First & Foremost, I would like to state that I am a dedicated Traditional Bowhunter. I have shot bows,for as long back as I can remember... I also own & hunt with guns,if only on a rare occasion.
For the Moderators... Many of you know me. At times I have been "Oppinionated",and justifiably shut down! I will be respectful,and keep this "Traditional Bowhunting" related. However, I ask some leaniancy,as my ramblings may be more "Tradition" than "Bowhunting"... If you feel it is going in a direction it shouldn't, feel free. No hard feelings!!!
Hunting has been a tradition since the begining of our country. It has been a "Family Tradition" for many familys, for generations. Young boys (and girls) were inducted into the hunting fraternity,as soon as they were of legal age. Years ago,entire towns shut down for the "Opening Day" of Hunting Season. It was a "Holiday" just like any other!!! I remember those days... (I'm an "old" guy)
When I was a kid, we had a deer license that entitled us to 1 Buck. You could buy a "Bow Stamp" that allowed you to shoot deer of either sex. However, You still only had 1 tag... You used your regular license tag on that deer, and then you were done for the season. My first year hunting, I killed a doe opening weekend. I was done for the year! The next year, I killed a doe the opening weekend! Then I was done... My 3rd year, I hunted all bow season, wating for a buck never to be seen... The 1st day of gun season, I killed a spikehorn. Done for the year!!! I missed out on alot of family hunts, because I was "tagged out"..... Sounds like I was pretty Lucky! But then again...
Back in the 1960's & 70's there were alot of deer in the central NY farmland, but "Bucks" were few & far between. It took my Dad 35 YEARS to get his first! What occupied most of our hunting time, was Small Game hunting. Young boys (and girls) were started as soon as they were legal and firearms safety was instilled early. By the time "Deer Season" came around, the safe handling of firearms, was pretty much second nature. "Deer Season" lasted 3 weeks, but the small game seasons ran from Oct. to Feb.!!! It was just "natural" for young kids to have guns in their hands. It was not uncommon to see a young boy on a backcountry road, carrying a shotgun and a few rabbits for the pot.
As for "Hunting Shows"... We had "Wide World of Sports" Yes, it once was more than Sking & Bicycle races! They had Hunting & Fishing, as well as Shooting and Archery competitions. And my favorite, Curt Gowdy's "American Sportsman"!!! Every Sunday I would come in from outside, to see where we were going this week... Fishing? Hunting? Both??? Whether it was Birds or Bears, African Game, Elk,Antalope or Bighorn Sheep, I was glued to the floor in front of the TV. I watched Fred Bear and Ben Pearson, shot Pheasants from the air!!! Try as I might... I never hit one,LMAO! I watched Howard Hill stalk African Game, dreaming of the day when I would be able to draw a 100 pound longbow!!! Never did THAT either! In the 60's and 70's... We were, and raised, Outdoorsmen.
Today is "differant"... and I fear for our youth.
We here on Tradgang, take great pains to teach our kids the sport of Traditional Archery and to pass along the Traditional Bowhunting Tradition!!!!! Start them young, teach them well, They are our future!!!!! Many items are donated and passed along, to help keep our "Tradition" alive..... But, we need more!
Our Freedom and our Tradition, are in danger every day!!!! Hunting is "BAD" Bows are "BAD" and GUNS are the worst of all!!!!! My 15 year old son Tyler, can't take his 1972 Bear Grizzly to school because it's a "Weapon"... He can't talk about, or write any reports about hunting, because it's "Violent" and killing things is "BAD"!!! BTW, He's already been targeted for "counciling" and the school has been put on notice that any attempts will be taken as an infringment of his Native American History & Rights!!!!!
What troubles me more... Is the lack of gun knowledge in our youth. To whatch a 17-18 year old fumbling with a gun, because they have absolutely NO idea how it works, is just... SAD. One day, in the military, these kids may need to use a potentaly strange or unfamiliar weapon to defend themselves!!! I absolutely CRINGE when I watch an eppisode of "Cops" and see a veteran Police Officer, fumbling with a confiscated handgun, trying to clear it!!!!! Todays culture is so "Anti-Gun" that our Constitutional 2nd Amendment Rights, are in grave danger every day!!!!! Our hunting rights, will not be far behind.....
Todays liberal bag limits and numerous tags, allow us to take more deer, than ever before! Between us, Tyler & I have 8 tags!!! Way more than I have freezer space for, however I DO NOT see us getting 8 deer,LOL!!! I'm a single Dad, with bills to pay. Meat in the freezer,is money in the bank!!! I'm sure many households,are just like mine.
Hunting shows today are Deer,Deer,Big Bucks,Bigger Bucks,Trophy Racks,Deer, and more Deer... I'm concerned that we are raising a generation of "Deer Hunters" rather than "Outdoorsmen".....
Back in the 70's, Fred Bear started an advertising campaign "Be a 2 Season Hunter" to promote the sport of Archery & Bowhunting. Perhaps it's time to reverse & revive, That campaign??? A day afield or at the range with a gun, will only benefit our youth, and broaden their knowledge. Let's teach our youth, to be "Outdoorsmen"!!! (and Outdoorswomen!!!)
Thanks for listening!!! Woodchucker
-------------------- There is a fine line between Hunting, & Sitting there looking Stupid...
May The Great Spirit Guide Your Arrows..... Happy Hunting!!! Posts: 5379 | From: Dutchess Co. New York | Registered: Feb 2004
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Well said Chuck! I don't know if you know this, but I grew up hunting woodchucks in Clinton Corners, NY on the old Germond farm where we had our hunting camp starting in the early '50s. I killed my first whitetail there as well. Small world! Gene