Remember the adage about numbers

“Strength in numbers” is more than a collection of words, as life on planet Earth reminds us time and again.

The “side” with the most combatants typically prevails in just about any human endeavor where mass participation is permitted. “The more, the merrier” is another way to put it.

That’s an adage that is especially apt these days among outdoor sports enthusiasts. Fishing, hunting and other activities regularly undergo public scrutiny and face lawmakers’ efforts to legislate difficulty into our pursuit.

We can prevail simply by our numbers when opposition surfaces. We need not recount all of the things that some find objectionable about fishing and hunting, but it’s a fact that a certain ban-the-sport mindset exists among those who think fish and other animals live in happy communities where people are villains.

Outdoor enthusiasts’ clubs and associations are one way to show strength in numbers — and impress those who might oppose the things we find important. One such club, Lowellville Rod & Gun Club, celebrated its 75th anniversary last Saturday night as several speakers, including Ohio Division of Wildlife Chief David B. Lane, spoke about the value we gain as our numbers swell.

Lane encouraged Lowellville members to recruit members, communicate on issues and remain active in support of measures that are good for the sports we love. He is a passionate advocate for Ohio’s wildlife recreation opportunities and for sportsmen’s and sportswomen’s rights, and drove from his home in Washington Court House to Lowellville to address the banquet audience.

He reminded the crowd to make fishing and hunting interesting and rewarding for young people, as they comprise the best segment for recruiting future interest. More programs geared for youths, and more widely available for participation, will be important to that effort.

Outdoor sports activism is nothing new for the Lowellville membership, nor for the many other clubs that exist around the Youngstown area. As a club founded when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, Lowellville Rod & Gun Club has perhaps the longest legacy of service and continues to boast a robust membership.

If you are an outdoor sports fan or participant, you should seriously consider joining an organization of peers who share your values and interests. I speak from experience. I’m an avid bass angler and proud member for more than 25 years of Mohawk Valley Bass Club.

Lowellville is certainly one club to consider. Its programs have long histories and are based on considerable experience. Members are informed about matters that affect their sport, and mustered for support when challenges loom.

The same can be said for my fellow bass club members. They are in tune with the issues and challenges of our sport and display strength by numbers. Worthy organizations for your membership consideration include other local sportsman’s clubs, bass clubs and walleye federations, the local chapters of Whitetails Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited and several other active organizations.

Membership brings huge dividends. You’ll share a kindred spirit with people whose interests are similar to yours. You’ll learn and have fun. And perhaps most important of all, you’ll have allies to stand beside should it become necessary to defend the sport we love.

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