Getting (and Keeping) the youth involved: Passing on a timeless tradition

Posted on January 15, 2016 by Sam Hogan | 24 comments

It is no surprise that hunting, particularly bowhunting, requires skill, patience, luck, and time. Most of today’s youth are accustomed to video games, their cell phones, and uninterrupted access to the internet. Hunting doesn’t provide that instant gratification they are used to. When a young man or woman expresses an interest in the outdoors they are venturing into an unfamiliar world outside of their social media accounts, Call of Duty Campaigns, and movies. They should be welcomed with nothing but positivity and encouragement.

I was there once. Nobody in my family hunted, and I really wanted to get into it. I ended up scouring hunting magazines and learning a bit from online forums but most of what I learned was based on trial and error in the woods.  

These are 5 tips I wish I knew when first getting started.

  1. Be wary of social networks. This is my personal soapbox. Rather than advice and encouragement social media has become a breeding ground for the part of hunting that I resent. The negativity. A picture of a young man smiling ear to ear standing behind a forkhorn buck has many comments below it saying “Would have been a nice buck in a couple years”,  “Should have let that one go…”, or “Some people have no self control”. These aren’t the kind of comments that someone looking to get introduced to hunting should be concerned about. Deer hunting is a challenge and the trophy is in the eye of the beholder. My first deer was a spike. I am more proud of that spike than any other deer I have harvested. If social media is your thing, consider joining traditional archery networks as these guys are very knowledgeable and in my personal experience, far less negative.
  2. Learn Shot placement from all angles. Nothing will put a damper on the desire to hunt more than wounding a deer. Knowing where a whitetail’s vitals are is critical to making an ethical shot. This includes knowing which shots to NOT take. Study deer anatomy from every angle, and keep a sharp eye out for that shoulder blade!
  3. Keep it simple. You are just getting started. Don’t feel pressured into buying a new Sitka suit or the newest name brand flagship bow. Just because it is available doesn’t mean you need it. Native Americans killed deer with primitive bows and sharp stones. Pick up a cheap bow (used or new) and shoot it until you feel confident. Keep it simple and keep it fun.
  4. Accept help. Getting started isn’t easy. There is a lot to know! Talk to a guy at a local proshop. Make sure your bow fits you and you are set up with arrows that are the right spine. Soak up constructive hunting knowledge and apply it to your future outings!
  5. Have Fun! After all, that’s what it’s all about! Hit the woods with some buddies, chase that big buck, but make sure you’re having fun doing it!

Posted in first hunt, kids, michigan whitetail pursuit, tradition, youth, youth hunt

5 Reasons why Michigan Whitetail Pursuit will never be on National Television

Posted on May 28, 2015 by Sam Hogan | 2 comments

  1. Our desires lie locally. Simply put, despite the knowledge that there may be bigger bucks and larger opportunities in other states we have a passion for pursuing whitetails in Michigan. Our love for the tradition associated with Michigan hunting combined with the relationships we have built throughout our own hunting ventures have anchored us in this great state. We wouldn’t have it any other way and we strive to make that apparent in our productions.
  2. Our Niche fits us. We have been blessed to be able to make our dreams a reality and be supported by hunters all over the state of Michigan. The message we try to portray would not resonate the same way with hunters in Iowa, Kansas, Texas, or Kentucky. We have built something here that would be impossible to replicate nationally. With so many productions coming from the “big buck states” Michiganders demand something they can cling to and support. For that reason we are exclusively Michigan. Michiganders want Michigan. We will continue to give you Michigan.
  3. The World deserves Reality. If you have ever talked to me at a show you know that this is my soapbox. Kids grow up seeing all these hunting shows with giants seemingly behind every tree. That must be fairly regular right? Wrong. As hunters, especially in Michigan, we know that big bucks are hard to kill. That’s what makes it such a great accomplishment when a Michigan hunter is fortunate enough to put one down! So when these kids hit the woods for the first time and don’t see a 150 inch buck during their first season they get dejected. No wonder the number of youth active in the hunting industry is down. Many “Big Buck” productions have created unrealistic expectations for our future generations.

    Even as adults it gets boring seeing nothing but great shots on big bucks. People can relate to trespassers, misses, and failing to turn on a camera.  This is reality, and we owe it to the next generation to show reality.

    Lastly, we are average Joes. We have no desire to soak up the spotlight and make this about us. It isn’t and will never be about us. Rather than make it about us and our prostaff we focus on the trials and joys of being an average Michigan deer hunter.
  1. Forced Product Placement. We all notice it. But if you forgot what it sounds like allow me give you a quick reminder.

    “I couldn’t have shot this buck without the use of **insert hunting product here that
    was likely never used** and ** second not used hunting product**.” “If I had shot this
    deer with anything other than **insert broadhead here** I never would have found it.”

     Becoming a National TV production is time and money. Lots of it. To make money many sponsors need to be brought on. Now I am not saying that Michigan Whitetail Pursuit doesn’t have sponsors. We do. But we really try to steer clear of forced, over the top, product placement. We also try to showcase local Michigan outdoor businesses. Nearly all of our sponsors are Michigan businesses.

  1. MWP is our Baby. We love what we do. Filming our hunts with the knowledge that they will entertain hunters both young and old is humbling. Our ultimate goal is to inspire you, and when we get feedback from our fans it inspires us. Being a National TV show takes away from that intimacy. We know our fans on a deeper level than many productions do and in turn we feel supported locally. You built this brand and you keep it alive, we are simply the glue that puts it all together.

Posted in hunting, local, local company, michigan, national, support, tradition, TV