It never fails, anytime there is a post about hunting someone comes along and has to point out that they are the better hunter because ______. It's never ending! Guided trips, baiting, food plots, trail cameras, minerals, hunting shows – you name it someone will have a problem with it. Apparently, some hunting isn't real hunting and you must be told! These “better hunters” can't keep their mouth shut.
Most of these hunters have very strong opinions about things they have zero experience with and they have no problem sharing their angry tirades.
Guided hunts in my opinion are a time for hunters to gather together and have some fellowship when they aren't in a stand. Yes, someone else is doing the scouting, hanging the stands etc. So what? Not everyone has property or time to get out and do those things. Supporting workers in the hunting industry is important, guides support the hunting industry by buying in large volume, stands, seed, cameras etc. How would the hunting industry be different if they were just catering to Average Joe Hunter who only buys a new stand or camera every several years?
Baiting – this one always brings out the critics, especially with bears. Yet I don't see these critics going up to the thick overgrown woods in the NorthEast and spotting and stalking an elusive black bear. In Maine where there are plenty of bear, you have a 2% chance of getting a bear by not using bait or dogs. Read more about that here.
I don't know about you but hunting is about the experience AND about getting the meat. I don't see how an empty freezer is supposed to prove I'm superior. If it's legal, why not? Being able to see more animals and choose the best one to fill my plate sounds great to me. Baiting isn't a guarantee. Don't knock till you've tried it.
Trail cameras – being able to see what is in the area is too much for some. Nothing wrong with having an extra set of eyes, even digital ones.
Shot placment – this one is probably as big as baiting in the eyes of the “better hunter”. Everyone is a critic and just has to say something, especially if they have nothing else to pick apart. However, the animal is down and recovered, at this point does it matter? Of course the hunter knows if it was less than perfect, does that mean they don't deserve the animal?
Private land hunters vs public land hunters. A book could be written. Probably several volumes.
Hunting shows – ah yes hunting shows. Where people think TV hunters are “living the life” getting paid to run around and hunt for free with free stuff. It isn't all fun and games, you don't get paid to be on tv like prime time actors, most TV hunters pay the bills by selling shirts and appearances. The pressure to put on a good show can ruin the joy of a hunt. Nobody would watch a show where the hunter stares at squirrels the entire season. I don't know how many of us could hold up to thousands of people watching over our shoulder, ready to pounce at any wrong move. Imagine if your hunting life was on camera, how would you hold up? Would you like to be reminded of your mistakes over and over? Probably not.
Bottom line, there will always be someone that does it “better”. Gun, compound, traditional archery, spears or hand to hand combat hunting, where do the comparisons stop? Can't we all just be thankful that we can enjoy the woods? How lucky are we that we can walk out in the woods and provide food for the table? Why does it matter how someone else gets it done? Unless they stole the deer right from under your sights it has nothing to do with you.
If you have to criticize someone else to feel better, there might be something lacking in your life. Especially if you have to criticize a young hunter. Harsh words stick with people a lot longer than words of praise.
I issue this challenge, this next season only say postive things, aka “If you can't say anything nice, don't say nothing at all”. I think you'll find when you choose to see the positive in things you might be a happier person over all. Still feel the need to criticize? Spend more time in the woods or at the range than on social media.
We all might need to do that to be honest.