Available In December 2017
Introduce The Adventure Of Hunting To The Next Generation...
“Learning The Skills Of A Successful Hunter” is an introductory manual custom designed to teach young men and women, ages 13 and up, the basics of big game scouting, tracking, field craft, and other foundational hunting essentials.
It is written by Pro Staff Hunter Todd Burleson of USHuntGear, a life-long hunter and trapper with over 17 years of professional experience teaching adolescents wilderness skills, primitive trapping, and survival hunting in some of the most remote, rugged backcountry our nation has to offer. From working with juvenile offenders in the Montana Rockies, to supervising programs for well-to-do young people in an outdoor boarding school, to running outdoor intervention programs with gang members in the heights of California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, the author has experienced first-hand how the young person's mind operates in the natural world. He is able to help them connect with their own ingrained, age appropriate longing for real adventure; their built in, subconscious need of no-nonsense instruction; their inner desire to be master of something; and he weaves it all together to help create a passion around learning the necessary skills to become an accomplished young hunter in the field.
In essence, “Learning The Skills Of A Successful Hunter” is a teaching conduit between the modern reality of our newest generation, while creatively communicating the old school values that are the bedrock of traditional hunting culture. It embodies thousands of days of hunting, tracking, and wilderness experience and expertly boils it down to a form specially tailored to the teen and young adult. And it will leave them not only wanting to become a better hunter, but it will help provide an intentional life-track of how to be successful in any of life's pursuits.
Loaded with tons of information, photos, illustrations, using easy-to-read and understand hunting skill concepts, this in-depth starter manual takes the naturally inquisitive young person and mixes the adventure of hunting with the base-line fundamentals of how to become a very skilled hunter at a very young age, and it does it with words and ideas that a young person can connect with and understand. And we are not talking a book full of fancy filler pages simply going over already over-used, readily available insights and information. This is just not the case. "Learning the Skills Of A Successful Hunter" has real meat to it. It has the look, the feel, the information of a more advanced hunting guide; yet it is written in such a way as to put a new hunter on track to becoming truly a master in the field. Even older, much more experienced hunters will find this book full of the latest, cutting-edge hunting techniques and strategies.
“Learning The Skills Of A Successful Hunter” is about creating within the young hunter not only a life-long passion of perfecting their hunting skills, but a heartfelt desire to protect and connect with the natural world. By underlining the basics, introducing master level field thinking, and developing the idea of a more connected, natural hunter, this book begins the hunter on a journey of hunting excellence that will set them on a course of a lifetime of adventure.
"Learning The Skills Of A Successful Hunter"
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A Personal Word From The Author
If you are reading this, it is more than likely that you have a deep love of hunting and the natural world. And my guess is, just like myself, you are very concerned as you watch our young people as they are inundated with a continual anti-hunting message that permeates our post-modern American culture. This anti-hunting message is based in misguided emotion and bad science emanating from an agenda driven government school system, a clueless media, a music culture that often promotes destructive behavior over traditional values, and popular celebrities that rigorously advance a liberal worldview to a more and more urbanized, comfort-driven, non-hunting society.
So let's be honest about where we are really at on the subject.
The vast majority of young people today, 13-19 years old, have little, if any, interest in traditional hunting. Most modern adolescents are consumed with playing the latest video game, texting their friends on their new smart phone, or watching reality on their TV rather than experiencing reality in the great outdoors. This is not the ideal situation to try and continue on a valued traditional heritage like hunting.
We can already see it beginning to slip away. The majority of Millennials, the 20 to 30 year old crowd, would rather sip hot chocolate in a safe space than ever consider such a primitive thing as a day of hunting in the backwoods. Truth be told, to most of the adults in this age group, the thought would more than likely horrify them.
Facts are facts, statistics are statistics, and if we are not careful, we as a community of hunters are going to lose an enormous amount of political ground to this Millennial voting block. And understand, this Millennial demographic wants zero to do with anything that has to do with hunting. In the very near future, we had better figure out a new and better strategy to reach out to this new generation of young people following at the heels of the Millennials if we have any hope of having our grandchildren and their children enjoy the same hunting and gun rights that we have enjoyed. In other words, we had better become proactive ASAP and give this new generation something that gets them interested in the value of hunting. Unfortunately, modern life offers much in the way of electronic distraction. And let's face it, the patience and fortitude needed to become a proficient hunter has a hard time competing with a world filled with sense-gratifying gadgetry.
As parents, grandparents, relatives, friends, and educators who understand the value of connecting to the outdoors and the place that hunting has in that world, we want our children to grow up having the chance to experience what hunting has brought to our lives. But bridging the gap between the realities of our modern world and yesterday's social norms isn't easy.
This is where a newer, more intentional strategy of hunting introduction needs to come into play.
I have spent the better part of my adult life working professionally with adolescents out in the field. From incarcerated youth in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, to running church camps in the Northwestern woods of Washington State, to supervising programs for well-to-do troubled kids in the Panhandle of Idaho, to having intensive experience in the Sierra Nevada mountains with some of California's most hardened gang members. I have seen upfront and personal all kinds of different youth "out in it" and how they process their outdoor experience. I am here to tell you, there is some good news if you can see past some of the difficulty in working with today's youth and how they mentally and emotionally operate.
What I have found is this: if you can connect a young person to the possibility of a real sense of "edgy" adventure; then, give that young person some foundational instruction with very clear direction towards a sense of mastery; have that same young person experience some form of realistic success; you will create a positively reinforced experience that will never, ever leave that young individual. It will literally take on a shaping force in their lives and become a favorite part of who they are.
So what does this look like in the real world? How do we bring this about in today's cultural reality?
Here is a basic formula that I have seen work over and over again with young people:
Hunting/Outdoors is presented as an "adventure"
In order to take on this adventure you as an individual must learn the secret skills of Hunting
Here are the beginning skill-sets you will need
Let's test those skills in the form of your first series of adventures
Ah, Yes, you have really learned some things
You are on your way to becoming a real master at this
If you boil it down, almost every popular movie among the teen population, just about every popular video game that kid's are into has this same basic root formula as the foundation of its storyline. Why is this? Because what young people truly crave at their inner core is some form of adventure, and they want to know how to successfully live out that adventure. To them the world is new, exciting, full of possibilities they can experience, and they want to explore and find niches where they can be challenged and find success in something. If hunting can be introduced as an exciting adventure possibility, and then framed as an ongoing adventure where certain master skills are needed to advance toward the goal, you are now appealing to what a young person is naturally craving at this stage of their maturation process.
I have also seen what does not work with young people. If you try to introduce a young person to something like hunting; you set a kid out there with little direction and no clear goal of realistic achievement (just seeing a deer for instance or finding a set of tracks); and then you expect that kid just to "get it", and like what you like; most of the time you will create in a kid a failure set up that will also stay with them in a very negative way.
Unfortunately, this is how many youth are introduced to hunting. There is little if any sense of real adventure. There is almost no real skill-set direction. There is often unrealistic expectations. It is the perfect formula for failure, and most of the time it will play out in a young person's head like this:
"...aw man, it's cold...it's too early...what am I doing out here...dad and the uncles are the experts at this stuff, not me...I am just tagging along...I have no idea what I am doing...I am not going to get anything anyways...man, I wish I was back in bed...or better yet, playing my video game, something I am good at...."
But, if you take that same young person, create a sense of real adventure; give them some higher level instruction toward eventual mastery to work with; set a goal of just seeing a deer in the field, for instance, as a big stepping stone to actually bagging a deer; give them a place where they can test that instruction out in a series of mini adventures; and then, see some advancing successes after some more time—folks, I am here to tell you, most young people will be in for life! They will begin to create their own opportunities for the chance at some more "adventure" to learn and test themselves.
And this is why I wrote "Learning The Skills To Become A Successful Hunter".
Quite frankly, I was concerned about what I was hearing and reading from other hunters. Many in the hunting community are fixated on the problem of "these kids these days...", and few are offering up solutions. What they do not fully understand is the new reality of today, and that is we cannot expect the modern young person to come to our level - they won't. There is simply too much of a divide, and there are just too many competing voices drowning out whatever we might have to say to them. We must now appeal to what makes a young person tic on the inside, what drives them at their core; and our ebook "Learning the Skills Of A Successful Hunter" can be a real starting point of that process.
So, to double emphasis how important we feel this information is and how it can positively impact the future of hunting, USHuntGear has made the conscience decision to offer all of this information in downloadable form absolutely FREE - no gimmicks - no games. We feel this is the best and most expedient way to get this information into the hands of as many young people as is possible. We know what is at stake, and we wholeheartedly believe it is time to actively reach out to this next potential generation of hunters before it is too late.
Please feel free to download this no-cost to you hunting introduction material for your son, daughter, grandkid, nephew/niece, relative, friend's kid, or whomever. The more we get this type of information into the right hands, the more we ensure that future generations will be able to have the opportunity to enjoy the adventure of hunting and what it has brought to all of our lives.
Give a young person the chance to experience more than a less-than-exciting day in the woods. Instead, get them started the right way by giving them the opportunity to become a skill-based, successful hunter, fully engaged and growing in the ongoing great adventure of the hunt.
Do this, and you will most likely end up with a die-hard hunter for life.
USHuntGear Pro Staff
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