bear, and moose into a Disney-fied version of reality.
So how did writers picture hunting’s place in the scheme of things to come? Many looked to the history, even prehistory, of the sport to justify it continuing today and tomorrow. Others pointed to the intrinsic need for food and fellowship that hunting alone can provide.
But in the end it was a father’s hope in his son that won the prizes. Kyle Wright was named the winner for his submission, “Because I Have a Son.” He wrote:
Hunting has a future, because I have a son.
He’s young, and not yet ready to shoulder the responsibility of a sportsman, but there will soon come a day when he will be. When that day comes, I’ll hand down to him what my father handed down to me.
Just as my son inherited my red hair and green eyes, he’ll inherit my ability to coax a wary gobbler into shooting range. Just as I passed down to him my quiet nature and sense of humor, I’ll give him the gift of being able to distinguish a buck’s track from that of a doe.
Every expedition a legacy, every hunt a heritage, my son will build upon his birthright season by season, becoming the sportsman he was born to be.
Yes, hunting has a future. Because I have a son.
Blaser and Sporting Classics would like to thank all those who submitted the many wonderful pieces for consideration. Hunting certainly does have a future because of faithful sportsmen and women like you.