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April 18, 2006

What it Means to be Hard Core

With reader test panel applications invading my office (thanks for your interest, by the way), I’m always considering what makes a serious outdoorsman. We all love to think of ourselves as “serious outdoorsmen.” Some of us keep diaries, measure our deer antlers, register our animals with Pope & Young or Boone & Crocket.  Who doesn’t want to set a state largemouth or trout record?

I have news for you. It’s not about the amount of gear you own (did I really say that?) or hunting every day of duck season. The serious outdoorsman is someone who needs no approval.  He’s the type of person who will go hunting and fishing because he wants to, and is completely content do it by himself.  He doesn’t need a forward observer to see what he caught or killed.  He’s the kind of guy who goes when his friends can’t, or won’t. Being a true sportsman has nothing to do with skill. A willingness to be alone in the outdoors is the consummate qualifier.  If you know someone with this lifestyle, he deserves respect—not envy.



Peter, I agree with you, and you may have my application on your desk, I send it to Catherine. I am sure that there are more qualified people applying. But you make a great point, it is not the size it is the effort and what you get out of it. My best hunting buddy is 1500 miles away and we keep a log....a....blog back and forth to share our experiences, and usually the “Diary” is about the after hunt, the meal, the experience………..

If you ever want to chat about why I felt qualified to apply ask Catherine for my application I sent it via FedEX……

Duane Lee

I seem to end up doing most of my hunting and fishing alone. My hunting partner has kids that keep him pretty busy with softball and soccer so I do the scouting and usually write up directions and distances to where I'll have camp set up when he gets there. When he does go hunting with me he usually doesn't spend more than a weekend. I try to get us into the best place to have the best opportunity on opening day but it doesn't always work out that way, especially for mule deer. If I feel good about a place to hunt, then using the maps I have I'll tell him where I think he should go. This last fall it worked out really well for both of us. We both got elk on opening day. I got mine earlier than he did his but it still worked out.

In Arizona everything is based on the luck of the draw so scouting becomes really important when you do finally get lucky.

I'll see if I can find the applications you reference and send them in.

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