Here is the text from an e-mail I just received from the WHA. Looks like they gave up the idea of competitive, "non-fatal" hunting, but it is still taking place on a 1,000 acre high fence ranch.
It's an insult to hunting!
DETROIT, Mich. (August 18, 2006) – The World Hunting Association today announced that the organization will shift to a traditional harvest format in time for the organization's inaugural tournament this fall. The announcement was made by World Hunting Association commissioner David Farbman.
"Over the past two months, we have met one-on-one with fellow hunters, major hunters' rights organizations, industry leaders and top outdoor journalists from all over the country to gain their perspectives. Consistently, their major concerns centered on the proposed use of non-fatal darting," said Farbman. The WHA is committed to growing the sport of hunting and increasing participation among youth, women and minority groups. We regret that the darting format upset other individuals with those same goals," said Farbman. "The WHA is made up of longtime hunters who are incredibly passionate about the sport. Everyone associated with WHA wants what is best for hunting. We feel confident we are now on the right path."
The organization has also altered the competition's prize money structure, eliminating a bounty level system, and offering awards based on a more general point system. The first tournaments in 2006 will be held at Lost Arrow Ranch in Gladwin, Michigan. The use of the 1,000 acre preserve for the tournaments not only allows for a controlled competition, it also insures that the tournaments will not adversely impact wild game populations or infringe upon hunting opportunities on public and private land for regularly licensed hunters.
The World Hunting Association is committed to education and elevating awareness of hunting via its interactive Web site and televised tour events, offering fans an opportunity to step inside the lives of eight diverse professional hunters from across the United States. Individual hunting strategies, techniques, and skill sets will all be showcased. A key goal of the organization is to recruit and retain more youth, women, minorities and non-hunters into the sport and reverse a two decade-long decline in hunting.
The hunting tour will feature 12-day tournaments during which the pro hunters can take up to six deer—four does, one management buck and one trophy buck. Certain bucks that are featured and studied on the internet portal (www.worldhunt.com) will not be eligible for harvest during competition, but the hunters can gain bonus points for bringing the deer into effective range and capturing the footage on camera. A bow, rifle and a muzzle loader will be used over the course of the tournament: At least one deer must be taken with each of the three throughout a competition.
Set to launch in mid-September, the official interactive domain (www.worldhunt.com) replaces the organization's temporary website. The new online experience boasts numerous high-tech multimedia features unlike anything else offered within the hunting community -- making the thrill and tradition of hunting accessible to everyone across the globe. The user-friendly site provides hours of streaming footage of the tournaments, exciting interactive games and other innovative features.
About the World Hunting Association
The World Hunting Association™ (WHA) is a global competitive sporting establishment dedicated to organizing and promoting the sport of hunting and conservation and growing youth and non-hunter participation. The World Hunting Association includes a ground-breaking, professional, competitive hunting tour, spotlighting professional tour hunters from all over the United States who will compete with cameras present at all times. WHA will incorporate several patent-pending technologies that will enhance the viewer experience. More information about the World Hunting Association is available at www.worldhunt.com.