Gone Hunting: Hunting has many advantages
I’m sure that you are all aware of the terrible drought that the Midwest and western states have endured for the past two years. (If you are not aware, you have not taken a close look at your water bill lately.)
Reports coming in from the popular upland game bird hunting states are not encouraging. I have spoken recently with landowner friends in North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska and Kansas and the trend seems to be consistent in all of them.
Chick production is down from last year and last year was far lower than the year before.
The drought has limited the nesting cover and insects that chicks depend on during the first several weeks of their lives.
Charles Dickens may have put it best in his novel “A Tale of Two Cities.” “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … ”
During the 1980s through mid-2000s, upland bird hunters had the best of times with the introduction of the Conservation Reserve Program and the millions of acres it set aside from the plow. Upland bird numbers in several states were at an all-time high rivaling the Soil Bank days, from 1956-1965.
The new farm bill has reduced the number of Conservation Reserve Program acres substantially, and when you factor in the drought, upland hunters are now facing the worst of times. I can recall a sign in coach Jim Buckley’s Whiting High School locker room that read, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”
Pheasants Forever, the national upland bird conservation group, suggests that the best way to show support for upland bird conservation is to keep hunting. Pheasants Forever also offers some arguments for hunting although the going is tough.
If you happen to shoot three roosters, this “organic” meat is cheaper than the organic meat you purchase at the grocery store.
Treating a heart attack will most likely set you back $50,000. Walking 30 minutes a day will reduce that risk by 40 percent. The average upland bird hunter walks six hours a day, which means that you have greatly reduced the chance of a heart attack, possibly saving yourself $50,000. You can’t afford not to hunt.
Nearly 36 percent of America is obese, which leads to heart attacks, diabetes, strokes and joint problems. Walking burns 88 calories per mile and running burns 124. One season of upland bird hunting, and you may look like you’re in high school again.
Aerobic activity significantly improves brain function, memory and the ability to perform complex tasks. After a season of chasing upland birds, you should be able to remember your wedding anniversary and spouse’s birthday.
If you are upland bird hunting you won’t have time to hit “happy hour” at the local pub. This will save you at least $30 in beer, $8,000 for the DUI and at least $1,000 in increased auto insurance costs.
Don’t forget to remind the accountant who you live with that you have a lot of money invested in a truck, dogs, guns, boots and hunting apparel. To sit at home just because the going is a little tough would be a waste of all that you have invested.
With the hunting seasons set to open soon, ignore Charles Dickens and get out of that La-Z-Boy and get after ’em. ❖