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Would Our Great-Grandfathers Recognize Hunting Today?

Hunting is primal. It’s part of our DNA. But boy has it changed over the years. Technology advances as fast as we can keep up, it seems, and most aspects of our daily lives are easier.


For many reasons, that’s good. But maybe not quite all good. Maybe there are aspects of life in which we need to stay more firmly rooted to the past. Hunting could be one such pursuit.


Wyman Meinzer of Texas Parks & Wildlife argued all the way back in 2008 that our ancestors wouldn’t recognize what we call hunting today. (We wonder what he might think today.)


After reading the original works of men who frequented the plains in those years before pioneer settlement, it became quite obvious to me that today the basic outdoor skills are so far diluted, even from the skills known a generation ago, that about the only comparison that can be made is that rifles and shotguns still go "boom" when the triggers are pulled.


Meinzer wrote that hunters of previous generations took great pride in “understanding the nuances of nature,” of recognizing behavioral changes in wildlife and even learning an in-depth knowledge of the natural history of a species in their area.


Times have changed, of course. Contemporary culture is losing its connection to the land – demographics in America trend more suburban each year -- and outdoor opportunities just aren’t as plentiful.

With the vast majority of our youth today growing up in a suburban environment, opportunities for quality outdoor experiences are limited. Although state parks and other public spaces offer valuable opportunities for hiking and basic lessons in outdoor lore, they don't offer many of the "old school" experiences my sons enjoyed.

Some of my fondest memories are of camping in the badlands with my sons, cooking hamburgers over an open fire, listening to the sounds of the night and telling stories about the Texas of yesteryear. If our hunts resulted in harvested game, we counted ourselves fortunate, but that didn't really matter much. The experience of being a part of the land for a day or two was reason enough for celebration.

Unfortunately, with today's fast-paced lifestyle, few adults take the time to learn, or teach, the full range of hunting traditions. The next generation of hunters deserves the same rich experiences our forebears enjoyed when utilizing their skills and knowledge out in the field.

Jan 2, 2019 -

Good stuff. Something to consider. Read the full post here.

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