The Future of Working Class Hunting, pt. 1
June 22, 2011
I don't care much about politics anymore. I've accepted the fact that here in America one party panders to the rich and another panders to the poor. Since I'm one of those dumbasses that just continues showing up for work, I don't have a political party. I also realize the Whitehouse isn't taking my calls and the reward for calling my elected officials in Congress is a condescending letter written for people who lack the ability to reason.
Statistically, wages for morons like me are flat over the past decade. Meanwhile inflation rose. Then the Great Recession came along. So here we working stiffs are generally 30% poorer, many of us unemployed or with increased productivity expectations and all of us wanting to continue to hunt.
Well, I don't know about you, but I'm not willing to wait until the CEOs, economists, politicians and pundits green light the continuation of my hunting career. I grew up, like many of the folks reading this, hunting before anyone came up with the genius idea to convince us that a pair of hunting pants could be worth $400. I hunted in the boots I worked in, wore a normal winter coat tried not to get caught using a school sweater as a base layer. What I lacked in gear I made up for with above average cojones.
I'm in an odd position right now. I jet set around the world as a camera monkey for
hunts I'll never be able to afford while I plan my daughter's first DIY cow elk hunt. The juxtaposition of these two different types of hunting answers the rhetorical question my old uncle used to ask me when we hunted together on a shoestring. "I wonder what the rich folks are doing for fun right now?" He asked me this question for a reason. He wanted to remind me that we were right then and there enjoying a simple great time the high rollers would never know. With one rifle between us, a gut full of biscuits and gravy and some of the shittiest hunting ground Northeastern Washington offers, we were having a great time. We worked our asses off up and down mountains, through hill and dale and wild rose choked draws. My mulie hunting was along the same lines, sharing the floor of a trailer with a half dozen other kids hoping the old men in the beds didn't step on my face during one of their dozen nightly trips to the can.
In conjunction with the series of blogs I'm doing on prepping my daughter's cow elk hunt; I want to explore strategies for continuing hunting during the Great Recession which looks like it might end when China buys us. Hunt it up now son, sweatshops and Buddhists aren't conducive to hunting.
I will be looking at the changes the Great Depression brought to hunting, but in the modern context of decreased access, more extensive regulations, increased work loads and general exhaustion of the working person.
As I begin to research how my great grandma and grandpa hunted through the depression I'm going to ask you to contribute your tricks to hunting on the cheap. What are some cost saving ideas you can share with us? How do you care for your equipment to make it last? If you still have a job, how are you whittling off enough time to make your hunting happens? If you're old enough to know a thing or two about hunting during the Great Depression, what knowledge can you share that is applicable to today's hunter? How do you make your gear last? What else would you like to know as I embark on this research project that will hopefully keep more of us and our kids out in the field between now and our Chinese as a second language studies?
I may run for office soon and get this thing sorted out for all of us. I'm pretty damn sure elected offices will be the only reliable source for new jobs for some time to come. But until I get hired as King of the World, lets collaborate on getting us out there more.
Read "The Future of Working Class Hunting, Pt. 2"