Stonewalled by my intellectual inabilities, I reached out to followers of The 4 Pointer on Facebook for ideas to write about. As a disincentive to participate, I offered a signed copy of a trail camera selfie of yours truly as a prize for the idea that kick started my brain. The first few comments had a serious tone or at least were topics that would require some research. As Sweet Brown would say, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” I will admit that they were fantastic ideas, and should I find the time to sit down and write at some point I have no doubt I will take up a few of the topics.
It was hard to narrow down the list when there were so many decent suggestions, but here are a few that piqued my short-term interest:
“How the downfall to hunting will be from hunters not working together.” Submitted by Jason Longway. Clearly, Mr. Longway has the smarts to understand the major problem that faces hunting today. I WILL be writing about this in more detail someday, as I have seen firsthand the negative effects on hunting due to infighting amongst hunters as well as the negative effects due to the unity that exists among anti hunters. It’s scary.
“What are the top 5 lessons you would give to someone looking to you as a mentor when they are new to deer hunting or hunting in general?” Submitted by Brian Dellinger. I know Brian well and have even taken him hunting a few times, so it comes as no surprise that he would still be searching for advice on how to hunt since our few trips out only resulted in cold toes and one tree harvested by a muzzleloader. There is more to hunting deer than shooting trees, Brian. One day you will see. In the meantime, I do like your idea of sharing the top five lessons I’ve learned. At the top of the list would be the importance of mentoring new hunters. Perhaps if more experienced hunters were willing to teach new hunters we wouldn’t be facing the challenge Mr. Longway mentioned.
“Why aren't male turkeys named Gary instead of Tom.” Submitted by Sean Padden. These are exactly the type of questions that keep me awake at night. I took two minutes and did a google search (research) and found an answer on a site that had underwear advertisements for old women in the sidebar and those creepy ads at the bottom we all know and love, so I’m sure this is solid information. There is a rumor out there that Benjamin Franklin coined the name out of spite for Thomas Jefferson after losing the battle to decide the country’s mascot. Old Ben, as you may recall, thought our springtime feathered foes would make a great symbol for the USA. Tom, in his infinite wisdom, provided the counter suggestion of the bald eagle. It’s a nice story, but it appears to not be true as there are references to male turkey’s being called Toms well before the raging mascot battle between Franklin and Jefferson. As far as I can tell, at an unrecorded point in history, some anonymous guy or gal called a male turkey a Tom and the name became wildly popular. Why can’t my blog have that same kind of success, I wonder?
“You should take a four day hunt into the woods. You’re not allowed to use any modern device, other than your bow, and chronicle the event. You then can have two stories - one where you chronicle the event, and another where you write on the value of experiencing the hunt without modern aid.” Submitted by Brock Youngren. First, let me say that finding the time to hunt four days straight and then to write about my adventure would be a dream come true. Second, Brock knows me well and he probably suggested the idea because he’s curious to see if I could actually survive without modern aid. I not even convinced I’d survive for four days with modern aid. There is only one way to find out. Maybe I’ll try when I retire. If I survive, I’ll be sure to write about it.
Brett Ladeau had the audacity to suggest, “How to call in a turkey for State Board member when they turkey hunt with you.” He should know that the ball is in his court on that one. It’s an extremely tall task, but you would think that if anyone was up for the challenge it would be a guy that travels the country hunting turkeys and successfully competing in calling contests. If he manages to pull off the feat this year I’ll write about it, but I should get a signed picture from him, not the other way around.
Carl Erickson suggests writing about, “Adapting to varying conditions in VT.” This is a topic I am well versed in. For example, a couple of years ago while slowly hunting along a ridge top, I stumbled onto an area with a lot of fresh deer sign. The only drawback was that there was no cell service. Talk about needing to adapt! I had to totally shift my way of thinking. On the one hand, there were some fresh rubs and scrapes, which made me feel like I should stay put. On the other hand, without the use of modern aid how would I be able to instantly share photos of my discovery? Against my better judgment, I decided to stay put and spent the next hour in a communication blackout while failing to see a single deer. I won’t make that mistake again. Now I only search for areas with deer sign where there is also cell service. Yes, the ability to adapt to varying conditions is key when hunting in Vermont.
Thanks, everyone. This was a fun exercise! I enjoyed seeing all the ideas and was surprised at some of the suggestions. It would appear that some of you think of me as a “real” writer. That’s a bit concerning. Still, others suggested topics more on par with my abilities, like how to poop in the woods while wearing overalls (take them off, dummy!) or writing a beginner’s guide to shooting trees. Aaron Benware commented on how I am the second man to make mediocrity famous. I’m honored at the thought, but more honored that he said he’d be hanging my trail cam selfie on the wall at his deer camp if he won. He’s not the winner, but the thought of my face hanging at his deer camp is too much to pass up, so he’ll get a copy anyway.
Argh! It’s so tough to choose a winner! There are many ideas I liked that I haven’t touched on here. I could go on and on and on… but not everyone can be a winner. I have decided to go with the topic that I am most likely to write about at some point, and that would be a variation of Jason Longway’s suggestion to write about how the downfall of hunting will be due to the inability of hunters to work together. I’m hopeful that there won’t be a downfall to hunting, but it will take some selflessness by those that love to hunt. Stay tuned.
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