I am thinking back to when I was a kid at roughly the age of 12 (I’m 45 now). When I got a new Bowhunters Discount Warehouse catalog, I poured over the pages several times. I cherished that catalog. I dreamed of the stuff I would buy for the upcoming hunting season. My largest purchase was the Bakers Bowhunter’s Pro Set. Baker was the first company to come out with a climbing treestand. I believe they called them The Widow Maker awhile later, and they were sued out of business. Needless to say, I still have that stand and keep it in my unofficial museum, the attic. The Bowhunters Discount Warehouse catalog was all black and white with many of the pictures being sketches. I think we can all agree that times have changed in the last 30 or so years.
In 2004, the internet was alive and well. We didn’t have Facebook or Youtube, but the forums were hopping, and that is when I caught the handgun hunting bug. I poured through many threads trying to learn everything I could about calibers, loads, different types of actions, etc. The success of the Thompson Center Encore/Contender has to be tied to the rise of the internet. People could instantly share their success or failure, and that spurred more handgun purchases. I bought my first handgun in 2006. It was a Thompson Center Encore 7mm-08 in 15″ stainless. I owe every bit of that purchasing decision to internet forums. I probably wouldn’t know what a 7mm-08 round is today without the help of people just like you up in cyber space.
The internet world keeps on evolving. The written or video review is king, and the king of all firearms video reviewers is Hickok45. He has over 1.5 million YouTube subscribers to date. All of his videos get more that 20,000 views in less than 12 hours. There are a handful of other YouTube reviewers that have great popularity. I don’t believe I would make any gun purchase without watching several video reviews first. I must ask myself if I feel the same way about hunting decisions. You and I can make hundreds of decisions by listening to others and putting their thoughts into action.
For the remainder of this post I would like to concentrate on an opportunity most deer hunters don’t take advantage of. We can use the internet to make us better deer hunters. I think before you decide to dive in, you need to first commit to wanting this coming season to be better. If you do the same thing year after year and aren’t will to put energy into change, then just getting a new education won’t have any meaning. If we just take the topic of scent control, most of us would agree we need to do a better job. If we just wash our clothes in scent free soap and use a spray solution every time we hunt, that probably gets us 10 percent of where we need to be. I am going to start a video series called “One Thing“. These will be short videos demonstrating one thing you and I can do each week to get control of your deer season. Many of these ideas I will be implementing for the first time myself. I hope you will comment on a better way if you know of one. I promise to not give you any new ideas that will take up your entire Saturday. I have several that may only take five minutes, but should put you in a better position when October comes around. Hopefully you will have fun trying some of them. Stay tuned.