Congratulations. My viewer survey tells me you took newcomers on their first hunt hundreds of thousands of times in the past year. But how do you get to “yes” when you’re scheming to invite a novice into the field, become a member of our fraternity?
Feasting is a way to celebrate our outdoor experience. It closes the circle of life, celebrates the tribal origins of our sport, and justifies our current rationale – we are obtaining food, among other things. Sharing organic protein with a non-hunter is a savory recruiting tool. Yep, hunters are the original locavores.
I started hunting when I watched my newly-purchased puppy point a pheasant. Wow, if he’d do that, the least I could do is learn to shoot! If I had a nickel for every non-hunter I’ve induced to take a long uphill walk in chukar country because they could watch dogs work, I’d have a lot of nickels.
Have you ever challenged a clay shooter to try the “real thing?” I wonder how they would react to an invitation to quit pretending and join you in the grouse woods.
Anglers are another source of new hunters. In fact I was casting a fly long before I shouldered a shotgun. Already familiar with some of our challenges, they might be suitable candidates. Or are they, with the catch-and-release ethic, for example?
What gets kids away from video games and social media? Hooked on make-believe games of full-auto guns and car chases, could a youngster make the transition to recoil and real blood? How would he/she explain that to his eighth grade social studies class?
Think back to your own introduction … or your introduction of someone else. What pushed you – and them – over the edge? What turned you/them into a hunter? Give it some thought, then go do it again for someone else.