Most hunters, fishermen and other outdoorsmen will agree that while gear isn’t everything, it’s certainly important to have the right tools -- the right ammo, the right bow, the right lure, the right clothing -- in your arsenal.
One key tool that is often overlooked by outdoorsmen, however, is the camera. That’s right … the camera.
What other piece of equipment can so perfectly convey the spirit, pride and memories associated with hunting, fishing and stewardship? Read on to learn more about why the camera is such an essential tool:
The Camera Allows You To Share Your Story With Family And Friends
Want to share with your family the natural beauty you encountered on your hunt? Or maybe you’re looking for a way to display the fruits of your catch-and-release labors? Paired with journal entries or spoken-word stories, photos from your camera can help you put your loved ones right there with you in the wild.
But how do you get started on the path to producing memorable images from your hunts?
The key lies in practice, practice, practice. The more experience you have shooting photos, the better you’ll be at getting the best from your camera’s capabilities and the better you’ll be at capturing images that are pleasing to your eye.
To get in all the practice you need, however, you’ve always got to have a camera along with you for the ride.
Having expensive camera gear doesn’t matter so much; what’s important is actually using the gear you select, notes Mark Seacat, hunter and photographer. The most expensive camera in the world will do no good if it’s always stashed in your backpack or is sitting on the shelf at home.
“Take the nicest camera that you will use all the time,” he says.
Share Your Experiences With Other Outdoorsmen
No matter what you're doing in the outdoors or where you're doing it, your experiences are unique. Documenting your experiences with photographs allows other outdoorsman to gain valuable insight into your ventures, which can have lasting effects. These effects can range from something as small as providing your neighbor with beginner’s hiking tips, all the way up to something as big as publishing your exotic hunt photos online and getting an online network of hunters all the closer to a hunt that they may otherwise not have the chance to experience.
Plan For The Future of Outdoor Sportsmanship
In addition to the ways that sportsmanship documentation allows for you to share your experiences here and now, it is also a great tool for stewardship and for planning for the future of outdoor sportsmanship.
“Hunting has a really good chance of lasting to the next generation ... if we’re able to share it with the next generation,” Seacat said.
Photographic essays and documentation give sportsmen the opportunity to tell those stories that need to be told, from the importance of protecting threatened habitats to raising awareness about damage done by invasive species.
As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” And any means we as outdoorsmen can use to spread the word about stewardship and conservation should be worth considering, both for preserving the future of our sports and for passing the joys we experience in the outdoors to the generations to come.