Like the title says, you buy your hunting and fishing license, hunt and fish like you want to. I have been seeing so many people on social media sites being frustrated with other people about their hunting and fishing practices. Some don't like high fence hunting, while others crack on you for shooting a young deer. There have been some on social meda who complain about giant bucks being shot on large manicured ranches. People tend use those sites as a medium to promote their opinion or worse demote others opinion. I am one of those frustrated people I guess, or I wouldn't be writing this, however I feel like there are others like me out there that could benefit from reading this.
I had become frustrated more with hunting than fishing. I should be more specific, I had become frustrated more with deer hunting. I have never heard a rabbit hunter complain that he knows another rabbit hunter who shoots yearling rabbits. I, like many of my peers had become caught up in trying to emulate all of the hunting shows on TV. Surely you all know what I mean, putting out trail cams, minerals, hunting certain stands according to the wind, scent clothing, scent spray, scent shampoo, scent soap, scent toothpaste, cover scent for my lack of scent, scent creole, scent kabobs. I guess that's about it. Ok, that was a terrible play on words from a movie scene, but ya'll get it. I spent lots of time analysing pictures of deer. Is that deer three or four years old? If that deer comes out, should I shoot him? Don't get me wrong, all of these things are good if you are into them and have the time, energy and money to do so. For me however, it began to wreck my passion for hunting. Some of my fondest memories of hunting were as a kid. My whole family hunted, even my mom. As I got older, I began hunting with my friends. The MOST fun I ever had hunting was during those times! What's crazy, there were times I didn't even have a stand, I sat on a tree limb! IT WAS SO MUCH FUN THEN! That is a sign of changing times, sitting on a limb with a rifle or bow probably wasn't the safest thing we ever did, but it was fun. Those were the times that deeply embeded in me a passion to hunt and I didn't have a stand at times, cameras, minerals, great clothing(froze to death at times), or outdoor shows to show me how to be successful. So why wasn't I having as much fun with all the technology and gagets that I had to improve my hunting success? I think I had been trying too hard to be what those TV personalities were trying to be. Honestly, I don't even want to be the next Jim Shockey or Michael Waddell, but I sure tried to act like them. I became something much different. I was that guy that would talk about you if I walked by your truck and saw a buck I thought you should have let walk, or disagreed with you on the best broad head on the market. Yep, that's who I had become. Quite frankly, I set myself up for failure. Because while trying to improve as a hunter, I had become so critical about everything, I lost track of why I went to the field in the first place which was to have fun. I think, to be a top hunting show personality, your world has to revolve, to some extent, around hunting, and mine does not. That doesn't mean I don't love to hunt as much as others, I just have other things that take priority over my hobbies. I have a family with young children, I work two jobs, and try to spend time with extended family/ friends. I am not willing to sacrifice those things for the sake of a hobbie. There are those who are willing though. The people on those hunting shows have dedicated a ton of their personal time to their craft to make it possible to have a show. That is great for them. It is just not that important to me, but love it just the same. This year, I tried something different while hunting.
This years deer season, I didn't get all caught up in the analysis and gagetry of todays hunting. I just hunted for fun. Guess what happened! I had a Friggin blast. I didn't feel any pressure to kill a certian age/ size deer and shot one that I am proud of! It is the first buck I have killed in like eight seasons and I am going to get him mounted. The stupid thing is, I have let a bunch of bucks like him or bigger walk on by in the last several years. For some hunters this buck would be a giant, while some hunters may think that I should have give him another year. But you see, that is my point. I got back to what makes hunting fun for me and I am satisfied with this deer. I enjoyed it so much, it inspired me to start this blog www.averagedudeoutdoors.com so I can interact with others like me. People who have to work hunting and fishing in where they can, and make the best of what they have. I began to apply this thinking to other outdoor activities I love. I love to fish. I don't tournement fish, in fact, I sold my boat because I am so limited in time to fish. Luckily for me, my brother has a boat he lets me borrow if I get a day to get out on the water. I don't even have a specific species I target now. I go fish for what I can, when I can. I keep some fish to eat at times, other times its catch and release only. Here is the best part, I don't care who agrees or disagrees with what I am doing.
Going back to social media, I get why people are so critical of what others are doing. Like I said earlier, I had a bigger opinion about what you were doing, than you did. I now see that I was approaching things wrong. Not all wrong, but wrong. I understand that if everybody passed up those dumb two and three year old bucks and shot doe for meat, the woods would be full of bigguns. If people kept the smaller fish to eat and released the bigger fish to reproduce, the lake would be full of giants for those who catch and release. Here is the problem I had. I didn't buy all of those other people's licenses. I don't pay for their hunting lease. I didn't pick up their payment on their boat or pay their insurance for it. As long as what they did while hunting and fishing was within the laws and game regulations, it was none of my business and rightfully so. I am that person now. I am going to hunt and fish the way I want to. You may complain about it, and thats fine, it is your right. Just don't forget the rights of others, or they might tell you what I will. You buy your hunting and fishing license and I will buy mine. D