BY DOUGLAS A.** WALLACE
Some fifty years ago, I discovered outdoor life such as fishing and hunting. As a child and teenager I was the son of a workaholic who never did such things. So like father like son, I did not learn nor was involved in recreational sports until I had a group of Explorer Scouts to lead. I was about 30 years old at the time.
Being an active Mormon, the Explorer Scout group was all Mormon youth. This was in Portland, Oregon and the specialty the group adopted was deep sea fishing, salmon fishing in particular. We took a 45 pound Chinook salmon to a Mormon Explorer Scout Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1959. It was packed in dry ice and was contained in a plywood box the size of a coffin transported on the top of a station wagon. After the 3-day convention was over the salmon was barbequed by leaders of the church youth there in S.L.C.
The next year, the group took up a new specialty; archery hunting. A couple of the boys were naturals while the rest and especially I had to really practice. At my recent 80th birthday one of my daughters now 55 thanked me for letting her and her siblings retrieve my practice arrows?
We hunted on Labor day weekend when the archery season opened in Oregon. I think it was just before the second or third annual hunt making it about 1961 or 1962, that an article by the next to-be president of the church, Joseph Fielding Smith appeared in the church Monthly publication then called the Improvement Era. The article attacked the sport of killing deer. That article was on the minds of the Mormon adults and teenagers gathered for the annual Explorer Scout outing camped in the Wallowa Mountains of Eastern Oregon.
Labor Day week end of course included a Sunday and as was the custom while we were there to enjoy the event, that we held some semblance of a church service to remember the Sabbath. Since Brother Smith's article was creating conflict in all of our minds I chose to speak/rationalize on that subject. I suppose one could say that was the very first public criticism by me of a church leader.
I held that all animal life required the harvesting of life, animal or vegetable, for its continued existence; except for salt there was no way in which humans could naturally ingest the minerals needed to sustain life. Therefore minerals which had been ingested through the food chain by lower forms were required to be consumed by humans.