by Daniel E. Schmidt
That headline is not a rhetorical question. I want everyone who reads this to respond to this blog and provide their thoughts. One sentence. That’s all that’s needed.
Deer hunting used to be about deer camp and good food and great friends. It used to be about “I’d like to shoot a buck, but I’ll settle for some meat if needed.” It used to be about friends and neighbors caring and sharing so much that compassion ruled above the number of inches on a buck’s head.
I’m not about romanticizing things that weren’t there. And I’m certainly not about time machines and fairy tales. I am about human decency and putting things into enough perspective that kindness and Christianity are above and beyond any personal agenda. It could be just me, but I see too much of the latter and not enough of the former in today’s deer hunting culture. Sure, we all love to daydream about shooting that buck of a lifetime. We buy new gear … treestands, trail cameras, bows, guns and ATVs … in hopes of giving ourselves a little bit of an edge in accomplishing these goals.
But how many of us draw a line in the sand and decide enough is enough during the course of deer season? How many of us say, “you know what, I’m out here to enjoy myself and have fun.” How many of us leave our self interests at the door and do everything in our power to make sure that our hunting partners, friends, relatives and blood brothers also have a good time out there?
Each year I hear about and see first-hand the ugliness that comes with property ownership, intensive trophy management and the insanely ridiculous goals of “managing” micro properties for trophy bucks. It’s a vicious cycle and, most times, one that’s centered around unattainable goals. In the end, many hunters find themselves unhappy, unsatisfied and downright surly when they realize they can’t keep up with the Joneses.
That’s it for my thoughts. What are yours? Agree or disagree? Or do you have a different take?
Bonus question: What are your overall thoughts and impressions of the deer hunting shows you see on TV? Do TV producers get it right? Are the shows you watching an accurate reflection of what happens in your woods? What would you like to see more — and less — on the hunting shows aired on the three major outdoors networks?
Checking out for today. I’m ready to hear from you!