Today’s hunters aren’t the same as those a generation ago. While they’ve got better gear and better techniques, there’s something special that has been lost. If you want to get back in touch with your hunting roots, you might want to consider the kind of hunting tips you would have gotten from your father or grandfather.
If you ever went hunting with an older family member, you probably remember the silence. In the era before gadgets, it was a given that a day of hunting would be a day of silence. While there’d be plenty to talk about later, you were always quiet in the stand. It helped you to stop spooking the animals but, more importantly, it allowed you to really focus. Next time you hunt, try to tune out everything but nature.
Wake Up Early
Your dad knew that a good day of hunting always started before dawn. While you might have sheets of data that show you the precise time your prey will be out near your stand, try doing things his way instead. There’s something special about being in the woods before the sun comes up, something that gives you a greater appreciation for the world around you. Hitting the trail before sun up might not make you a better hunter, but it might make you a better person.
Don’t Overthink It
Too much of modern hunting culture is centered around data collection. It seems like half the hunt is over before setting foot in a stand. Your father and grandfather didn’t spend hours looking at soil acidity or planting bait plants. They went out into the field and waited – and for the most part, that was it. The sport of hunting shouldn’t require an advanced degree in forestry to be a successful pursuit. If they could do it, so could you.
Know the Woods
One of the lost arts of hunting is woodsmanship. From synthetic spray baits to GPS maps, technology has taken much of the craft out of hunting. If you want to be a successful hunter, it’s time to get to know the woods. Try to learn more about the trails the game follows, the signs that tell you they’re around, and the conditions of the forest that will bring about a successful hunt. Learn the skills that kept hunters busy for generations.
Appreciate a Good Story
Stories have always been a huge part of hunting culture. While we all know that these stories are at least half fiction, they had real value. They helped drive hunters to do better, to try new techniques and ultimately to become more passionate about the sport. Next time your dad starts telling the story of that buck he almost got, consider putting down your phone and really listening. You might learn something new.
You’ve still got a lot to learn from your father’s generation when it comes to hunting. The way he hunted may not have been as advanced or even as successful, but it was more authentic. Give your dad’s way a shot next time you take the woods – you might be surprised by what you accomplish.