Friday, February 26, 2010
Is Hunting Good for Bad Kids?
Is hunting good for bad kids? Does it teach violence or does it teach empathy and compassion? Would it be a more peaceful world if more kids grew up hunting? These are some of the questions addressed in a recent book entitled From Boys to Men of Heart: Hunting as Rite of Passage. The book’s award-winning author is Randall L. Eaton, Ph.D., a behavioral scientist with an international reputation in wildlife conservation who has been studying hunting for 35 years. While producing “The Sacred Hunt” in the mid-1990s, a documentary that received 11 awards, Eaton interviewed scores of recreational and Native American hunters all of whom used the word “respect” to describe how they feel about animals they hunt. That prompted Eaton to conduct questionnaire surveys on 2,500 mature hunters who described their attitude toward animals they hunt as, “respect, admiration and reverence.” The book interviews Dr. Wade Brackenbury, who for 13 years led groups of delinquent boys into the wilderness for two weeks where they had to survive off what they could forage. Brackenbury is convinced that it was hunting small animals for food that had the greatest transformative influence. Surveys conducted a year later indicated that 85% of the boys had not got into trouble after their survival experience. A best-selling authority on how to raise boys, Michael Gurian, also is interviewed in Eaton’s book. He agrees that hunting does teach males compassion, and that it would be a more peaceful world if more boys hunted...read more