After I moved to the West Coast from Montana I lost touch with hunting and fishing. Montana was, and is, awash in opportunities for outdoor activities, but I was repulsed by what passes for hunting and fishing in the Golden State: long drives on crowded roads to stand shoulder to shoulder by a stream or lake bank and dodging 4x4s loaded with rifle-gripping drunks as I walked up a ridgeline. I expected I’d be dodging bullets as well, if game appeared.
Of course there was always guided hunting and fishing; after hunting for over 30 years as a solo hunter (sometimes camping with friends) the idea was foreign. Besides, I was forging a profession, furthering a career – and losing touch with the unpaved, undeveloped, un-landscaped world.
I used photography to document natural beauty while on trips, but composing and recording a beautiful image was far, far removed from joining the ecosystem as a predator living (temporarily) in the same drainage as my prey.
I moved to crowded and developed Orange County (California) but fortunately settled near a relatively-unspoiled park where I gradually renewed my acquaintance with fields, weeds, and critters. My neighbor, it turns out, was a safari and guided hunt expert, with many of both to his credit. The park and the neighbor’s stories rekindled my interest in hunting and fishing.
“It ain’t the same world out there” would describe my initial reaction to dipping my toe into the 21st Century hunting and fishing world. New rifles, pistols, fishing rods, reels, bait, technique . . . optics, rangefinders, fish finders, GPS, wind speed gauges and even an optical/electronic/computer device that could guarantee long range accuracy.
Catching up – and booking a couple of trips to get back in touch with the real natural world has been fun and an ongoing education. This blog is designed to share some of what I’m learning about the new outdoor recreation milieu. I hope you enjoy learning from my mistakes and will personally forge or improve your own outdoor sports life.