A common thread is how everything was so much better back in the "good ol' days." However, in some ways, things are better today!
In 1907, decades before hunter's education was established, there were 97 reported firearm mishaps in Wisconsin of which 41 resulted in death. Total deer harvested was about 6,000.
In 2002, over 5 decades after the first HE program was established, the number of incidents was less than half that (47 total) despite a much larger hunting population taking the field: 618,945 licenses sold with 277,959 deer harvested.
Four decades ago there was little to no opportunity for private civilians to obtain useful marksmanship training. Today there are many, plus good instruction is available on DVD and in book form, at least if you know how to weed out the obvious crap. Hint: The instructor on the book or DVD should have a proven record in a relevant form of competition.
The only organized shooting events were a handful of conventional disciplines and everything was scored by hand as inexpensive data processing equipment (computers, calculators) did not exist. Today there is over a dozen disciplines and savvy gun organizations are working to eliminate office work for clubs entirely.
Despite the fact that very few gun owners actually take advantage of these improvements, in some ways, we have it better now.