I really enjoyed the 2nd Annual Shed Hunt! There were fellow deer hunters from 14 states that attended. There were hunting buddies, husband and wives, and families. They came from Texas, Michigan, Indiana, and most states in between. They came from different hunting cultures, different occupations, and hunting experiences. However, they were all deer hunters!! We all laughed and learned together. It was a great event that left me with new friends and ideas.
As I reflect on the great conversations I had this weekend, I’m so saddened when hearing about hunters arguing with each other. White-tailed deer have been extremely abundant throughout most of their range for many years. However, this trend is changing. Several states are now reporting reduced harvest rates. There are several reasons including loss of habitat, loss of hunters, and increased predation. During this era of change in hunters and hunting, it is critical that we deer hunters/managers pull together. We need to identify projects we can unite around and fight for the continued success of white-tailed deer and deer hunters. Silly arguments like whether crossbows should be legal are useless if there are limited deer populations and no deer seasons.
Please remember as deer hunters we have a joint mission of producing healthy herds and providing safe and enjoyable hunting opportunities. Our mission is tough, and may become tougher. There is no room for arguing among our ranks. Our energy is much better spent helping each other.
I believe the best method to stop the arguing is through education. That’s one reason I so enjoy our Shed Hunt and Food Plot Field Day events. It’s a great time for hunters from different cultures to come together on neutral ground and see new techniques and share their knowledge. I really appreciate all the Shed Hunt 2011 attendees that joined my family and me. I hope we shared some useful information with them. I look forward to joining ranks and fighting for our deer herds and for each other. Deer hunters are a family. Good families work to make each member the best they can be.
Growing Deer (and deer hunters) together,