If you are into making New Year’s resolutions, here a few hunting resolutions at least one author hopes to keep.
It’s been said that nothing dies faster than a New Year’s resolution. Oftentimes, we seem to make big plans for ourselves in the upcoming year. We decide that 2017 will be the year we make it happen. Sort of like the Summer of George if you’re a Seinfeld fan. Generally within a short time though, those dreams come crashing down and the only person we have to blame is the face looking back at us in the mirror. What’s going on here?
In my opinion, people are making too many drastic resolutions from year to year. People who haven’t been to the gym in years buy a membership and decide they’ll go five days a week. Do they even like working out? People who eat fast food five or six times a week decide they’ll just give it up. Really? Just like that, huh? If you want to make a resolution stick, I would guess it should be something small related to what you’re already doing. Keeping it small might make it attainable, and you could even ramp up the resolution by June if you’re still going strong. Keeping this in mind, here are one writer’s hunting resolutions in 2017.
My first hunting resolution for 2017 is to shoot more. As a bowhunter, my proficiency and comfort with my weapon has a direct correlation to my success in the field. I already shoot my bow, generally a few times a week. This year I’d like to shoot at least a few arrows everyday. Heck, what’s wrong with just one arrow a day? Even if it’s in the house at 5 yards, what’s wrong with that? In my book the good days are the ones I shoot my bow, and the bad days are the days I only thought about shooting my bow.
Add a Friend
Another hunting resolution that should be easy to keep is to shoot more with friends. Shooting a bow is fun no matter if you’re by yourself or in a group. Shooting with peers is good for several reasons though. One, it helps to keep you on point. Get a few archers together flinging arrows, and it’s hard not to try and shoot your best. Two, shooting in groups is a good way to stay dedicated to resolution #1. Again, this isn’t a huge change. I know at least a dozen other archers, so just lining up a few days throughout the month shouldn’t be that tough.
Add a Noob
Here’s one I’d really like to give a try in 2017, introducing somebody new to our great sport. Archery has been such a positive thing in my life, why wouldn’t I want to extend that to someone who hasn’t experienced it yet? Maybe it’s a kid, co-worker, of just a friend who hasn’t yet shot. I have all the gear, a bit of the know-how, and the energy needed. I just need to get them to the range. Adding a noob to the mix would help keep resolution #2, which helps resolution #1. I didn’t even plan it that way. Jerry Reed was right I guess.
Another New Year’s hunting resolution that should be easy to keep is adding a new species to the bag. Hunting new species doesn’t necessarily mean planning an big budget out-of-state hunt, though it certainly can. New species such as jackrabbit, raccoon, or pheasant could all help get me out with a bow in hand and are in my immediate area. It would increase my time in the field, and hopefully meat in the freezer. Make 2017 the year to finally get that rattlesnake with a bow!
Find a Way to Pass it On
The final hunting resolution I’d like to keep for 2017 is to find a way to pass it on. We’ve inherited an awfully good thing from previous generations and I’d like to think we can give the unborn generation something to look forward to. Less than 100 years ago whitetail deer populations were in serious jeopardy. Arkansas for example, reported a statewide deer population of 2,000. If it wasn’t for conservation efforts since then we’d not have the ability to hunt this iconic species. Today we are benefiting from the actions of hunters we never knew. Hunting is conservation, and hunters are on the front lines of the conservation effort. Even our small an unnoticed efforts can help promote the conservation of our treasured species.
During the same time period something else was on the brink of extinction; archery. It’s true that in the early 20th century archery had nearly fallen by the wayside. Back in those days hunting was much more about getting game in the larder than the challenge. Using a gun was simply a much more efficient way of procuring meat. To those ends most kids had never known a bow and arrow. Now don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with guns, but if we had lost archery, we would have lost something very special to the human story. Guys like Saxon Pope, Will and Maurice Thompson, and Fred Bear helped archery limp through those rough years. Another thing we archers of today have to pass on are our traditions and knowledge. It’s part of the responsibility that comes with the privilege of our great sport.
Here is a good song you’ve probably never heard of by Tracy Byrd on the subject. Enjoy and happy 2017!