Even the author, a diehard bowhunter, uses modern technology to improve his hunting. But, how much is too much? (Roger Kisby/)
Trade show season is here, or what would normally be trade show season. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the hunting consumer is still being bombarded with all the new products for 2021. Each year, technology nudges us a little further, and makes efforts as hunters a little bit more efficient. New cartridges, new guns, new camo, new bows, arrows, broadheads, trail cameras, and just about every other category of hunting gear is evolving. Overall, this innovation is a good thing.
As hunters, I don’t believe we will let technology ruin hunting, and as a whole, we will always restrict ourselves enough to ensure that fair chase hunting has a bright future. With that said, there are certain times when hunters must draw a line when it comes to how far we let technology change the way we hunt. I think that is especially true when it comes to “restricted weapons” seasons also know as “primitive weapons” seasons.
I’m talking about archery and muzzleloader seasons where the basic premise is that by restricting ourselves to less efficient, shorter range hunting weapons, or those that require a higher threshold of skill and discipline, we decrease our odds of success. Because of that we are afforded longer seasons and special opportunities to hunt. It’s also a fair wager that if our success rates begin to threaten the resources we are utilizing, changes will be made, and hunters will lose some opportunity to hunt.
The problem comes when the technology outruns the premise of the seasons, which with the light-speed advancement of new tech, is now an eventuality.
Then there’s the issue of our hunting heritage. Many folks think it’s up to wildlife agencies to protect the tradition of hunting, but that’s not really the case. Wildlife agencies are tasked with protecting public wildlife and resources. They use hunting as a tool for managing wildlife and raising the funds to do so. It’s up to us the hunting community to protect the traditional and ethical elements of the hunt.