Time to Embrace Hunting Season

Our country has a growing urban demographic and a shrinking rural one, which means fewer Americans have the opportunity to grow up on a farm or in a household where hunting and shooting have a deeper meaning than killing. Experienced hunters like you can make a difference. Photo courtesy of www.tenzingoutdoors.com

Have you noticed? We are beginning to see subtle changes leading to one of our most celebrated and beautiful seasons – autumn. Leaves are beginning to pale before morphing into a brilliant palette of colors. On the wings of cool, crisp air come the change in scenery and the opening of the majority of our bread-and-butter hunting seasons.

Last Sunday the door to this year’s early archery deer hunting season swung wide open. To some, this is akin to a national holiday. Although the methods in which we enjoy are pursuits have changed dramatically, the outdoor tradition has not.

There was a time when the American hunter lived in the environment of the game they sought. Hunting was a necessity of life. It was a practical endeavor with an obvious end. Outdoor knowledge was an important tool of the profession – without it you starved.

Hunters of years gone by were ever conscious of outdoor life. They were quick to notice a change in wind direction and could forecast tomorrow’s weather by today’s sunset. Their success depended on knowledge gained from their own personal experiences. There were no instructional You Tube videos, books, seminars or modern technologies.

Since wild game no longer plays a critical role in our existence, a great deal of outdoor lore has suffered the same fate as flintlock rifles and buckskin clothing. In our urbanized society, hunting has taken a different importance. It serves as the most effective and necessary tool in proper game management. Second, it has become an essential activity, entrenched in our primal instinct for a large sector of our outdoor minded population. Those who take to the field also provide the majority of funding, through special taxes and levies, benefitting all types of game and non-game species.

Let’s face it, tall buildings, iPhones and e-everything is not the answer for people seeking true contentment. Many of us yearn for a plot of green, an untrammeled scenic view or mere glimpses of wildlife.

We dream of someday owning a wilderness cabin where we can retreat when the pressures of modern times become annoying. This temporary chance to retreat gives us a renewed positive outlook and the vigor to attack those challenges when we return. Yes, many people are still creatures of the outdoor world, even though we have become enmeshed in the intricate machinery of modern economics and find it difficult to escape.

What we need now is a closer involvement with our great outdoors. Our hunting seasons provide this and no animal fits the bill any greater than our native whitetail deer.

With Indiana suffering the same urbanization as other Midwestern states, we are fortunate in having such an adaptable big game animal. Each year as development encroaches into our rural areas, habitat is lost and the number of hunters increase yet our native deer herds continues to flourish.

There is not a single county in Indiana void of whitetail deer and in an effort to control their population, bow hunters have many opportunities to take part in urban hunts within the confines of Indiana’s largest cities. Unlike other big game animals that languish or completely disappear in an ever changing environment, whitetail deer thrive.

Deer appeal to almost every type of sportsman, from the rugged and determined traditional still-hunter to the occasional gun hunter. Whether you choose to pursue this activity completely alone or as a member of a congenial group, the whitetail meets all requirements.

This beloved game animal wears the crown among the majority of not just Hoosier sportsman, but hunters from across the nation, and for good reason. They can test the patience and have been known to humble the most experienced outdoorsmen, yet in some cases, provide beginners with instant gratification. As no hunter can ever be certain of notching his tag, there is never the need to feel inadequate either. Good fortune is generally distributed among all who share in this outdoor activity.

But, regardless of success, any person totally involved in the opportunity to spend a day outdoors, especially during our beautiful fall season, will have a good hunt!

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John Martino
Martino is a well-known outdoor writer throughout Indiana and has served as longtime outdoor columnist for the Kokomo Tribune newspaper. Martino has won numerous awards for both his writing and his service to youth, conservation and the community. He recently retired as Superintendent of Parks and Recreation for the City of Kokomo and now works as Ivy Tech Executive Director for Facilities for the Kokomo region.

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