PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

October 12, 2013

Chester Moore column: Hunting going back to basics?

Chester Moore
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR —     Have you priced a new brand name hunting bow lately?



    If you get out of the archery shop under $1,000 with arrows and the various accessories you are lucky.



    Have you ammo prices lately? Feeders? Corn?



    Everything down the very food we eat has gone sky high in prices due to a variety of causes. Our tech savvy society has eaten up the myriad gadgets associated with hunting and even though I am not a techie myself, some of them are downright amazing.



     With every action, however there is a reaction and I thin in the next decade we will see a move for hunting to go back to the basics. The industry itself is now more or less not promoting the hunting itself but the gadgets and the lifestyle and it is leaving many hunters empty.



   Over the last couple of years I have met, several young hunters who have no delusions they can afford the current hunting lifestyle proliferated by an industry I admittedly make a portion of my living in but instead are about the experience.



     And it is not what people would expect.



    Back in the late 1980s/early 1980s you had a rush of bowhunters getting into primitive archery, shooting longbows and even making their own gear. I once hunted with a guy who shot a ram with a flint point he made. That was about the gear, this is about connecting with nature.



    For starters young hunters coming out of college cannot afford a $2,000 lease, $1,000 in feeders, a $5,000 ATV, $1,000 bow and the gas to get back and forth to the lease.



    The same hunter can invest the $1,000 in a bow or gun, get a $48 annual public hunting permit, throw some gas in the tank and hunt hundreds of thousands of acres in Texas. And instead of waiting for an animal to walk out to a feeder, they can learn about the preferred food items of deer and other game, seasonal patterns and learn to set up a proper hunting ambush.



When I started hunting in New York 10 years ago where baiting is illegal, I came back realizing we miss a lot here in Texas. I am all for baiting but hunters who cannot use it and score on just as many deer as we do must have a deeper understanding of their animals. And I have no problem saying the average deer hunter I meet up there have a much deeper knowledge of whitetails than the average Texas deer hunter. They have to because they cannot rely on feeders or any other kind of bait for that matter. They must find the deer where they are instead of attracting them to a spot.



The young hunters I have met are taking more time to study their quarry and spend time scouting. I know young, local hunters who take quality bucks on public land every year where baiting is illegal and the use of permanent stands is illegal.



Fishing started experiencing the same thing about a decade ago when kayaks started becoming a mainstay and I believe within 10 years we will see a back to basics contingent of hunters. It will start for economic reasons but will spread for spiritual ones.



There is something powerful about pursuing animals this way and those hunters who hit the woods with purpose, not just passion will find a new path to outdoors enjoyment.



And I am seriously considering joining them.



(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmooreoutdoors@gmail.com . You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI and watch in Saturdays at 10 a.m. on “God’s Outdoors with Chester Moore” on GETV (GETV.org).