MAKE THIS YOUR FUNNEST DEER SEA­SON EVER

HOW TO GET SE­RI­OUS ABOUT NOT BE­ING SO DAMNED SE­RI­OUS

Outdoor Life - - CONTENTS - By tony hansen and dar­ron mcdougal

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 letters@out­door­life.com. 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 .

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