I had mixed feelings about it as well Dave, which is precisely why I posted it. It’s also why I didn’t comment at first – I wanted to see what other people thought, and not bias it with my thoughts right off the bat.
Mostly, I was just pleasantly surprised to see an article of this nature in a mag like the Economist at all! Especially one that points out the important differences between the situation in Europe and the radical vision of the N. American model.
I was also pleased to see that the author broached the subject of the introduction of dart guns (err…crossbows) into archery seasons, and didn’t portray it favorably.
On the other hand, it’s rife with examples of what happens when a journalist ‘dabbles’ in a subject they obviously have no background in. The article tries to get it right, and does on some good points, imo, but also demonstrates some of the usual naivete.
Regardless of the hits and misses throughout the article though, I think the author does hit the nail on the head in the last paragraph:
“American hunting has thrived because it shuns the elitism and snobberies of the Old World. With each passing year, market forces have delivered weapons and gadgets that allow anyone to play Teddy Roosevelt, big-game hunter, further democratising the hunt. Yet to advocates of primitive hunting, those same forces—faster, easier, bigger—weaken the sport’s Rooseveltian values, and help explain its slow decline. Thanks to bowhunting, recent trends have been on the primitivists’ side. The juggernaut of commerce is now catching up. A very American contest looms.”
Does the article say everything I want it to, the way I want it to? No. But that’s also an unrealistic expectation, and I think that in general, for the audience it’s intended for, it’s probably still largely a positive message that speaks to some of the things that concern us as bowhunters about the way the hunting industry has been heading.
So, given the context and the intended audience, I’ll give it a “B-“. 8)