Whitetail hunting has evolved rapidly over the last 15-20 years. The market is flooded with twenty different companies to produce ultimately, the same product. The money that is spent on hunting, year in and year out, is mind boggling. That is a fact and one I believe we would all agree on. Throughout this process, there is a rise in the number of hunters, particularly on the archery side. The guy at the mill who was never raised hunting, he is buying a new bow and tackling it with his buddies, who have been hunting since they were children. This has caused a lot of fiction to float around the whitetail woods.
I am, by all means, 110% for introducing any and everybody to the outdoors. With that, though, comes some responsibility. It does not matter how much that new hunter’s equipment costs, or how cool he looks taking selfies in a tree stand, what matters is the learning process in which he goes through. I have been hunting whitetails for 20 years and I am just now figuring it out.
The market is flooded with new age technology and products that are marketed absolutely brilliantly. To the new hunter, who is obsessed with his new hobby, this causes some bad habits to form. Before I go on, I believe in attractants. I believe in scent control. I believe in feeding your whitetails and planting food plots. What I do not agree with is the amount of miscommunication between veteran hunters and new hunters when it comes to these “Marketing Schemes”. Example: New hunter walks into Walmart. He sees a 175” Whitetail on the cover of a product, an attractant of some sort, and he purchases that product. He goes out to his hunting property, utilizes the attractant. So far, nothing too much wrong with this picture, but wait, there is more. Next, he spends all season, and all his extra cash, on that product and those similar. He continues to put it out. From the bow opener straight through the rut, he never changes stands. He expects a mature buck to claim his attractant site. This is where I feel there is not enough intervention.
The veteran hunter, whether the new hunter wants to hear it or not, needs to step in and help this new hunter. Not in a negative way, but a positive way. If nobody does, that new hunter is going to pass down those traits to his children and so on. This is not good. This is bad. Very bad. I can honestly say that I was 21 years old before anyone actually physically showed me what a TRUE funnel was. I was 19 before thermals were explained to me and I am still an avid student of the olfactory factors. The amount of meat I could have provided my family during my beginning years, but was unable to from, what I can clearly see now, a lack of knowledge, is staggering! It is one thing to know better, be stubborn, but it is another to be ignorant of the facts.
Veteran Hunters owe it to the game in which they hunt, the land and themselves to educate new hunters. These hunters are out there representing our passion and livelihood. We need them sharp, on their toes and respectful. It is not okay to just introduce a new individual to the outdoors. Teach them. Pass on the knowledge you had passed on to you. Show them. Physically show them and make sure they understand hunting ethics.
It is detrimental to the future of hunting that we educate new hunters. It is so detrimental. Do not introduce a person to the outdoors and leave them out to dry. Do not let a new hunter learn the hard way because “You had to”. For the sake of the future of hunting, pass on your knowledge. Knowledge is key. Education is key. Educating individuals on hunting is extremely vital if we want our grandkid’s grandkids to have the ability to hunt. Pass it on!!!!!