Cul­ture Shock

Deer hunt­ing in Amer­ica is awesome. But there’s some stuff we need to talk about if we’re go­ing to keep it that way

Outdoor Life - - CONTENTS - BY ALEX ROBIN­SON AND WILL BRANTLEY

It’s time to cut the B.S. this sea­son and start talk­ing about what mat­ters most to white­tail hunters.

Our deer-hunt­ing cul­ture is chang­ing. A whole gen­er­a­tion that has grown up with trail cam­eras, food plots, and hunt­ing tele­vi­sion shows is af­ter much more than a gi­ant buck this fall (though we’ll shoot one if we get the chance). If you lis­ten to the real ex­perts and lead­ers in the white­tail world, they’re talk­ing not just about how to kill a Booner in a plot of bras­si­cas, they’re talk­ing about hav­ing more fun dur­ing deer sea­son, the im­por­tance of get­ting new folks into hunt­ing, and pro­mot­ing wild, free-range white­tail deer as a pub­lic re­source. We wel­come th­ese ad­vances with open arms, but if our new w hit etai lb hyutnt hi en ge cduil tour se is go­ing to flour­ish, there first needs to be a reck­on­ing. We’ve got to talk hon­estly about what’s work­ing and what needs to be fixed. Then we’ve got to turn that dis­cus­sion into real ac­tion in the field. But here’s the best part: We get to ac­com­plish this mis­sion by do­ing the thing we love—hunt­ing deer.

A wild north-coun­try buck emerges from the tim­ber in Wis­con­sin.

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