Friday, August 18, 2017

Focus on What Really Matters

I had a conversation recently with a fellow hunter that left me somewhat frustrated. The conversation started out simple enough, we began sharing hunting stories about this and that. Comparing animals, hunts, locations etc. Then suddenly the conversation began getting - I wouldn't say out of hand, but it became evident that we were on opposite sides of certain issues in the hunting world. 

Trying to find common ground proved difficult until we just stopped talking hunting all together. I do not want to condemn this fellow hunter, each of us are certainly offered the right to an opinion. And without giving him due course, I am going to offer here, my opinion on the topics discussed in hopes it will generate a conversation. 

The conversation turned to hunting turkeys. Something I am very passionate about. I love hunting turkeys. And I consider myself a turkey hunter, not someone who merely hunts turkeys. When we discussed turkeys, I asked if he'd read Col. Tom Kelly's Classic book "The Tenth Legion". His response - "I don't read anything about hunting turkeys, I don't think there is anything anyone can teach me about killing turkeys." If there is one thing I have learned about turkeys, there is always something to learn about killing turkeys. Archibald Rutledge spent his life chasing turkeys and killed several hundred birds, and still he surmised (And I paraphrase) "anyone who thinks they have an understanding of hunting turkeys, has never truly hunted turkeys. Just when you think you have them figured out, they have a way of humbling you into submission." 

But perhaps the most upsetting portion of the conversation revolved around the use of crossbows. I asked his opinion of the fairly new rise in crossbow hunting. his response was, "I don't like it, it puts too many people in the woods."  I have heard a lot of comments on crossbows. Those who love them and those who don't. Usually those who don't is because they are partial to vertical bows. Never have I heard a comment that was so selfish. 

I have always had the belief and opinion that while it may not appeal to me personally, if it promotes the sport, and its legal then I am all for it! We need to do all we can to promote the sport of hunting, how you hunt is your choice. Rifle, bow, muzzleloader, crossbow, atlatl, spear, shotgun, pistol, it really should not matter as long as it is legal and gets people into the woods, it is a good thing. 

When I proposed this line of thinking to this person, that promoting the sport should override any personal inconvenience he seemed to reject that. "I don't want people all in the woods while I am trying to hunt." he said. 

As a hunter who is passionate about the sport. It is my opinion that anything that can get more and more people into the woods is a great thing. None of us have it all figured out. There are certain types of hunting that do not appeal to me, but if it is what get's you into the woods, I will support you all the way. 

I wish more hunters would see that we are a group in the minority. We are practicing a dying sport. We need to stop all of the infighting and stick together to elevate the sport of hunting at all costs. 

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