Supporting the Outdoor Brotherhood
Unity is a popular buzz-word these days. Usually thrown about in conversations on the divided state of our society or divided American politics. Unity is not something that us outdoorsmen and women talk much about, but maybe we should.
As sportsmen, it's in our nature to be competitive. Most of us have grown up around team sports or doing some type of non-outdoor sport in addition to our hunting, fishing, and shooting sport passions. We're taught to be competitive and seek the best of the best.
While competition and seeking excellence should always be a priority, there is something to be said about unity in the outdoors. Coming together to support the things that we all share a mutual passion for. The outdoor sports create a unique need for coming together to support one another.
Think about how many non-hunting, fishing, or shooting friends or family members have questioned or even condemned you for being an outdoorsman or woman. Think about the radical anti-hunting crowd who marches against the hunting lifestyle with blatant disregard.
There are people out there who seek to end our beloved outdoor passions. People who wish harm and ill-will against us for harvesting a whitetail deer in the fall or filleting a limit of crappie in the summer.
Hunting and wild game advocacy groups also claim that hunter numbers are on the decline in the United States. They say that millennials and the youth of the modern era are electing to participate in team and indoor sports or even in video games rather than carrying on our outdoor traditions. An uncertain future generation of outdoorsmen and women coupled with an ever-present "anti" crowd should make all of us a bit uncomfortable.
All of this really puts those silly social media arguments between hunters and fishermen into perspective. Does it really matter that Hunter A who shot a 180-inch buck thinks he's better than Hunter B who shot a 150-inch buck? Do we really need to hurl insults because one fisherman likes top-water and another hates it? The short answer is obviously a resounding no.
When you really think of all of the adversity we face from outside sources, we can see that in-fighting between outdoorsmen and women is unnecessary to say the least. But we owe it to ourselves to go above and beyond simply not tearing down fellow outdoorsmen.
We owe it to ourselves to give one another the benefit of the doubt and attempt to actually build outdoorsmen and women up when warranted. When a fellow outdoorsman or woman shows that they are doing things the right way and with passion, we should give them our support. We certainly shouldn't discourage or knock that person.
MPTV's very own Wilbur Ramos is a fantastic example of this. Sparked by a deep passion for the outdoors, Wilbur decided to go out on a limb in creating his own outlet. Without positive support from the MPTV fans and assistance from the quality folks behind all of the sponsors, Wilbur's vision for this very platform may have never got off of the ground. During those tough times and long hours, it's often the positive interactions with fans and fellow outdoorsmen that can keep someone plugging.
It's important that we support those among us who go out on that limb in an attempt to further their outdoor passions. Buying from those people who develop a new hunting or fishing product. Giving a look to those people who go above and beyond to film and record their hunts to share them with the outdoor community. Without our support, a lot of good people who may be a true asset for us will slowly back away and invest their time or financial assets into other endeavors.
You can look around the industry and find plenty of great people who are supporting the outdoor community. Michael Waddell of Bone Collector is a fantastic example. Despite being at the very top of the industry, Waddell is one of those guys who will always remain humble and offer a bit of advice or support to his fellow hunter. If you follow Bone Collector on social media, you have probably seen Michael speak out in his videos on the current affairs in our industry.
MPTV provides another fantastic example in offering support, and I can speak from first-hand experience. Jason and Wilbur were kind and supportive enough to give myself and Affiliated Outdoors a chance to team up with them. We haven't been around all that long, but the MPTV guys were willing to offer their support and a helping hand. It's that kind of support that fosters passion and fellowship within our industry.
More passion, fellowship, and support rather than constant bickering and competing for cool points on social media.
Support for your fellow outdoorsman does not even have to come via purchasing a product or viewing a television show. It could be something as simple as congratulating your buddy on social media on their recent harvest. Possibly even offering some advice or assistance if someone could use a helping hand.
Support for the outdoor brotherhood can come in numerous forms. We just have to make sure that we are making the effort to build up rather than break down. Recruitment of future hunters and retaining the bright and passionate minds within our outdoor community could depend on it.