Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thoughts about new hunters......

On occasion, I have the opportunity to introduce young people to hunting.  Of course, at my age, most hunters are young people.  But, I wonder if we need to take a more active roll in leading men and women in to the field? Then, the next question I ask myself is, "What is it they need to know to safely and successfully enter the food chain on a dynamic level- that is, harvesting their own game with their dog?"  Hey, I used to think everyone knew to carry a compass, a map, matches (at least)- not everyone does.  Without someone to tell the novice what to do (or suggest it), most folks will feel overwhelmed, I think.  In fact, it's kind of scary out there wandering around looking for quail in the NM desert, WI deep woods, OK brush, SD wheat-fields, etc. If I was a new guy and a little apprehensive about taking my dog out in the first place, and now I had to drive 600 miles and live in a motel, too, I think I'd stay home.  Unfortunately, all too many wannabe hunters are doing just that- staying home with perfectly good dogs and money to spend.  We are in danger of turning our passion into an elitist activity, enjoyed by a few.  That, my good friends, will be the death of our sport.  We will be overwhelmed by the PETA's and HSUS's in this fine country of ours.  We will be marginalized and legislated out of the woods and fields.  SO.....what do we do?  My plan is .......well, I'm not sure what that plan is right now.  But, it's taking shape with the help of my able HA (hunting assistant, as Glen calls himself.  Glen is the last guy I took out for a spin.  Now he's got one of my dogs and he's "just sorry" like me during hunting season).  I should have a plan soon.  What do you think?
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