The outdoors world can be a strange culture. On one hand, there is a set of people that will do anything to share their knowledge, teach those that do not know, and spend valuable time to help others. The other hand, is the complete opposite. They tend to be boastful, hide their secrets so others cannot obtain the same success or exceed their own accomplishments, and ridicule others.
I guess it could be a microcosm of the business world as well. Or it could be a similar sampling of a social group. But this is an outdoors column, so we will look at it in that perspective.
Usually the ones that are on the helpful side will see a recent photo of a monster buck and look at in awe. They will admire both the beauty of the animal, and the blend of talent,hard work, and in some cases luck that went into the successful hunt.
The ones that are on the other side, usually remark about how the hunter was only successful because the land is private, or the hunter just happens to have better quality game in that part of the area, or the hunter gets to hunt more often.
The willing-to-help side will share what he did in preseason scouting. He will explain how he set up a food plot, what time of year he started the plot, and what he used in the plot. He will draw a diagram as to where to place it and where he placed his stand accordingly. He will talk about where he set trail cameras and when he would go in and check them.
The other side, well, they tend to keep things hush-hush. Answers to questions remain vague except for exactly how big the game was, and then it tends to be over exaggerated. If you happen to find out what county the hunt took place you have found out more than was intended.
The real fireworks happen when the two come together with a third person asking the questions though. Something as simple as a question of what caliber firearm to use can start the exchange. The mentor type will begin with an answer only to be interrupted by the other. Then it will be a conversation devoted to how much I know and you don’t. And the novice is left with a bad taste and disdain.
Our sport deserves more. Our heritage deserves more. Many times we may feel inadequate and it is easy for us to take an avenue of ‘well, I need to show what I know’ or ‘well, look what I have successfully hunted.’ It takes on a grammar school mentality if we let it.
Instead, we should be able to recognize when someone does know what they are talking about and has been successful and realize it is time to listen rather than to speak. Even writing this column for several years does not make me an expert on anything. I can share my experiences and what has or has not been successful and hopefully others can and will learn from it. But I have many more instances of what has not been successful compared to what has.
The world could use a little more humbleness. Even the outdoors world.