What if it wasn’t like how it is? You might be asking yourself, “What if what wasn’t like how it is?” The answer may be everything, but more specifically, let’s talk about hunting. What would hunting be like in the USA if the Revolutionary War and July 4th, 1776 never happened?
It’s scary to even think about. For many of us we can’t even imagine living life without experiencing the outdoors and hunting lifestyle. Yet, in so much of the world, the outdoors is a fearful place not because of the dark, but because of dark leadership. Other places, it’s a sport strictly for the rich and wealthy. Oh, and if you’re a woman, you can forget about hunting all together. For many of us we cannot picture a scene where owning a gun is illegal. Where only the rich are able to hunt. Where there is no such thing as public land or owning land. Where there is no deer camp in the back forty. No camaraderie, no wild game, no hunting, no fun! I can go on and on painting a grave picture of what life could be like had our founding fathers not taken a stand for freedom, but I ask you this:
Do you even realize what we have?
I’ll be the first to admit it, I get sucked into this vortex of living without fear while enjoying the average American life. Well friends, this is anything, but average. The United States of America is the single paramount when it comes to hunting and wildlife resources. And if you think otherwise, I challenge you to understand the life of someone living in another country who would love the opportunity to hunt their home turf.
If you thought it was tough to get permission on private land in the US, try knocking on some doors in the UK. Let’s just say you better be willing to ante up if you’re not already a big wig in Western European countries. Yup, welcome to the land where hunting is a rich man’s sport. If Europe is not for you, you could try out Africa where the game is present, but so are the poachers, predators, and disease. Or how about you venture to one of those nice dictatorships for a weekend in the woods. Beginning to see the point?
The point is, we Americans have had it so good, for so long, that we’ve come to expect the promises of the great outdoors in our daily lives without giving much thought to HOW it COULD BE. While our nation has issues of its own, it’s important to remember what July 4th, 1776 means to sportsmen, as well as our country as a whole. We still have the right to bear arms. We still have government funded public conservation areas to hunt. We still have the right to own land. We still are able to travel freely about the country in pursuit of game. We still have equal rights allowing everyone who wants to hunt, the ability to hunt. Hunting in the United States is not bias towards social class. And while we are spoiled by all these great freedoms at home, brave men and women continue to sacrifice and fight for them overseas, as did those before them. This 4th of July, honor them, thank them, and enjoy the Great American Outdoors with them.
For living in the United States is freedom, but to experience the purity of nature within is truly freeing.