My Mother-in-law came for a visit last week. She mostly likes to help with my kids and hang with her daughter. She claims to like me too, but the way I see it, I am the low man on the totem pole when stacked up against my wife and kids, so I took that opportunity to sneak out for as many hunts as possible during her visit. While I was out hunting, I got the feeling that my wife took the opportunity to reinforce her feelings to her mother that hunting is usually a complete waste of time. Appalling. Simply appalling.
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing many bucks over the years. Their pictures take up space on my phone and cover the walls in my office. I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting a few them. Every detail of our relationship is easily recalled in my mind at a moment’s notice. I know I’m not alone here. Why is that? Remembering the items my wife told me to pick up at the grocery store only minutes before is next to impossible. But that big buck I saw three days after the season ended back in 2001 has stayed with me to this date.
Just what is the biggest threat that hunting faces today? Is it shrinking participation numbers or accessible land to hunt? Maybe it’s anti-hunters? It must be Social Media, right? Is it Chronic Wasting Disease? I know, it’s climate change! Maybe it’s a combination of many different things, or maybe it all funnels back to one main reason.
Good, solid hunting mentors like I had growing up are in serious demand these days. Without them, kids are content to sit inside, warm and dry with their faces glued to electronic devices. I never had that opportunity because electronic devices didn’t exist yet. I was forced to play outside. The out of doors, as near as I can tell, was the modern-day parental version of screen time. “Go outside!” my mother would often say with a sweet and kind tone to her voice. An aging group of mentors and kids growing up with no desire to step foot in the woods is a bad combination!
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.