MAKE THIS YOUR FUNNEST DEER SEASON EVER
HOW TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT NOT BEING SO DAMNED SERIOUS
Jump-start your next hunt with one of these 15 challenges.
W e need to know if you’re with us or against us.” Stern. Accusatory. Ominous. The email came from a group advocating for mandatory antler point restrictions here in Michigan. They were “fed up” with those who would “work against them” (including me, apparently) and tried to make it clear they had the backing to impose their will. Resistance, they implied, is not only futile but may result in public humiliation, banishment from their social media community, and, perhaps, an effort to end the careers of any who speak out against them. The topic at hand? Deer hunting. Seriously. Very, very seriously. Used to be talking politics was the quickest way to raise hackles. Now, deer hunting debates can cause similar reactions. Another measure of the seriousness of hunting: the “swagger.” A scan of social media reveals a certain “look,” perpetuated by hunting “ambassadors,” that requires these grim-faced considerations:
1. don’t Hit the Woods Without Warrior face PAINT.
2. don’t THINK You’re ready if Your efforts didn’t include PAIN, Suffering, Burpees, AND Concrete-laden PACKS, All Shared VIA Your Commemorative “i Survived the really Super BAD ASS BOWMEN CHALLENGE” t-shirt.
3. do Post Selfies AND HASHTAG Your Signature CATCHPHRASE. Of course, after sharing that photo of your buck on social media, one of two things will happen: Ridicule by the keyboard cowboys for killing a substandard animal or, if the buck is a big one, a calling-out by gurus who know FOR A FACT the image was Photoshopped and the buck was taken behind a high fence, or was poached. There’s nothing wrong with holding out for a mature buck. But here’s a sobering fact: You’re roughly five times as likely to be struck by lightning as you are to kill a Boone and Crockett–qualifying whitetail. In some states, the odds tip more steeply in favor of a lightning strike. Another fact: Each of us is blessed with only so many seasons in our lifetime. So why not enjoy them? It’s time to put the fun back into deer hunting. We’ve assembled a collection of 15 experiences, challenges, and tactics designed to help you do exactly that this season. And we have a request: If you decide to tackle one of the challenges, please share photos of it with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, or firstname.lastname@example.org. We promise not to cry “Photoshop” if you happen to kill a bigger buck than we do…—
Deer season can be intense, but don’t forget to relax alittle .