Something to Ponder

 As we get ready for the upcoming season we are all starting to look to the future and what it may hold. New adventures, friends, and dogs. Maybe even starting to compete or test with a different organization. Whatever it is, this is the time of year that we all as bird hunters start to think of things to come.

 Right now one thing for the future that I am thinking about is not the same as what most believe. I am thinking about the future of hunting. A large number of people believe that the future of hunting lies with the children of now and the future.

Photo by Monica Brady

 I don’t fully agree with that sentiment. I know I have committed a taboo by saying this and that a lot of people will tell me that I am out of my mind.

 So now that I have made this statement, let’s start by saying I know the future generations are very important as they will be the hunters of the future. However, they are not going to get there without the parents.

 That’s right: the parents. If the parents are not hunters and anglers then the kids will not be . Let’s face it, the parents have everything that is needed to take that kid hunting: the money for the equipment and licenses; the transportation to get to the range for practice and the field for the hunt. Speaking of range time, the parents will have to purchase the firearms because the kids do not have the means legally and financially to acquire the firearm. They also manage the schedule for the household.

 I think you all are seeing my point right now.

Photo by Monica Brady

 The future of hunting in my opinion lies with the Adult Onset Hunter. A little caveat  here is I did not coin that phrase and I will give the credit to Project Upland for introducing me to the term.

 The Adult Onset Hunter is someone that did not grow up hunting or has not started hunting until they are an adult. They are not currently hunters, but have an interest in the outdoors and what we have been reading and talking about since the dawn of man and the cave paintings were drawn in prehistoric times.

  This is the person that I believe holds the future of hunting in their hands. They have the means, ability, and time to get in the field and pursue the outdoor passions that we all enjoy.

 So if we as hunters have a co-worker, friend, or a casual acquaintance that expresses an interest in hunting then it is up to us to add the fuel to light that spark and bring them into the fold. 

  If we do our jobs of nurturing the passion, this person is the future conservationist that will add a voice to help preserve our wild places. 

 This is the person that, if we do our job, will bring their friends into the lifestyle of hunting and they will add to the preservation of what we all love. 

 This is the person that, if we do our job, will bring their family into the field and introduce their kids to hunting and lighting their fire. 

 This is how we secure the future of hunting – in my opinion.

Photo by Monica Brady

 In order to get the kids involved, the parents are the ones that we should be introducing to the outdoors and the days afield behind a class bird dog. This way the new hunter wants to ensure that their kids have the same experiences. In doing this, the future of hunting will be preserved for and by generations to come.

2 Replies to “Something to Ponder”

  1. Brian,

    As you know I whole heartedly agree with setting the hook of hunting in people during their 20s and 30s. We all have to find enjoyment during our adult years, and this tends be developed when we are naturally exploring the world and figuring out how to be productive members of society.

    I will give an example, my brother in law was a dedicated hunter and fisherman for years before I met him. I brought my young GSP with me during a family Thanksgiving weekend. I invited him out and we hunted private, public and a game preserve over the course of 5 days. He was hooked. A short time later, he bought a GSP and now hunts and even guides a little bit each season. We genuinely bond over hunting. It has given me a life long friend to enjoy hunting and gun dogs with.

    My son will be a hunter, there is not a doubt in my mind. But had I not taken my brother in law hunting, he would never have become interested. We should all take advantage of the opportunity when it presents itself. This introduction has led to his daughter hunting, and shooting trap and skeet for her high school team. Just a snapshot of how it spreads.

    1. Kyle,
      I completely agree with you. You introducing your brother in law to the world of bird hunting and gun dogs has definitely contributed to the growth of the sport. You lighting that spark and fostering the flame has led to a passion for the sport that he is passing on to his children. This is how the children become the future of the sport.
      Adults getting involved and developing the passion pass that on to their children and which is the way to preserve the future.
      Thanks for reading and joining in on the conversation.

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