December 14, 2019

High-Tech Hunting? You Can Count Me Out

PrimitiveHuntingThe other day I was reading an article posted on the Maine Portland Press Herald website, written by Bob Humphrey, about how useful technology has become to hunting and hunters. Perhaps, but I have little interest in changing the bulk of what I grew up loving to do – deer hunting. Color me Crabby Smurf!

And, of course, my comments are sure to be taken the wrong way as some young whipper-snapper, breast fed on gadgets and gimmicks that serve to render one’s brain one-dimensional, robotic and generally dysfunctional, that I want to ban the use of electronics for hunting. Let me reiterate what I said above: I have little interest in changing the bulk of what I, ME, not you and everybody else, grew up loving to do.

What pleasure does one get from “hunting” when gadgetry tells the hunter where the game are? Can’t you do this sort of thing at home on a computer? The article, linked-to above, proclaims that life is ruled by technology, taking neutral ground refusing to clearly state whether that is good or bad, but begins to justify the use of technological gimmicks to prop up the outdoor business.

Imagine you’ve spent several thousand dollars on a caribou hunt and then go five to seven days without ever laying eyes on an animal. Knowing the location of migrating herds allows outfitters to move their hunters into areas where they at least have a chance.

Obviously, this is a legal act, or so I presume, and I will not seriously question the need to make adjustments to hunting techniques based on the scientific need to manage for healthy game populations. Personally, I would never spend “several thousand dollars” for any kind of hunt. And, I would not pretend to deny someone who wants to…, at least until said hunts, technology and all, begin to cut into my experiences and opportunities as a primitive hunter.

Carrying cellphones and other electronic gizmos, loaded with “apps” that become the hunters’ knowledge bank is, well, dishonest in a sense. One has to wonder if these same “hi-tech” hunters have an “app” to dispense toilet paper when nature calls? Or do you just use the phone, GPS, radio, tablet, “eye” pad, etc.? Rinse when you get home.

You decide whether technology of this form is good or bad for society. Personally, I see the cellphone, and similar instruments, as the number one destructive tool of humanity, and it’s getting worse. Go to the grocery store. People “grazing” about the store on their phones, texting and talking, even asking what aisle an item might be in. The shopper can’t function beyond the device. Where’s the shopping list? Why can’t you remember what aisle the coffee is in? Oh, that’s right. You have a devise that will do your thinking for you. How convenient! How inhuman!

I run into people often who might tell me they had been to a “really cool” place. I ask them where it is located. They shrug their shoulders. North or south? Their reply is they have it programmed into their GPS that’s how they get there. Brilliant isn’t it? And of course these instruments are always correct in the information they dispense. NOT!

I grew up knowing north, south, east and west, how to read a compass, look up in the sky, see the sun, see the moon and stars, recognizing items in the forest, learning about deer habits and habitat – and none of it ran off of battery. What happens when your batteries go dead? Did you program your device to remind you to bring spare batteries? What happens when you follow the instructions on your GPS that leads you into territory where there are no “bars” to connect to your brain center? What will you do?

The author begins his piece by saying: “Technology is pervasive in all aspects of our lives.” Of course it is, whether we like it or not. But isn’t there something sacred about you and the forest and leaving that electronic addiction at home?

Oh, wait. Let me Google that and see if I can find the answer to my own question. Where’s my SMART phone?

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Moose Just Aren’t Whistling Dixie

Here we go again! Someone must be promoting deer/moose whistles for cars that are advertised as a way to keep these big animals from crossing the road in front of us while driving our cars. The whistles mount on the front of a car or any vehicle and claims are it makes a whistling noise. Note: I don’t know if it actually whistles or not. Crawling out on the hood of the car at 60 miles per hour, the wind was rushing past my ears and making such a loud noise I couldn’t hear if the whistles were whistling.

Lee Kantar, Maine’s moose biologist, says they might make a noise but there’s no guarantee it will stop a deer or moose from running into the road confused by the noise.

But here’s a fact: I bought a used Subaru several years ago that had the whistles already mounted on the front bumper. To my knowledge the whistles had been on the car for several years before I bought the car (by the looks of the condition of them) and the car had not collided with a deer or moose. While I owned the car, it was never involved in a deer or moose collision, so the whistles must work. Right?

I have a bridge in New York I’m looking to sell. I’ll throw in a set of deer whistles for free to whoever sends the money for the bridge.

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