All across this great nation, hunting seasons are opening up from state to state as the fall season progresses. Excluding the heroic Halloween poon hunt, nothing gets me in the autumn mood quite like having the opportunity to head into the great outdoors and haze some wildlife. Whether whitetails in the East or inter-montane muleys out West, bugling elk in the early morning light or retrieving downed ducks at a frozen pond, there is a plethora of game in this nation to be stalked and hunted like a true outdoorsman. I’m here to provide you with some guidelines for taking to the woods like a real man should in order to get the most of your hunt.
First, you better be going somewhere great. Thanks to a few far-sighted founding fathers, both in the public and private spheres, there are some true wilderness areas spread across this beautiful nation. Starting with the conservation ethic of Teddy Roosevelt and others like him, today we have a network of rugged country to explore in almost every state. Take advantage.
Nothing sets up the mood for a successful hunt like the surrounding terrain. Whether that’s your family cabin in the hills handed down from generation to generation, a prime parcel of public land, or pitching a tent in that mountain refuge your father showed you in order to make you into a man, nothing beats solitude amongst the stillness of a scene surrounded by grandeur. Really takes you back to your roots. Plus, you can rub it in the faces of those pussies that only venture outside to get an obligatory “nature” Instagram pic. They’ll really be shocked when they scroll to the right for the blood-covered trophy shots.
Second, beverages are a must — copious amounts of beverages. There’s a reason Keystone put out a hunter-orange can, and it’s not because they’re Clemson fans. A hunting trip without beer is like a rough handjob — sure, it’s alright, but nowhere close to as fun as you want it to be. Nothing beats the feeling of coming back to the cabin after a long day out in the field and pounding a few cold ones with your people. Not to mention the fact that, unlike your relatively sterile college campus, you now have a whole outdoor world to drunkenly explore. No one cares if you build a bonfire right out back, urinate as publicly as you possibly can, or shake your fist at the sky questioning why Ashley took all your lawn furniture. Everything is fair game when you’re out in the woods. You can get as weird as you want.
But the real point of the hunt, of course, is the actual hunting experience itself. To wake up in the pre-dawn glow of a sun not yet risen and watch the world come alive around you. To appreciate the restorative aspects of immersing yourself in wilderness. To purposely make yourself uncomfortable and realize that you’re better off for it. Honoring yourself and the world around you, becoming a better man, and exercising patience and persistence. It is our endowed right as American citizens to bear arms and take to the hills, and so a quality hunting trip can be one of the truest forms of patriotism.
Lastly, a real man knows the laws and abides by them. They know what’s in season and what they can and cannot take. They respect the game and take care to show it. Because poaching is for the weak, and the weak suck balls.
I have a good friend who lives out near the boondocks of the Rocky Mountains — a long way from where I’m from and from where I live — but every fall, he goes out into the woods for an annual elk hunt. And damn, does it look like he has a good time. And every year, I make excuses as to my busy schedule or other reasons why I can’t come. But no longer. A man needs to be out in the woods, and that’s where I plan to be. See you there..