Hunting is as natural as breathing to me. I grew up in a hunting family and have always been around all aspects of hunting, shooting and fishing. I know I am fortunate because but that upbringing is not true for all.
Hunting and the possession and use of firearms is a scary, myth-filled anomaly to many. Last week a few of us from the office took a day and went out to see if we could fill a few draw tags for antlerless mule deer. One of the guys with us, Troy, was looking for his first hunting kill. He had not grown up around hunting or firearms and, until he began working with us last year, he had never even shot a rifle. Last fall, after a hearing all of us at the office talk about our successes, his interest and curiosity got the best of him. He took his PAL course along with the CORE hunter safety course and was anxious for the season to begin. Over the summer he bought a used .270 rifle package from another co-worker and spent time shooting prior to the season. He was confident that he was going to be successful and fill his freezer with cheap meat. After spending a day in the field a few weeks earlier he soon learned that this hunting thing was a whole to harder and a little more expensive than he first thought.
A few hours into this day he had his chance; there were two mulies working their way around the edge of the field. It wasn’t long before they were both down,as Troy and I each connected on one. Obviously, being antlerless tags, there was no trophy involved, but you would never have known that from the smile on Troy’s face. The following day Troy and I made it back out and filled our remaining tags, and as of Friday, there is a new hunter among us and he is keen. He has a freezer full of venison and is ready to try other species as time and draws allow.
We always hear about taking kids out to enjoy the outdoors and that new members to our sport are the future. While that statement is so very true, we mustn’t forget about introducing the older crowd to the sport as well. Taking a new hunter out regardless of their age is very rewarding. If we all do our part and talk one or two more people into giving the outdoors a try it will definitely help us in the future, especially when it comes to politics and the public opinion of hunting. I would like to challenge you all to get a new hunter into the field regardless of age.
Remember, you can teach an old dog a new trick!