I haven't really decided what I want to say, mostly for fear of offending someone, I guess. And, since I normally don't write long-winded diatribes on any internet forums you will have to forgive me if I seem to go off on a tangent here or there. But, gosh darn it, I feel like I have to get this off my chest!
This year while out hunting in our great Commonwealth, I had the dubious distinction of being the only hunter on the co-op farm I hunt who harvested a doe. I got flamed by the other deer hunters who have permission to hunt there for doing so, as it seems they believe that my taking a doe, somehow, was reducing their chances at killing a trophy buck! Not sure if they were actually paying attention to the farmer who granted us all permission to hunt there when he said he needed as many as possible removed from the farm so he would have a good crop this year. His livelihood depends on hunters, the deer-harvesting tool, and that is why the farm is open to hunting. But some don't see it that way. They only want to grow the herd and the antlers so they have great hunting on that farm for years to come. When did it become about the hunter's desires and not the farmer's livelihood?
I talked to another hunter who had a decal in the window of his truck. The decal represented his favorite conservation organization, there are many, not going to mention which organization this guy was "representing" but there are chapters out there for deer, grouse, pheasant, turkey, duck, elk, etc.. etc.. you get the idea. So, I inquired about the next banquet because I was interested in attending. The hunter told me he had no idea when the next banquet was, he had never attended one before, and he added that the decal was from about 6 years ago and he only signed up for a free hat! Wow, I thought! When did it become about the hunter and not the conservation organization that raises funds for habitat improvements that benefit all types of wildlife, game animal or not?
Another example is from a guy at work that hunts. He has a pretty good chunk of land, not huge, but his own piece of paradise in Pennsylvania. He toils away in the summertime planting food plots and he thinks the deer have ample vittles to never wander off his 25 acres. He shoots a nice buck every year and his kids do pretty good, too. They get a few gobblers every Spring, as well. But the thing I remember the most about his hunting stories is how adamant he is about his neighbors being slob hunters for shooting 1.5 year old bucks, that are legal! And I think, Wow! Why does planting a food plot make anybody think that all the deer around have become their deer?
What is going on in the hunting fraternity? We have become our own worst enemy by fostering this me, me, me attitude that will only serve to divide us to the point of total collapse! We already have outdoor sporting goods stores selling us out and if that continues we might not have anywhere to go to purchase our gear! We complain about and blame the game commission for our lack of success in the woods every Fall, but we log on and flame everybody else who got their deer because it was too small or the wrong sex! We need to pull our collective head out of our collective posterior and realize that the future of hunting depends on us all supporting each other as long as what we are doing falls within the guidelines of that $6 digest that some of us really whined about! $6 !!!! That's a cup of coffee on those uppity corners in the middle of town! That $6 funds the commission that is creating all of the wonderful opportunities that we enjoy!
Lastly, why are the Sportsman's Organizations grouped up down by the classified ads? They aren't selling anything! They are the conservation organizations that are helping to protect the future of the game animals that we love to pursue. Everybody who hunts should be reading those forums to see what is being done, and what we the hunters can do, to help wildlife flourish in this great state! I'm not saying that everyone needs to sign up with a bunch of these organizations, but gee whiz, do what you can. Whether that be attending a banquet or helping out on a habitat project on public land where you hunt!
Okay, I'm off the soap box! Flame away! I'm a big boy...I can handle it!