If I Could Do Like That

When I was younger, much younger, my friends and I would watch a movie on television only to go outside and reenact it in the yard.  Whether we were cowboys and indians, soldiers fighting in a war or out on some space odyssey like Luke Skywalker or Buck Rogers. There was a time when wrestling was the biggest thing and we would watch it on television only to wound up making the living room or den the wrestling ring and hope we didn’t break nothing when our parents weren’t around. 

As we got older things didn’t change much.  We don’t tear the house apart wrestling, as a matter of fact I haven’t watched wrestling in a long time and it’s not because of the myth that went around years ago that it was fake. Only now my son and I watch hunting shows and fishing shows, and the very thing we both say is that we wished we could kill a big buck like that, or a moose or an elk or whatever else they are hunting.  It kind of gives us an itch that can’t be scratched until we get out in the woods ourselves, early in the pre-dawn hours before the sun comes up and its cold outside.  We get in the woods and sit and wait. Watching and listening for any sound of the monster buck that we’ve seen on television the weekend before. 

Or what about the monster fish that is caught by those professional anglers? There are a few things on my bucket list and one of them is to be strapped in a chair with reel and rod to fight and haul in one of those monstrous sailfish or a massive blue marlin just once in my life. 

The very thing we say is, “Man, I would love to do that!” whether it’s in the woods or on the water most men I know would love to do that just once.  To have that picture of them standing next to that big fish or have that ‘wall-hanger’ trophy in the living room or den. 

It reminds me of the song “If I Could Be Like That” by the group 3 Doors Down.  ‘He spends his nights in California, watching the stars on the big screen, and he lies awakes and wonders, why can’t that be me.’    

And before you ladies jump the gun and think it’s all a man thing, think again.  Lately I’ve also had the privilege, courtesy of my wife, to watch the Food Network with her.  We would watch the food challenge and one of our favorites is the Cake Challenge and Cupcake Wars.  And she would say the same thing us guys would say to a hunting and fishing show, “I wish I could do like that”.

Television really does make it glamorous. We also watch DIY and HGTV and wished we could transform our houses and yards into what they do.  And to think they also make it all look so easy.  But sometime while watching these shows take a looks behind the person and see the tools and utensils they use to make everything from those backyards of paradise to those towering mountains of  sugar they call cakes. 

Then we go in the kitchen to have our scrambled eggs and toast and drink our coffee before going outside to cut the grass until it dies down in the fall.  Then go out in the woods hoping maybe we can at least kill a small buck or even a doe.  Well, now it’s back to reality so welcome back to the real world.

There Is More To Being A Hunter Than Hunting

My son and I recently went to the Buckmasters Expo in Montgomery, AL. To say the least it was very crowded.  We had to walk along with the flow of people just to be able to go from one booth to the next.  It would remind you of heavy traffic during rush hour but the traffic weren’t cars and trucks but people. And speaking of traffic we had to circle several blocks before we actually found a place to park.  We decided to go on my little car instead of one of our bigger trucks and it was probably a good thing we did. We found a parking spot on a corner where only a small car or motorcycle could park. Then we had to walk for a few blocks to get to the Convention Center downtown where it was being held.

All they asked for in admission was one can of food that would be donated to the Montgomery area food bank.  We have always taken several cans of different items and we usually would have a bag full. Besides it does go to a very worthy cause, it helps feed the hungry.  I stood in the lobby for a few minutes before we left coming home and watched people bring only the one required can to get in.

As we walked around we didn’t see a bunch of bearded men at every booth trying to sell some foul-smelling deer lure, or trying to sell you a camouflage outfit with a rifle and cartridges. And there wasn’t a bunch of bearded men dressed in camouflage walking around to each booth looking at the latest thing on the market. I honestly thought you could only make so many different kinds of camo. 

But what was there was a lot of families enjoying quality time together. Women looking at guns and rifles, ammunition, sizing the toddler up with their own hunting clothes and gear.  They had baby clothes, blankets, and toys for children.  Husbands and fathers were spending time with their families. It wasn’t just about the man. I saw several husbands showing different kinds of guns to their wife’s they thought would be a good fit for her. Father’s were sizing up their son or daughter with a gun along with the help of representatives from companies like Remington, Marlin and Winchester. 

Hunting can and has become a family affair. I was there with my son. There were many times we would go hunting and not see anything but we were together. It was quality time for a father and son enjoying the great outdoors.  When fathers take their sons or daughters hunting it builds a bond between them.  We all know statistics show that when a father and mother is involved with their children, the children are less likely to get into any kind of trouble as teens or after they’re grown. My son and I didn’t buy anything and just like those days when we didn’t catch a fish or kill a deer and others think that it was a waste let me tell you it wasn’t. It was worth every minute of spending time with my son. 

As the title of this blog, there is more to being a hunter than hunting. Buckmasters is only one of many different hunting organizations that are a prime example. There is more to being a hunter than hunting. It is also about respect. Respect of other people, their property, respect for the outdoors, respect for firearms, teaching and learning responsibility and the list goes on and on. Above all things, Buckmasters is very instrumental in taking handicap children and adults out on a hunt, as well as many other hunting organizations and individuals. We were impressed when we looked at a shooting house that would be for a handicap hunter in a wheelchair. 

I had the privilege to meet one hunting celebrity, Travis ‘T-Bone’ Turner. He wasn’t there gloating and bragging on what he killed while out on a hunt. He was there endorsing and promoting of all things. Air rifles. Guns catered more to children. He talked to, autographed and had pictures with the future generation of deer hunters.

So you see there is more to hunting than just being a hunter.  There is so much that we as hunters can share with others.  It is priceless for a child who has never had an opportunity to go hunting or a handicap person who would have never had an opportunity to hunt or fish can go home and have that memory to share for the rest of their lives. And to think that we had a part in making someone else’s life that much more memorable.