As hunters, we all know and acknowledge that new and young hunters are the future gatekeepers of hunting. It is they who will ensure that our traditions are protected and that our legacies are passed on to future hunters, but are we doing enough?
Often times, hunters find it easy to not make great efforts to teach and nurture new hunters. One of the leading TV hunting personalities and hunting camouflage moguls in the outdoor industry is even blatantly guilty of this when he ends every show with a spiel to ‘take a child hunting,’ but he himself rarely ever produces a show with any kids in it.
I’m not judging and I am not picking on anyone, for even I am guilty of not doing all I can do to pass on my hunting knowledge. If you are like me, you like to hunt and cherish what limited free time you have more than you like to share your hunting time with others. That’s not a bad thing, but we all need to chip in and do more for others, especially new hunters.
A good friend of mine, who is a longtime outfitter in the Midwest, recently offered to take a young nephew of mine on a turkey hunt. I am having a busy year and I am not able to take the kid myself, so my friend the outfitter stepped up and offered to fill in for me. Not only am I grateful for this kind act of selflessness, but his good example has strengthened my resolve to repeat his offer when I am able to.
When random acts of giving happen, the positive ripples are felt by many in many different places. As hunters, we can’t afford not to create more of those ripples if we want to continue enjoying the outdoors in pursuit of game animals. It is bad enough that the entire sport of hunting and gun ownership is under attack these days.
In the next five articles, I am going to be going over the basics of helping new hunters along while being new to hunting. Basic information might seem repetitive to most outdoorsmen, but sometimes it needs to be repeated and I hope any hunting veterans will understand, and I hope that any new hunters or people interested in hunting will learn something.
Good luck to everyone in their hunting endeavors this year and be safe.