Sunday, July 24, 2011

Outdoor-sports: A green audit.

Most of us involved in outdoor sports take an interest in environmental or green issues. That paddlers, climbers, surfers, skiers, hikers et al are environmentally conscious, seems to be accepted as axiomatic.
 Despite these stated environmental concerns there is often a juxtaposition in our revealed behaviour, myself included.

Now far from intending to bore you with the platitudes of my naval gazing, I think that my anecdotal ‘green audit’ has some value. Firstly, we normally all agree that initiating newcomers into outdoor lifestyles is pressingly important in our ever increasingly nature-disconnected lifestyles. Furthermore, the assumption is that if people develop an interest in the outdoors the spinoff will naturally be a concern for conservation and the environment. For the most part I strongly agree with this postulate but am sceptical of any claims to an unquestionable, minimized environmental footprint from this consciousness.

Secondly I want to briefly contrast the footprints of my two main outdoor passions one considered ‘non-consumptive’ – kayaking, and the other -
 hunting, considered ‘consumptive’ of the environment (and nothing short of an environmental crime by some who espouse green-living ideals).

I will touch on three areas of comparison and perhaps it will motivate you to reflect, if you already haven’t, on these issues . An important caveat: I am not out to sully the sports or lifestyle of anyone or any activity. This is simply an open and critical admission based on my reality and observations. Both kayaking and hunting have been central to my life and ideology for a long time. The lessons they have taught me are invaluable and the places and people they have introduced me to have often been life changing.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What tripped YOUR trigger?

I have often wondered if other hunters ever experienced revelatory moments that were a distinct catalyst in their decision to take up hunting. This is especially true of those who came to this decision largely per chance or after an largely isolated epiphany, one that arose without any clear influences. After some discussion with a new friend, author Tovar Cerulli, I spent time thinking about my own hunting and outdoor influences. Tovar has some excellent and well researched insights into ‘adult onset hunters’, many of these types of new hunters come to the activity without the benefit of a community to influence their choice. This parallels my experience, albeit in my youth.

I have always been passionate about being outside. I was drawn to angling at age 6 which I believe was the result of being entranced with all the bits in a tackle box I rooted out in my late grandfather’s garage. My family were certainly pro – outdoors but no-one in my immediate family was an angler, shooter or hunter. Both parents and my older brother were also very supportive of my often annoying compulsion to spend seemingly uncomfortable hours in or alongside water bodies with a rod in hand.

Dear Anas undulata, thanks for tripping my trigger!
The birth of my desire to shoot remains a fuzzy mystery to me. I was exposed to it a few times and always relished the opportunity to shoot and accept the responsibility to do so safely. By the onset of my teens I was fairly interested in it but by no means passionate, until the revelation happened…

My gang of normally-muddy buddies and I used to fish for carp in a small stream that ran through our local suburb. Late one afternoon while waiting

Friday, July 8, 2011

Archery form?

OK archers and bowhunters, have at me.

I got this idea from the SoCal Bowhunter blog a while back and thought it was a good idea to stimulate comments from the outdoor blogosphere.

Take a look at these admittedly poor quality iPhone photos and video and critique my form. We hear so many opinions on archery form I would be interested to hear you thoughts.

I was thinking my shoulders could be flatter and taking advice from a Chuck Adams column, my leading foot could be more open, pointing a little more towards the target?

Fire Away!

 © Brian Joubert