We raise our own meat here on the farm but this time of year we supplement with venison! In fact, deer meat is what started my family down the path of self-sufficiency. You see, I actually come from a family of hunters, not farmers!
I can remember way back, as early as being two years old, checking out my dads fresh doe kill. I remember vividly how the deer felt when I put my hands on it, and how everyone in the family gathered around to celebrate the harvest.
Times have changed in the last twenty-six years but my family still celebrates each deer harvest like it’s our first. We stand out in a time where deer hunting is more popular than ever. We’re not trophy hunters or “sportsmen” as they call it, we are meat hunters!
The hunting industry has turned deer hunting and hunting in general into a billion dollar industry. More People are interested in hunting now than ever before, but now most of those people hunt for SPORT or fame more so than they do for food or passion.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that so much of the population is enjoying the great outdoors and participating in an ancient skill. I just think that with all the new fancy hunting gadgets, gear, and hype being thrown our way all the time, hunters tend to lose focus on what’s driving them to hunt in the first place.
This day and age the hunting industry has become a bit of a fashion show in my opinion. Every year companies seem to come out with new and “better” technology and special camo aimed to take the average hunter to another level. While many of these new hunting systems can help improve your success rate, has anyone thought that by relying on gear and technology too much it could actually hinder your ability to reach your potential as a hunter?
In recent years I’ve noticed the younger generation, my generation, worries more about getting the latest hunting gear and clothing more than they care about actually improving their hunting skills. Business is business, but I’m afraid if we don’t stress the importance of passionate hunting, the fad will one day end and they’ll be no one to carry on this wonderful tradition.
Lucky for me and my family, we have a patriarch who is wildly passionate and skilled in all areas of hunting. My dad has been a hunter for the majority of his life and we all look up to him. We often joke about him being super-human because he literally glides through the woods as if he’s part of it. No one wants to have to follow him anywhere because there’s absolutely no hope in keeping up with him! He’s likely too humble to admit it but he is more skilled and way more passionate about the outdoors than half of the “famous hunters” out there today.
He’s shown us that a true hunter does not rely on fancy gear, but actual skill and talent. He does not use the latest technology and I don’t know when the last time is he bought actual updated camouflage. He uses a primitive recurve bow, laughs at anyone who scents down, and puts us all to shame each year with his skills. He is the one who passed on this passion to the rest of my family, and he’s the one who taught us to see the joy in every harvest, not just the giant ones!
So this season remember…
” A hunt based only on trophies taken falls far short of what the ultimate goal should be”- Fred Bear
To keep this tradition raging on through generations, practice passionate hunting, respect the chase, and hunt for food, not instagram likes!