Do We Romanticize the Backcountry?
I am going to go ahead and say that “Backcountry Hunting” is the cool thing to do right now. Rightfully so! I think it is pretty cool myself! The ultimate, most hardcore hunt right? A truly wild experience, living out of nothing more than what is in your backpack. The promise of adventure coupled with the anxiety of the unknown. You see it all over social media about how more and more folks are getting into backpack hunting. I personally think it is great. Good on them for wanting to take on such a demanding endeavor. This desire is oftentimes paired with a sudden need to start hitting the gym. If you have ever backpack hunted, you know why. Again, I love hearing this. People bettering their lives and pushing their limits in the name of hunting. In a world where more and more folks are glued to the couch instead of outside, this is definitely a plus in my book.
Just a Word
Just the word “Backcountry” I feel has also gained in popularity. Backcountry bowhunting, Backcountry skiing, Backcountry fishing, etc… I’m not trying to downplay this at all, just pointing out how much more I am seeing it as opposed to 3-4 years ago. I use the word all of the time. I often wonder what old timers think of the word. To many, I bet what we call “Backcountry Hunting” was just hunting. Getting off of the beaten path to them was just what they did. They weren’t heading far into wilderness areas to get any sort of attention or to push themselves physically and mentally. They were heading into these hard to access areas, because that is where the hunting was best. Nothing more, nothing less. No high tech clothing, packs, or bows. Just a burning desire to fill the tag in their pocket. A simpler time for sure.
I remember telling myself that I would never backpack hunt
A New Generation
Unlike generations before us, the backcountry has become a place of desire to many. It is a destination that is held up on a pedestal. People want to see what the buzz is and experience it for themselves. Maybe, they fall in love, maybe they never want to do it again. Only time will tell that. Like all trends do, I suspect the popularity of hunting the backcountry will decrease over time. I actually know of multiple accounts where folks are going on backpack hunts for their first hunts. As an avid backpack hunter, I think this is awesome and I commend them for chasing what they want in life. A word of advice though. If you have no backpacking experience or hunting experience, you might be in for a world of hurt in the beginning. If you truly want to learn how to hunt, you don’t have to do it in the backcountry. I know I didn’t. I eased myself into backpack hunting and tried to learn as much about the animals that I could on my day hunts from the truck. In fact, I remember telling myself that I would never backpack hunt. Funny how that played out…
Yes, we might romanticize the backcountry from time to time. In my opinion though, there really is nothing like it. Call it backpack hunting, hunting the backcountry, or just hunting. The fact of the matter is, if you love something, it is going to be hard to not express that here and there. Where one might find misery, another finds solace and I think that is a perfect way of describing backcountry hunting. It’s not for everyone and that’s perfectly okay. For the ones that love it though, we will continue to love it.