In case you haven’t noticed, our outdoor recreation is in trouble. I think it’s in a lot more trouble then what people think. Back in November the DNR released some disturbing facts about hunting license and I assume fishing right behind it. Copied from the Detroit Free Press:
From a high of 785,000 deer hunters in 1998, the number of licenses sold for Michigan’s firearm deer-hunting season last year was down to 621,000 — a nearly 21 percent decline. And those remaining hunters are graying, with most in their late 40s to late 60s, according to a demographic analysis conducted by Michigan Technological University. By 2035, projections are that the late-’90s rate will be cut by more than half.
That group of hunters will continue to decline and then reach a dramatic collapse as age forces them out of the woods almost collectively, with nothing near adequate replacement numbers behind them in younger generations.
If you love the outdoors as much as I do, we should all be concerned. There are less and fewer people getting into hunting and fishing. License are drastically dropping every year. The baby boomers are losing interest or have a hard time getting outside. There are less and less young people taking up their place. Which means fewer people fighting for our rights as an outdoorsman. So why is that?
A lot of people say its due to the poor fishing and hunting. But I disagree. After spending the past couple of years on the water pushing 175 days a year I think our fishing it pretty dangs good. I think the reason is that we do a horrible job of recruiting new people. We are more concerned about catching the most fish, posting the most fishing pictures and hiding our holes from other people. What pisses me off the most are the people who are concerned more about how others are fishing and want to ban them from fishing their techniques because they are not fishing their way.
We need to wake up and realize that if we don’t stop this selfish attitude we are going to lose our outdoor rights altogether. The reason I say that is because PETA is nipping at our behinds and social media isn’t helping much at all.
When I first read the article about the hunting numbers I was surprised. Then I read on a popular forum about how people have noticed over the years that some of the most popular spots to hunt have been hearing a lot less gunshot on opening day. I never really thought about it but then I got thinking of how I used to count 100+ gunshots opening day. Now I am lucky if I hear over 40. Then I came across an anti-hunter facebook page. This person posts video after video of animals getting killed for meat consumption that is brutal to watch. It was horrible what she posted. It was so bad that for a second I stepped outside my world and thought about it. How a person who doesn’t hunt or fish would
think about it. They would probably think all people who eat any kind of living animal was a horrible person. To them, it doesn’t matter if we enjoy it. Animals are furry friends and they all should be saved, every single one of them.
With all this being said, we need to start thinking about more ways we can recruit new people. We need to get people of all ages in the outdoors. If you know how to hunt and fish, this is you! If we don’t do this, we will lose our right to hunt and fish as more and more people see these horrible videos on social media. If we don’t have people going up against the anti’s, they will soon outnumber us and we will lose the rights to do what we love. The only people we can blame is ourselves.
So my New Years resolution is to get 10 new people into the outdoors. Luckily, I get to spend a lot of time on the water due to my career. But, I will be looking for individuals who don’t have access to the opportunity to get out fishing and hunting. I don’t know how this will play out but I will be looking for opportunities to do this. If you have any ideas, please let me know. I will be posting tips and tricks for people to be successful in the outdoors this year. I want to help as many people as possible enjoy the outdoors. If you are successful with introducing people into the outdoors, please leave a comment below. Or, if you have successfully introduced a person into the outdoors, please have them post a picture.
If you would like ideas on how to kids into the outdoors, here is a link to an article I wrote several years ago and have recently updated. Please check it out!
This season I challenge you to get more people in the outdoors. Take time to invite someone out. Take your kids best friend. It doesn’t have to be a kid but adults are just as important. Take your neighbor out fishing. So, who will you take out this season?
If you would like to get out on some winter steelhead, please check out my website. http://www.chromeseekers.com or call me at 248-229-7226.
Please come back often as I will be posting a lot more. A lot of fishing, some hunting, tips to being a better outdoorsman and whatever else I decide to share.