A while back I was told by a fellow hunter that the trend of backcountry do it yourself hunting is ruining the sport of hunting, and that all DIY hunters do is “wink at themselves in the mirror and thump their chests.” I couldn’t help but find this funny and have actually adopted the wink and thumping of my chest as a daily routine (oh I just caught a glimpse of my reflection in the computer screen *wink*!)
A real trend in the sport of hunting today is the assault on hunting styles by fellow hunters. Hunting lately is reminding me of the East Coast v. West Coast, Biggie v. Tupac, rap battles that led to the death of both artists in the late 90’s, R.I.P. to both. I understand some people may not like the comparison but let’s just think about it.
East Coast hunting: Tree stands or ground blinds, food plots, corn, beans, or alfalfa fields, big tracts of private land managed for the growth of big whitetail deer, and very liberal with harvest limits and length of seasons, and mostly done over the counter with opportunities for all. Thinks whitetail deer are the most clever, smartest creatures in the woods.
West Coast hunting: Some ground blinds or natural blinds, mostly spot and stalk, public land, or private land that encompasses thousands of sparsely fenced acres, multiple species, draw systems, single bag limits, shorter seasons, and very few over the counter opportunities. Makes fun of every hunting show on T.V. for hunting pet whitetails.
The one thing that East, and West coast hunters do have in common, we are all hunters! We have all adapted to the style of hunting that has brought us success. As a West Coast hunter I have traveled to the East Coast to hunt and tried to hunt it in westside fashion. Spot and Stalk in cut corn fields and noisy tracts of woods, needless to say I saw the rear end of a lot of deer running away from me. At the same time my dad sat at the edge of a corn field and fence line and shot a buck from the ground. Lesson hard learned.
We as hunters are a diverse group of people, we all have our unique way of doing the thing we love (and as long as we are doing what we love and staying inside the rules set forth by our states fish and game) we should do it to our best ability and the way we want to. Hunting is about pitting ourselves against the nature that we have lost our connection with over time. So instead of attacking each other for the way we have chosen to do what we love, we should be out recruiting more people to enjoy the thing we all love. No matter how you do it, if you are hunting you are living!