A deeply rooted activity in American culture dates as far back as history can take us.
Hunting is deeply ingrained in our national heritage and still carried today in various forms through family traditions.
Long ago, Native American indians roamed the land and hunted animals for food and well-being. Hunting was used by aspiring young braves as a symbol of their passage into adulthood. Thus, using the ability to hunt and feed the family was an ultimate test of manhood.
As the white man arrived bearing European traditions, they quickly shed the concept that all hunted animals were the property of the governing state, private owners or the wealthy.
Pushing westward while taming the wild frontier, explorers and frontiermen relied on hunting survival skills, and earned an impressive reputation for their successes. Early dog breeds were created to assist in the hunting venture and to make the activity easier. Dogs were used to pull sleds, retrieve birds from water, and point in the direction of downed animals, while others tracked particular game scents and in turn earned the title “man’s best friend.”
However, as the westward movement increased, wildlife populations began to be negatively impacted. This was due to habitat loss and market-hunting. Some species were on the edge of extinction or had all but disappeared from large swaths of the country. After this, in order to protect what they loved, hunters realized they needed to devise a plan to become stewards of the land and animals, instead of continuing the trend of depleting the natural resources.
Swan Land Company broker Scott Williams from Wyoming, is an avid outdoorsman and began hunting with his family at a young age. Since his parents ran a commercial outfitting business, love of the natural systems was engrained in him early. His family used hunting excursions as a way to pass this venture down by doing it together, and by eating the harvested game. Although Scott can’t pin point any particular traditions he acquired from his early introduction, his love of the game of hunting grew strong from his experiences. “Our enjoyment came in the pursuit of the wildlife. Most animals have a definite advantage over humans when it comes to the terrain they live in. Their sense of smell, sight and hearing far exceeds our abilities. Good strategy required to harvest a wild animal, especially with a bow, is very critical to success.” said Scott.
Scott shares his love of hunting with his children. He expresses, “It is a lifelong activity that encourages them to live a healthy and active lifestyle and be good stewards of the land and wildlife. It is such a pure sport if pursued appropriately.” While his children enjoy hunting and fishing, he sees them carrying their experiences with them onward into the future, ensuring the American tradition of hunting has its roots in generations to come.
For more information regarding hunting in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Utah take a look at the following websites:
Wyoming Fish and Game Department: https://wgfd.wyo.gov/hunting
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks: http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/
Idaho Department of Fish and Game: https://idfg.idaho.gov/hunt
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources: https://wildlife.utah.gov/hunting-in-utah.html