The waterfowl season in Alberta and Saskatchewan has begun! I had a friend try his luck up north of us since that season opened Sept 1. The main part of Alberta that we hunt opens Sept 8. I can hardly wait, the plans are to hit Claresholm/Granum and nail some honkers and duckies for Friday and Saturday. It appears that Lyle’s uncle has been seeing birds and the harvest looks to be winding down. It’s sure early this year. I hope that means the migrators start heading south early as well. For now it’s shooting local birds!
I can tell it’s season opener since I get the calls and texts coming in of people that want to ‘hunt’ with us. I am all for showing new people how to hunt and what waterfowl hunting is all about. Canadians en-mass in the 90’s left the waterfowl sport. There are tonnes of big-game hunters in Canada and precious few waterfowlers. Although we live in the best bird hunting in North America, sadly dudes haven’t been shown the sport. I love showing new guys what it’s about. I don’t care to take the ‘old’ guys who abandoned the sport years ago (probably quit due to steel shot) since they are usually dangerous or just plain out of touch with the reality of waterfowling in 2017.
I put myself and others into 2 categories of sportsmen. Hunters and Shooters. The fact is Hunters do need to know how to shoot, I find shooters do not know how to hunt or worse are resistant to learn how to hunt. This is not about criticising people but helping you if you are a Hunter cut through the dead wood and surround yourself with the right type of people. If you want to become a good Hunter you must limit your exposure to Shooters. Similar to radiation shooters are tolerable in very small doses.
These are the types that show up unprepared, under licensed, and under skilled. These dudes are usually the first to want YOU to: buy decoys, assemble decoys, store decoys, transport decoys, provide equipment such as blinds, scout fields, get permission for hunting, organize the hunt and transportation, supply the dog, setup decoys, call the shots, chase cripples, takedown the spread, clean/fix equipment, clean birds, and take time to get ready for the next hunt. What THEY are willing to provide is a gun, lotsa shooting on their end (and usually not very good shooting either), and credit for every bird shot. They will want to shoot limits but have no ability or perseverance to do so.
The Shooter usually will not provide anything such as: Gas money, lunch/supper for ya, much physical effort to get any work done to make the hunt happen, or any skill to make yourself as a Hunter any better.
I think this has to do with a mooch-personality disorder, plain and simple laziness, inability/resistance to learn how to hunt, a wife who doesn’t ‘understand this hunting thing’, or is just a dick.
These are the dudes that think and dream about waterfowling year round. The thing that distinguishes a Hunter for a Shooter is that they actually hunt versus just shoots. They will not only think hunting but go out and do it. These are the types that will hunt alone even when others bail on them. They will learn the lessons from the ‘school of hard knocks’. These types are ones that get and hunt even if it means hunting on public lands or pass shooting on a warm evening. They are ones that want to learn to hunt better even if it means that they do not get a bird close enough to shoot at. Success is learnt from failure at times and every good hunter can tell you what they have learned from their failures.
Hunters want to get better each and every season. If you are happy to remain at your present skill level, you’re probably a Shooter. If you blame others (wife/work/family) for your ability to hunt, you probably are a Shooter. If the Hunters do not show up for the hunt it is not any good or more likely never happens. Hunters WORK hard and cannot be lazy. To be good at anything takes great effort. No effort no reward.
My goal in life is that if I going to be spending great amounts of time/money at something I one day want be in the top 10% of people in that field. I am a tradesman and was trained to get better at my skills each and every year. I have been in my trade for over 20 years and have gotten into the top 10% of my industry. I got there by working hard, wanting to get better, and not associating with the 90% which have no desire to enter into the top 10%. This is how I view hunting. I wish to be in the top 10% of bird hunters one day. I will only do this by not spending much time with the 90%.
I will always take out the new people but will not be spending much time with the SHOOTERS. If you spend too much time with the 90% you will have no time to spend with the people who want to be in the top 10% or are already there. I personally do not spend time with people who have no ability to make me better as: a man, a father, a businessman, or a hunter.
If you reading this and now know why I am not returning your calls….take the hint and become a HUNTER.
- Paul Hunter