Social media is good for hunting. Any hunter not using social media to become a better hunter is missing out. It provides a way to establish lasting hunting connections, especially for those of us who found hunting on our own. Word-of-mouth is often the hunter's best friend -- just ask yourself how many times you learned of a new hunting spot or a giant bull in a specific area, and odds are you heard it through the grapevine at your favorite archery shop, watering hole or restaurant. Social media sites and blogs are nothing more than a link to like-minded people and an extension of that "grapevine" that can be helpful to you before, during or after hunting season. Certainly there are drawbacks -- you have to put up with some chest-thumping and jealous or negative folks. But if used properly, it can lead to opportunities you never dreamed of. And you just might build lasting relationships with folks that go far beyond the keyboard and screen.
Clint Whiting guides whitetail hunters, but he loves to hunt elk. I met Clint through social media and the Gore HuntingTech program, and we started planning a Montana elk hunt almost two years prior to going. Something got us messaging about hunting elk in Montana, which led to a phone call. That phone call turned into a couple more, and before we knew it I was plotting out potential hunts for us in Montana. As luck would have it, we both drew tags and the trip came together. Up to the first day of our hunt, I had never met Clint in person. I was going off blind faith that he knew what he was doing, and vice-versa. I never once doubted that we would have a great time or that he was going to do anything short of working his butt off to fill his tag.
Even though we split up each day to hunt, we traded intel every evening. We complained to each other about the heat. We shared concerns about how the bulls were not singing. And we shared those moments after an elk was on the ground, when all the work was done and it was time to burn memories into the soul.
Social media helps my hunting every day -- making contacts, planning hunts, and learning. Lots of learning. Staying in touch with Clint and many other Gore HuntingTechs through social media makes me a better hunter and provides significant opportunities that I otherwise wouldn’t have dreamed of.
As for Clint, he and I are planning another trip for down the road. Sheep. White ones. Up north. I can’t wait.