We live in an extremely fluid world where public perceptions and opinions on issues can change by the hour.
Just because hunting has been around for 90 percent of human history doesn’t mean that it will be around for the next 50 years. We cannot take our rights for granted. Preaching to the choir will not save hunting; we must influence others outside our circle to further our message.
If we want to preserve the proud traditions of hunting for future generations, we must expose and mentor those generations to the most basic of human behaviors. Here are a few places to start.
1. Become a Hunting Mentor
Though I spent lots of time at the shooting range as a kid, I grew up without exposure to hunting because there was no one to take me out and teach me the ropes. Not every child has a parent who hunts or has the time to be a good mentor.
Whether you mentor your own children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews, or just a family friend or neighbor, you can do your part in passing along your knowledge and enthusiasm to another generation of hunters. Taking someone hunting just once could be life-changing for that individual—and you’ll never know whether they’re interested if you don’t ask.
My own kids are too young to take hunting at this time, but I still bring them along when I’m scouting for sign or checking trail cameras. They enjoy the time spent with Dad and are gaining an understanding of the connection between the outdoors and the food on their plates.
We have all heard the controversy surrounding Facebook and their censoring of conservative news and photos involving guns & harvested animals, but would you be surprised to hear that Mark Zuckerberg himself is into hunting and fishing? Take a look at the video below of Mark Zuckerberg taking live questions from viewers while smoking some meat on the patio.
It’s been said you’re either a part of the problem or you’re part of the solution.
Do you love the outdoors? Are you willing to spend 2-3 minutes per week ensuring your way of life lives on into the next generation? If so, you’re the person we’re looking for to become our next Digital Mentor.
We get it. Mentoring can be tough. Life is busy; there are so many demands on your time.
But, why should you care about spending a couple minutes a week passing on our outdoor traditions? Why spend the time helping new people?
The math is clear. Each year that passes the average hunter ages nearly 10 months. Today the average license buyer is about 42 years old. By the age of 68, license purchases fall to nearly zero. At the present pace, we’re only one generation from participation in the outdoors reaching alarmingly low levels. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Digital Mentoring via the free Powderhook app, made possible through a partnership with Cabela’s and Pass it On – Outdoor mentors, is one way we can work together make the kind of change we need. Only you, the individual outdoorsman, have the ability to make it happen. No agency program, no event planned by an organization, and no ad campaign from a company can do what you can do with just a couple minutes a week.
If you don’t approve of hunting, for whatever reason, I want you to know I appreciate you taking a minute to read this letter. My intention is to offer a couple facts about hunting you may not know. I don’t expect to change your mind altogether, but I do hope to provide some information that may create a more informed conversation.
You’re right. Our civilization has changed such that many people no longer need to directly participate in the food chain. Cities of us can go to grocery stores for the food we once grew or killed for ourselves. So, why then does hunting still matter?
You’re right. All living things have value. Animal lives matter, and that’s all animals, not just the one whose hair is stuck to your shirt right now. If that’s true, how can someone argue killing an animal is not only justified but important?
“We have to do this,” Blaine Cooper told me in a rush. “The BLM lit a fire to burn this ranch down because they want the uranium that’s under it! The left blew up buildings, killed people, enslaved people to make this wildlife refuge!”
Cooper was sitting behind the wheel of a white pickup, heater blasting, and talking to me through the open window. It was the middle of last January, maybe 12 degrees above, here at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, with day just breaking over a universe of frost-whitened sagebrush and 6 inches of old snow.
The more time I spend as a parent the more I realize how much I appreciate my father. Beyond the values of hard work and caring for others that he instilled in me, what I appreciate most is my love of the outdoors that comes from my time spent in a boat with dad. Recent articles and other discussions here on IDO have talked about the topic of less youth getting into fishing these days and my biggest hope is that I am able to do as good a job of passing my passion on to my son as my dad did for me.
You don’t know what you don’t know. So if you have never used depth contours while fishing, you don’t know how useful they can really be. Luckily, Powderhook is offering free depth contours to many of your favorite lakes. You can see what you are casting into from the shore or, if in a boat, you can see your location right on the water. Check out these great depth contours for 5 popular lakes in Nebraska or see depth contours for lakes near you.
1. Lake McConaughey, Ogalala NE
Fishing has long been the primary drawing card at Lake McConaughy, with its cool, clear, deep waters. Game fish vary from sporty rainbow trout to the everyday catfish. Prized most highly by the local angler is the walleye, and Nebraska’s current state record of 16 lbs. 2 oz. came from Lake Mac. The lake plays host to several walleye tournaments each year.
Lake Ogallala boasts some of the best trout fishing in the Great Plains region. Its colder temperature and well-aerated water that passes through the dam make ideal conditions for trout.
In recent years, Game and Parks officials have also stocked wipers, a cross between white bass and striped bass that provides excellent fishing action. Read more.
After trying out a web-based marketplace for hunting and fishing on private land, Powderhook is trying a whole new approach to their mission–a “Yik Yak for the outdoors.”
Until now, Powderhook has been developing a web-based platform that helps people find places to hunt and fish on private lands. What the company discovered is that young people who use technology are not interested in paying for access to land, and the people who own the land are less likely to use technology to solve problems.