Now, all you have to do is ask anyone that lives in the Hewitt household and they can tell you that I watch too much of the outdoor and hunting programs. The Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel are a staple in my surfing routine and the "Clicker" buttons are worn to those channels. I actually enjoy a handful of the shows but, most of them are nothing more than half hour informercials that I get sucked into watching. Much the same way that we gawk and rubberneck at horrible car crashes! I want to see the carnage...
So, I'm gonna use my tree stand as a soapbox if you'll indulge me...I've noticed a distinct trend in the hunting shows today and it's nothing short of disgusting and I find myself being embarrassed for the hunters on camera! Recently, I had the displeasure of watching a show where one of the guys, all painted up like a Native warrior going into battle, shot a very nice buck and then turned to the camera and shouted BOO-YAH! along with some other incoherent rambling. What does that even mean??? Is that a word? The guy on screen came across as a total tool and left more than a bad taste in my mouth. BOO-YAH! Really??? Yet another "outdoor celebrity" on a different show shoots a 170" class whitetail buck, on some managed 1000 acre parcel in Iowa that most everyday hunters can only dream about, looks square into the camera lens and in a voice just short of shouting blurts out "That's what I'm talkin' about"...Okay? Who were you talking too and just what was it you were talking about? I don't understand...Still another "pro staffer" will skip about and scream like a little school girl after arrowing a deer. Seriously?
Don't get me wrong. Hunting and the fruits of it should be celebrated. The memories made, the meals provided, the trophy for the wall, all equally important parts. I guess what I'd like to see is the celebration tempered with some humanity.
Let's call it what it is. The end of a complete hunt results in an animal being killed. No plainer way to describe it, we as hunters kill animals. Sure I can clean it up with the words "take" or "harvest", but in the end it's still the same. When you see some guy on TV dancing around and fist pumping like he just quarterbacked the super bowl, it's embarrassing. What I don't see in most of today's TV hunters is remorse. That's right...remorse. I think every hunter worth his salt ought to feel a tinge of remorse at taking a life. Now I'm not saying that it over shadows the excitement of a successful hunt or that we have to go into mourning, but that fleeting moment of remorse should be automatic for a hunter. I'm a carnivore and a predator, but I'm human. The remorse is what separates me from a wolf, a coyote or a bear. They kill prey, I hunt prey.
And while we're on it, how about a hint of gratitude? Gratitude to your Maker or whomever or whatever you believe in. Gratitude to the fallen animal wouldn't hurt. Now some guys will publicly thank the Lord for their good fortune, but honestly at times, it seems like fluff for the camera. A simple, silent prayer or a sincere thank you would be a nice change to see.
Oh, and one more thing! A little humbleness would be nice! Too often, it's the chest pounding and self accolades and "awesome" shot, and I did this and I did that...Humility could go a long, long way in bringing non-hunters into the hunting fold and into our tent and maybe, just maybe change the view of some anti hunters.
If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a fairly opinionated cuss. I'm passionate about the outdoor world and I know my place in it as a hunter. I think our way of life will be a memory in just a few generations and if we don't change the opinion of non-hunters when it comes to their thoughts of us and our lifestyle, we are sunk. So, with that, I will put my soap box up and climb down from my tree er, a my high horse.