Bonny Eagle High School in Standish, ME is refusing to allow student Wade Gelinas to include his photo in the school yearbook because it shows him in the woods carrying a shotgun.
Upon learning about this story, SCI reached out to Gelinas to find out what hunting means to him and how the hunting community is responding to the news.
Hunting is a Gelinas family tradition. Both Gelinas’ grandfather and uncle are registered Maine guides and the young hunter wanted his yearbook photo to reflect the activity that means so much to him.
“It brings everybody together. It’s just a good thing to do,” Gelinas told Safari Times about the hunting culture.
To the young hunter, it didn’t seem right that other students’ photos were accepted, showing them with equipment used in other sports but not his.
“It’s just my sport,” he said. “It’s just what I do. I don’t play football. I don’t play basketball. I just hunt.”
Safari Times tried to contact Bonny Eagle High School principal Lori Napolitano for comment but was unable to contact her and the school’s phone system did not permit leaving messages for her to return our call.
Though the yearbook photo matter was a disappointment, Gelinas is concerned about the overall future of hunting.
“I just hope that when I have kids, and they have kids, that it (hunting) will still be around as something to do; something that I can bring down to them and teach them…” he explained.
Gelinas said that the hunting community has been very supportive of him.
“I haven’t found really a single person who hasn’t agreed with me yet,” he said.
Count SCI among those who are supportive of this young hunter who aspires one day to hunt Africa and around the world, calling international hunting “an awesome experience.”
Since the Bonny Eagle High School would not publish Gelinas’ photo in the yearbook, SCI publishes it here for the world to see. SCI is also providing Gelinas with a one-year SCI Membership with subscription to SAFARI Magazine and Safari Times newspaper.
Look forward to him continuing the hunting heritage.