He’s the father who remembers his ‘guided hunts’ being through a grocery store, led by a little hand that called him daddy. She’s the mother who scrimped to buy her arrows in a half-dozen, because her quiver was filled with a family. He’s the foster parent who would have loved to bought the latest in hunting gear, but he invested his dollars in a young persons future. She’s the single mother; who in spite of what the critic said, took her son hunting every chance she could.
Within the hunting community fine folks like these often remain hidden. Hidden, because their trophies are recorded in the form of cherished memories, not in a book. Hidden, because they are not poster-children for a popular product. Hidden, because they are not defined by an antler score or by the things they possess. Hidden, because their trophies are measured by thrill not inches. Yet, woven within each of their stories is a common thread – they are hunters.
Hunter’s come from all walks of life and it’s our distinct differences that make the community unique. Made up of male, female, rich, poor, celebrities, and unknowns, we are diverse in scope and skill. Unfortunately, as hunters we often determine the value of one another by defining whether or not someone is a ‘successful’ hunter. But an individual’s value cannot be measured by how much better or how much less their deer scored. As a hunting community we cannot afford to allow each other’s value to be measured by shallow self-interest. The wise men and women who gave us the privilege of hunting, passed on something to be cherished. We have been given a heritage that places value on every individual in the overall community based upon what we enjoy. As hunters we value one other based upon the memories we make and the satisfaction we share. A passion for the outdoors is our common bond.
Hunter’s don’t need a name, title or numerous records in the books to be an important part of the hunting community. Any mother who teaches her kids what a game trail looks like is above par. The dad who tells his kids the secrets of a mature whitetail or an old Tom turkey is a valuable asset to the hunting community. The grandfather who has a deep appreciation for the outdoors and is passing on traditions to his grandkids, is a true celebrity.
If you’re a hunter, hold your head up high and enjoy a great hunting season. If no one knows you by the show you produce or the records you hold; so what, your part of the community – you’re a hunter.