Our hunting history dates back to the time before Homo sapiens even existed. Eating meat helped us develop our large brains and become who we are today. Modern hunters enjoy the use of better and more efficient gear and weapons, but without the efforts of previous generations of hunters, the sport we love might not exist today. Here are just a few of the reasons hunters should respect their elders.
They Know the Best Spots
You may have to sit through a three hour, booze soaked, bullcrap session about how tall the mountains used to be and how tough the hunters were in those days, but eventually old timers will offer up some valuable information.
Hunters who have been hunting the same area for years will know the locations of wildlife food sources, bedding areas, and where the animals will travel when threatened. Paying attention to more experienced hunters could be the difference between bagging a trophy and eating tag soup.
They Introduced You to Hunting
The vast majority of hunters started at a young age accompanied by a parent or other older mentor. Don’t forget the hunting time they sacrificed to help you once they grow long in the tooth.
Put the old guys or gals in spots that are easy to get to, but still offer a good chance of shooting game. If they are successful, help them retrieve their animal just like they did when you were young.
Hunters are the Original Conservationists
In the late nineteenth century, hunters established the North American model for conservation, ensuring that future hunters would have hunting and fishing opportunities.
Theodore Roosevelt and the Boone and Crockett club established fair chase guidelines to preserve wildlife and their habitat for generations to come.
Since then, groups like the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, the Ruffed Grouse Society, Pheasants Forever, and the Quality Deer Management Association have been working to create and maintain habitat and hunting opportunities. Thank and respect those who came before you and do your part to preserve the hunting tradition.
They Established the Traditions You Hold Dear
Whether it is eating deer liver after a kill or cutting the shirttails of those that miss, you likely learned your hunting traditions from someone else. Don’t forget to thank your elders as you cut their shirttails.
The hunting tradition is constantly under fire and hunters must work to keep their freedoms. Respect your elders for keeping the tradition alive and be sure to introduce younger hunters to the sport. Your hunting future depends on it.
Don’t forget to include the last generation in your hunting rituals and let them know how much they have meant to you over the years. Take time to reflect on past glories of hunters on their way out and let them bask in the glow of former successes.