Friday, May 3, 2013

What We Can Learn From Old World Hunting Gear

Hunting is cultural. Every culture does it slightly differently.

Last year when my Grandma saw a picture of me in a tree stand, she asked my Dad what I was doing up there. She is from the west and had never heard of someone hunting from a stand. It is all stalking where she is from.

It is kind of silly now that I look at it

On the flip side, when I describe the thrill of spot and stalk hunting to my friends in the east, they are often dumb struck. The idea of hunting in that way had never occurred to them.

Those two example are within the same country, the US. Imagine how differently people must hunt in other countries or even other continents!

We can learn a lot from other cultures. Look at Japan. They are innovators in popular American fishing. They have developed some awesome Bass lures and look at Tenkara, a fast growing fly fishing technique.

The differences in how we hunt in America and how they hunt over in Europe was made clear to me when I was introduced to BushWear, a popular hunting retailer out of Scotland.  I could not stop looking at their products, products not available or popular in the States.

Check out some of the differences:

The first thing I noticed is that while in the States you will get laughed out of your stand if you are not clad head to toe in camo, European vendors do not focus so much on camo. Check out their clothing line.  There is some camo, but not much. It is mostly drab greens and browns.

This makes sense to me. I've always questioned the benefit of camo. Don't tar and feather me! I know camo is effective and important, but I've always felt that staying still and quiet is much more important.

When they wear camo it is often 3D suits. This is also my preferred camo.

Another difference was in their knives. I am a knife junkie, so most people would not pick up on this. While they use the same brands and steels that we do, most of their knives are much more practical. Short, sturdy blades and no-nonsense handles. Compare this with the knife page on Bass Pro's site. Americans tend to prefer more tactical type knives.

Top: Typical American Style Hunting Knife
Bottom: Typical European Style Hunting Knife

I have to say, I've always preferred European styled blades.

Some of the differences are due to the type of quarry available to them. I believe the deer there must be smaller than ours. A popular item in the BushWear catalog is a Roesack. I had never heard of this before. It is basically a backpack that you can put a small deer in. In the US, we usually just grab an antler or foot and start dragging.

Many things are the same. Hunting is hunting after all. A fascination for Bear Grylls and his product line is everywhere. So is the need for solid shooting rests. I was even surprised to see a full line of game cameras. Not sure why this surprised me, I guess I just picture them as being more old school. A poor assumption on my part.

I think it would do every hunter good to look at different cultures and how they hunt. It is not only interesting and educational, you may learn a new trick or two!

If anyone has experience hunting in another country I would love to hear how you do it!

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