Cellular trail cameras and whether or not they can/should be used as part of fair chase hunting tactics has been in question recently with the Boone and Crockett Club laying down some firm guidelines on where they stand. "The Boone and Crockett Club will no longer accept entries that were taken with the aid of a cellular-linked trail camera, sighting ethics as the reasoning. Regular game cameras are still allowed."
Jeff says he has mixed feelings about this kind of rule noting that he can see each side of the argument. On one hand, where do we draw the line with how much technology can aid us in our hunting pursuits? On the other hand, cellular trail cameras are great tools to have in your arsenal. They relieve pressure in the woods, allow hunters to keep track of properties farther away and they don't 100% ensure a harvest. He notes that products like cellular trail cameras do a lot of good for hunting as a whole with the money generated by the sales being put back into hunting and conservation related coffers. There are a lot of great and advanced products on the market today that aid hunters and Jeff says he is all for the use of this kind of gear. However, he also cautions others about replacing fundamental hunting skills with technology all together. Hunting of the past had no shortcuts and required hunters to put their skills up against that of an animal's to see which one could outsmart the other. We have to be careful not to lose those skills and those traditions, Jeff says. We don't want today's youth growing up and miss out on the basics of good woodsmanship. By all means, use the latest and greatest products he says, but also be sure to root yourself and those you mentor in the fundamentals.
Like trail cameras, there are a lot of opinions about the role of baiting in hunting. Jeff says he doesn't have an issue with baiting, where legal. He notes the trickle down kind of effect that happens when drawing a hard line with one tactic saying that a ban on baiting could open up questions about whether or not hunting over a food plot or any other food source is "baiting". The slope is a slippery one. Whether you're hunting over a pile of corn, at a site with an automatic feeder or elsewhere, there is still skill involved in order to tag a deer, Jeff says. You don't just put some corn out and automatically have a big buck magnet on your property, setting up an effective bait site requires research and work. Hunters have to find a good location, make that place feel safe enough the deer are willing to come in to feed and from there it requires the hunter not to screw the whole thing up. A site that attracts a lot of bucks and does, means lots of eyes and noses and a far greater chance of being busted.
Consistent success in the field, season after season, comes down to hard work. Jeff says that keyboard warriors are always very quick to diminish the success of other hunters with comments like, "you must have taken that over bait," or "if I had your kind of ground and your kind of money I could do that, too!" What those keyboard warriors most likely lack though, is the passion to take their hunting to the next level. Jeff says everyone has to pay their dues, start at the bottom, learn what to do, build their skill set and then with time they can become incredible hunters. That's what is so great about America, he says, you can work harder than the next guy, have more passion and work your way up until you come to a place where you can finally have better ground, better equipment and opportunities at better deer. In America and the outdoors, he says, what you put into it is usually what you'll get back out of it. Listen in as Jeff talks about what it took to get himself to the place he is today, the hard work he has put in and the risks he's taken to do what he loves.
Finally, in the gear up for fall big game hunting seasons, Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel are shining a bright light on deer hunting with the fourth consecutive year of Deer Week - a week straight of non-stop, wall-to-wall, deer hunting action from 7 p.m. to midnight ET. Deer Week is hosted by Jeff and country music artist Tyler Farr and it will begin September 14th and go through the 20th. This week of deer themed programming really gives viewers a well rounded look at deer hunting from almost every angle. Jeff says because of the strange year we've had, with no sports to watch and really nothing to occupy our time, there is a big opportunity to reach new hunters this season. Beyond providing great entertainment, programming like Deer Week can help non-hunters or previous hunters find their way to the lifestyle and realize that there is more to hunting than just killing. People will be able to see that hunters are conservationists, they love animals and they appreciate the animals taken and use their resources to the fullest. Jeff says it's important for today's youth to see this way of life and learn the lessons in the outdoors that they just can't learn from video games.
Be sure to watch "BuckVentures" on Sportsman Channel, Wednesdays at 9:30 pm ET. Also, join Jeff and Tyler Farr as they co-host Deer Week beginning September 14th on Sportsman Channel and Outdoor Channel. Finally, keep your eyes open for the new season of "The Woodsman" on MyOutdoorTV where there will be 20 all-new original episodes dropping October 14th.