Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Keep the traditions alive to keep youth hunting

Jerry DavisHaving a general discussion about Wisconsin’s gun deer season with other hunters is not always about antlers, "shooters," and making sure no one else got “my deer.”

There are other things that make a hunt special.  A meal on Friday night.  A special lunch.  Making sure to carry Grandpa’s knife.  Counting the shots heard the first hour.  Seeing the same employee at the registration station every year.  Saving last year’s backtag.  Leaving the gun at home and carrying a camera and accompanying a first-year hunter.

Lists are long or at least they are significant and important.  Those hunters who have significant lists have a smile and a positive attitude, it seems.

Hunters who have no traditions, no list, and are overly serious are not likely to have a good season, a fun season, or even many positive memories.

One might wonder about the success if hunter education instructors and state agency employees who are responsible to help put more deer hunters in the forests spent even more time talking about traditions.  Would we find the hunters they trained spent more seasons in the woods before they said it’s time to put away the gun?

Maybe these hunters have found traditions kept them hunting, and most importantly, provide important reasons for hunting.

As agency employees (more likely politicians these days) tinker with season structures, rules, regulations and population numbers, they had better make sure the changes do not greatly impact hunters’ traditions.

We’ve heard it over and over.  “Deer season should hold to traditions.”  “We need to put the fun back in hunting.”  “Rules should be simple and similar throughout.”

How many of the changes to the 2014 deer seasons meet even one of these tests, let alone all three?  Time will tell.

Still, good soldiers that they are, the folks at the DNR come up with statements like, “Although there are some regulatory changes this year to seasons dates, management zones and licenses, they won’t hinder your hunt.”

Maybe. Maybe not.

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