Montana Ethic Project: How we led the way on conservation


Joey and Libbie Early

Jim Posewitz, a retired Fish, Wildlife & Parks biologist, speaks on “Montana Sportsmen and the Hunter’s Ethic.”

This is the fifth chapter of the 32-part video series “The Montana Ethic Project.” This chapter features Jim Posewitz speaking on “Montana Sportsmen and the Hunter’s Ethic.”  Posewitz is the founder of Orion-The Hunter’s Institute, in Helena, considered the leading hunter ethics organization in North America. You can watch the whole video below. Here is how this chapter opens:

“When asked by a stranger to describe Montana, where does your mind go?

“For most of us our mind goes to the things we value most and we try to communicate that to whoever poses the question to us. For most of us, it’s places that are wild. We go to the Bob (the Bob Marshall Wilderness), where the grizzly and elk have survived now and are prospering. Or we go to the Yellowstone River, where we have 600-plus miles of free flowing river, undammed—the longest in the lower 48 states. And so, we tend to describe Montana by bringing forth the things that we value.

“The problem is, for the most part we don’t know how those values were passed into our custody.”

Here is another, edited excerpt from Posewitz’s presentation:

“Franklin Roosevelt calls the first North American Wildlife Conference. And it was a conference of Rod and Gun Clubs and hunters and anglers from all across America. Seven Montanans went to that conference and they were all hunters and anglers. That conference was in 1936. In that year they formed the National Wildlife Federation.

“And those seven Montana guys started the Montana Wildlife Federation. They held their first meeting in Helena’s Placer Hotel and at that meeting Governor Elmer Holt came to give them comments. And his comment was, “I’m surprised to see all you hunters here from Eastern Montana. Because we know there’s no game out there.” Of course, that was true in 1936.

“So today, 75 years or so out from that event we have deer in our cities, bears in our orchards, and goose dung on every golf shoe in Montana.”

PERC_Logo_MontanaEthicPERC—the Property & Environment Research Center—is a proud sponsor of the Montana Ethic Project. To learn how PERC’s ideas can help us honor one another’s rights to land, water, and wildlife, visit


First week: Project introduction.

Second week: Richard Drake on “Terrorism and the Consolation of History.”

Third week: Mike Gear on “The Value of Athletics.”

Fourth week: Franke Wilmer on “Gender Equity.”

Fifth Week: Gordon Brittan: “The Founding Fathers.”

Next week: The Rev. Jessica Crist: “Religion and Politics: Can They Co-exist?”

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