Hunting is becoming more expensive and more exclusive with each day. The costs are skyrocketing as the value of private hunting property continues to hyper-inflate and traveling is also becoming less affordable as well. For hunters who still have the budget, time and opportunity to hunt, you owe it to yourself and future hunters to document and preserve those hunts. Here are a few ways you can better document your hunting lineage.
Photos. Taking photos of your hunting trophy is nothing new, but taking quality photos of your entire hunt is something that most hunters don’t always do. Take photos of your travels and snap some of interesting people. This will give your mind and memory even more triggers to recall later in your life. Plus, it makes for a more complete and interesting story.
Take quality photos of your trophies. This subject has been written about many times but most hunters I know have terrible photos of their animals. Blood is natural an no big deal, but why not try to clean up the bloody mouth of a deer or cover the entry or exit wound with something? It is not required, but it does improve the quality of the photo. Get several close ups and have someone take photos of you holding your trophy and looking at it instead of looking at the camera. Mix things up and take way more photos than you feel you need.
Journal. I keep a journal of every day in the field. It not only records my activities, but it also helps me to remember what I did and where I did it. Journals are also a good way to create a timeline or pattern of animal activity. Before my house burned down a decade ago, I had a journal of deer activity from my tree stand hunting that included weather, temperature, etc. I also place all my old hunting licenses, tags and duck stamps in my journals. It is a nice thing to have and to pass on someday.
Video. Most people don’t want to mess with a video camera but with today’s smart phones, it is becoming more convenient to record action shots. I like to take videos of when I am walking up on my trophy after a kill. I like to show my wife and relive the moments of anticipation right before I can finally place my hands on trophy buck. If you are technologically limited, have a kid transfer your video to a digital file on your computer or make a YouTube channel so others can view your memories.
By documenting your hunts, you can be in charge of writing your personal history and adding to the great tradition of ethical hunting in America.