Then And Now Hunting Stories
Every once in a while I get sucked into those then-and-now stories. You know the ones, they are like those email chain letters that start: “You know you are a child of the 1970s when…” Two in question are The hunting life: Then and now on Go Upstate in South Carolina and an entry on ESPN’s outdoor blog named Changing Times. We all know that we live in a different world and that a boy with a pocketknife was as natural as effervescent mineral water back in the day. He’d be considered a felon today or worse. We all know we could walk into a diner wearing our hunting clothes and not get an odd stare but a “How’d you do?” We all like to remember how it was but let's please only allow one Then And Now story per writer--please. It's like a poet using the word "soul" in a poem. You get to use "soul" once in a poem and if you use it more than once your poetry becomes trite, stale, hackneyed even. Hunting is steeped in tradition and to forget our past is a mistake, but to revisit the past and long for it and think change is awful is not productive. It’s a downer in fact (can you tell I’m a child of the ‘70s?). Let’s keep our history and hold our traditions firm but not at the expense of having the future evaporate around use like ice in August. We should be writing and blogging about how things have changed for the better and how we can ensure our traditions are handed down to our sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters? Case in point is the wild turkey popoulation in the northeast. Up here we are just silly with hens and toms but 40 years previous there was nary a cluck or gobble to be heard. Sure the old hunting stories are great stuff and they're in a genre by themselves, so let’s keep the comparison stories to a minimum because they remind me of when I was a kid and I hunted grouse all day (then) and today I hunt grouse all day (now). Meet me at the porch rockers for future reminiscing.