By Alex Comstock
The other night as I was remembering I still need to purchase my Nebraska Turkey license, I started thinking about the investment that we put into hunting. Being so invested, and having been that way my whole life, I suppose someone who's never hunted before would probably think that it's a bit crazy, or too much. Today I wanted to take a step back and admire (I think that's the word I'm going for) what we invest into hunting throughout our lives.
$$$: The hunting investment is real. Especially for the guy/gal that is a hardcore, live it and breath it type of hunter like myself. The first and most obvious investment is money. It's funny to me, because I always find myself rationalizing an expensive hunting purchase, but won't cough up forty dollars for a new wallet (which I've needed for about the past five years). But when it comes to dropping $270 on an out of state whitetail tag, or hundreds of dollars in gas on a hunting trip, I'll figure out a way to make it work. It's an interesting dynamic. But when it comes to money, hunting is as expensive as you make it. I've heard people clamor that hunting is turning into a rich man's sport, but I disagree on that take. You can still buy affordable hunting gear, and you don't have to spend a lot of money. It's just that a lot of people like to.
Time: This is what I would call the biggest investment when it comes to hunting. Because as you well know, season is never truly ever. The amount of hours spent in a year doing whitetail related things is outrageous. Between all of the hours in the field hunting, checking trail cameras, scouting, etc. and all of the things we do at home such as staring at maps for hours on end, looking at trail camera pictures, and shooting our bow, it never really seems to end. For the ones who have families, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, and husbands that don't hunt, it's a lot of time away from them. It can be challenging to be with someone who is a hardcore hunter, but it's important to understand why we invest so much time into it.
Most hardcore hunters I know wouldn't be able to function in their daily lives if they didn't have hunting and weren't able to spend the time they do pursuing the passion of hunting. I know for me personally, without hunting, I'm not me. Yes, the time investment can be substantial, but as I always like to point out, that time could be spent doing much worse things. I'm proud to be a hunter, and though some may not agree, the time spent at it is well worth it.
Memories: This is the reward right? Our big investments in money and time hopefully payoff with an investment into the memory bank. Hunting is such a special thing, and I wish more people participated in it. It's truly hard to explain to someone who has never hunted why we do what we do, and why we could go on a hunt, not see a single animal that we're after, yet consider it a success. If you were stripped of everything you have, one thing that can never be taken from you is your memories, and hunting creates memories that will last a lifetime. It's probably my favorite part of hunting. In fact, I'd love if you shared with me your favorite hunting memory in the comments section, or in the comments of the Facebook post for this article. I'd love to read some of your favorite hunting memories, and I'm sure others would as well!
Conclusion: Hunting can be a big investment in more ways than one. It's truly such a unique lifestyle, and though some people on the outside may never understand it, I encourage you to try and get them to. The more people we can get to invest in hunting, the better off we'll be.