Fantasy Hunting League: The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of?

My writer friend Bob Robb–international hunter, raconteur, member of the 300-Stitch Club–informs me that there is now a Fantasy Hunting … Continued

My writer friend Bob Robb–international hunter, raconteur, member of the 300-Stitch Club–informs me that there is now a Fantasy Hunting League, wherein hunting “experts” wander the landscape and kill big game in teams, as I understand it. There is a website for the League, and people are invited to pick a Team and follow it. If they pick the team that gets what it’s after, they win prizes, including $60,000 in cash. Bob, upon learning of this, said that his gut reaction was “…something akin to the way it feels after eating rotten possum.”

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Most hunters participate vicariously to some extent. Not everyone can go to Alaska or Africa, so they read about it and watch it on the screen. That’s fine. I did it, as did my generation of hunters. But we didn’t take the magazine articles and movies as a substitute for the real thing, and I’m afraid that’s what’s happening here. We now have hunting by proxy. Watch some yahoo kill an elk and win a prize. God forbid you should endure the discomfort of doing it yourself. Hunting–in particular big-game hunting–seems to be one of the last sports that requires its participants to develop some real skills, and put forth real effort, and spend a fair amount of their own money, and sweat and freeze and come up empty-handed and still go out and do it the next year.

I dislike a great deal of the electronic stuff that you can drag into the woods. It’s a substitute for developing skill. Knowing how to strap a camera to a tree to see what came by is not the same as being able to read tracks to see what came by. A real hunter, a real outdoorsman, can do just fine with no electronics whatsoever.