Over the next several days, additional traffic may pass thorough the blog, as a result of the Maine Magazine interview. Because of this, I wanted to welcome new readers to my blog! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your interest and hope you will feel free to add comments when and where appropriate. If you have specific questions and wish to contact me directly, my e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are wondering, “who in heck is this guy”, access my “About Me” section as it provides a brief synopsis on who I am and what I am all about.
If you are short on time and overwhelmed by the shear volume of blather I have manage to create, since I started the blog in February of 2008. Check out my “Popular Blog Posts” and “Published Stories” section as they highlight what I consider some of my favorite and best postings.
The Inside Scoop on the Maine Magazine “Interview”:
If you can believe it, an interview isn’t half as bad as you might originally want to imagine. It was actually relatively painless and not nearly as invasive as I had feared. I suppose, I was very fortunate to have the entire session conducted by one of Maine Magazine’s skilled editorial staffers as well as freelance photographer Ben Krebs (http://benkrebs.com). Both individuals possessed style, grace and class vastly superior to my own, just the type of people you want on your side to make you look good!
Provided below is the photograph chosen for the magazine interview, my top 10 suggestions for a photograph title and the extended version of the magazine interview. I hope you enjoy!
|Kicking Bass and Taking Names|
My Top 10 List of Possible Photograph Titles:
1. Photographer Ben Krebs and I wondering what the poor people are doing.
2. Photographer Ben Krebs and I kicking bass and taking names.
3. Photographer Ben Krebs and I doing what rednecks do best.
4. Photographer Ben Krebs and I wondering why this fish I am holding is so damn small.
5. Photographer Ben Krebs and I both glad I am wearing briefs and not boxers.
6. Photographer Ben Krebs and I thinking that I might want to consider getting a gym membership.
7. Photographer Ben Krebs and I very intoxicated and playing rock, paper, scissors to determine who drives to beer store.
8. Photographer Ben Krebs and I hopelessly lost and hoping that someone will eventually find our bodies.
9. Photographer Ben Krebs and I thinking we hear banjos and preparing to paddle faster.
10. I Can Plainly See Your Nuts
Maine Magazine Q and A – Extended Version not Available in the Magazine Interview
For me starting to hunt was a relatively easy endeavor, having grandfathers, a father, and an uncle who were all registered Maine guides and passionate about the outdoors. From a time shortly after I began walking, they helped me take the formal and informal steps in my outdoors training that eventually led me to become interested in hunting.
What most don’t understand is that hunting, is much more then handing a young man a rifle and pointing him in the direction of the woods. A hunter is someone who has undergone years of instruction and guidance in understanding a large number of individual skills, eventually building to the mastery of a diverse tool kit of abilities.
Most importantly, before venturing forth into the wilds, to be safe and comfortable in the woods a hunter must know how to use a map and compass and what to do in a situation should they become lost or injured. A hunter should also know how to dress for the bitter north winds and blowing snow and how to start a fire in the wettest and direst of circumstances. These are fundamental skills that should be learned early and by all outdoorsmen, regardless if they someday intend to hunt.
To hunt game ethically and well one must understand the animal he is pursuing, know its tracks, behaviors and where it is likely to live and feed. A hunter must know how to accurately shoot from a variety of stances, understand the inner workings of firearms and how to clean and care for them.
To humanely kill game, a hunter must know the animal’s anatomy and where to place a shot to quickly dispatch it. A hunter must also know what to do should that bullet not be perfectly placed and an animal need to be tracked. A hunter must also understand how to field dress, butcher and properly care for a killed animal, so the meat is not wasted. Lastly, it is the best of hunters who also know how to properly cook game and prepare it for the dinner table.
Do you make an effort to get young people outside?
The education side of introducing kids and people who haven’t had a chance to get outside has really come full circle for me now that I have kids. I have a three- and a five-year-old—two little boys, and they are amazing. We started identifying animal tracks, going out in the winter and chasing rabbits through the underbrush and stuff like that. I don’t take them out hunting—I’m not killing anything in front of them because I think they’re too young to understand that. We do have a garden, though. They dig little holes and water the tomato plants and they understand that things need to be cared for and nurtured in order to grow. I think that all of those lessons are really important. They’re the basic building blocks of their understanding of the outdoors.
Do plan to take your kids hunting when they’re older?
Eventually? Definitely. If they get into hunting and fishing, that’s great. And if they don’t, well I’ve always said it’s their choice. I’d never force it on them. I will provide all of the entry points, but if they don’t want to take it up, that’s up to them.
While spending time growing things and hunting, you’re brushing up against some really important concepts. This seems to connect to your interest in teaching.
We go to a supermarket and pick something off of the shelf and we don’t think: “Where did this animal come from? Did it suffer? Was it raised in captivity?” When a hunter goes out and shoots a deer, he has a pretty good idea that that deer probably had a pretty nice life. And then we have to actually take that deer and butcher it ourselves and package it. Hunters understand what hard work it is to take an animal from the field, clean it, and put it on the dinner table. We as a society aren’t passing these things on. We’re not teaching. I don’t know what’s going on with out society, if we’re doing more inside with videogames, movies, the Internet, smart phones. I mean—we’re always connected. There are so many things pulling us out of the natural world.
Right! And it’s so easy to take up something that’s merely entertaining, but these things don’t engage any critical parts of you.
Kids aren’t bored anymore. They’re always entertained. And then you take those kids and put them in an educational setting. Unless the teacher is jumping on the desk and standing on their head and showing the kids movies everyday, they just can’t hold the students’ attention long enough to teach them anything. I think that that’s really hard.
What particularly about hunting do you feel is getting lost?
I think the first one is the connection to people. The tradition of being able to bring everyone together is really important. The second would be the connections to food and what you eat, and having respect for animals. And then—I think there’s a certain amount of tradition and heritage, too, that’s really important. I guess what I’d like to dump is the negative view of the hunter—the big fat redneck drinking a Busch and riding around on a four-wheeler killing whatever he sees and not caring if animals suffer. I like to promote the idea that that’s a small population of hunters. Hunting is only 10 percent about harvesting an animal. The remaining 90 percent is about hanging out with your family and friends, spending time afield enjoying mother nature, and the frequent quiet, self-reflective moments.