In the last few years there have been major leaps in hunting technology. From range finding bow sights to cellular trail cams to Bluetooth nocks and on and on. With all the advancements made I have pondered many moons this very topic. I’ve read forums and Facebook discussions going to the extreme stating that technology is ruining the purity of the traditional hunting heritage and that hunter success rates are climbing to the point that states will begin to lower bag limits or go to draw systems. I’ll tell you that I haven’t done any research on state changes to bag limits other than Oklahoma which by the way has had the same bag limits on deer for years. I’ve come to a few conclusions recently on these topics so let me share my thoughts
I was basically born into hunting and fishing. My family has hunted and fished since I can remember. My earliest memories include a shotgun, a rifle or a fishing pole…(see what I did there😎). I have always and will always believe that we should be passing our knowledge on to our family and friends. The only way that our hunting heritage and tradition remains in tact after we are gone is to ensure it’s engrained and positively represented in our children as well as making them understand that they must pass it on as well. So where does technology come into this conversation? It’s actually a positive in my opinion. Think about it, we have more resources today than we ever have to share our stories, memories, success and our failures. We have better cameras, easier ways to store photos, videos and so on. Now, with all this technology my belief is that we can’t lose our ability to tell our stories ourselves. Nothing beats setting around around a campfire telling a good ole huntin tale. Hell, sitting at the kitchen table talkin hunting over a cup of coffee is a good as it gets. What it boils down to for me is if you only allow technology to tell your story and you don’t pass your traditions and heritage on to the next generation the old fashioned way they will likely fall by the way side and be gone forever.
Now let’s talk about advances in hunting equipment. I’ve really been on the fence about some of the gear that’s out today and the one that continues to draw my attention are Range Finding Bow Sights. This was what really got me thinking about technology and if we are taking it to the extreme or…too far. I can tell you that currently I don’t own a range finding bow sight and I currently don’t have any plans of owning one. I’m not against them at all it’s just that I have a few things that work for me and I don’t see a need to change at this point. I decided long ago that a range finder was worth the money and I don’t get in a stand or a blind without one in my pack. There are people that can say all day long that they believe using range finders gives the Hunter an unfair advantage but I just don’t see it that way. In my opinion that range finder or range finding sight didn’t put me in the right place at the right time. I put in the work, scouted, hung stands, cleared lanes, and so on to put myself in position for the opportunity to get a shot whatever I’m hunting. So in that moment why wouldn’t I want to do everything I can to know the distance and make a quick efficient kill shot? It’s my belief that we owe that to the game we hunt. The advantage that I’m leaning toward with these sights is that they allow you to always have the correct distance and pin on the animal.
What about this notion that success rates are going up? And that states will be forced to limit tags or lower bag limits? I’m not terribly sure about that but here is what I do think. Most states allow you to hunt and shoot stuff until you retrieve something to put a tag on. I don’t believe there are many”draw blood, your tag is filled” states. So how many animals across the country get wounded and left to die that don’t get tagged which skews actual harvest totals. Think about it this way…I shoot and wound a buck. He runs off and dies and I can’t recover him. I shoot another buck and do recover him. I actually killed two deer with that one tag. Now think about how many of us have had this unfortunate situation occur. There are so many variables in the field it’s going to happen from time to time and I believe this has a far greater impact to actual herd numbers than success rates due to technology. If we can eliminate a variable and reduce these situations, I’m all for that. And for the record I’m certainly not advocating a “draw blood, You’re done”law.
To me there is enormous value in range finding sight and other technology if it means less wounded/unrecovered animals. At the end of the day It’s up to us as hunters and conservationists to stand watch over what’s happening technologically to make sure it’s being used for the right reasons.