My name is John and I’ve been hunting since I was 12. It is my passion and I am unabashedly proud and unrepentant about that. I yearn for it like a drug addict craves their next fix. If I’m not actively hunting then I’m probably dreaming of some way that I can be. Truth be told if it weren’t for a modicum of self-control and the ever watchful eye of my wife, I would very happily throw all my money into its pursuit.
As the years have gone by I’ve wanted different things from hunting. When I was young and starting out it was about being outside with my Dad and learning something new. In my teens and early twenties it was about shooting guns and killing (always ethically and legally) as many animals as possible. Now in my mid-thirties I find I’ve come full circle back to wanting my hunting to be about learning, the outdoors and being out on a hunt with family or friends.
So if hunting is where I want to spend the majority of my free time that’s not spoken for by family commitments why would I waste that precious time writing a blog? There are certainly animals that need stalking and land to be scouted, indeed! But as anyone who hunts will tell you it can be a very expensive pursuit; from firearms, ammo, clothing, decoys, optics, gas, it adds up very quickly. I thought that a blog would be a good (and cathartic) way to pass on the experiences I’ve gained over the years hunting and buying sporting equipment. It may prove especially useful to those just starting out so they can avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made saving them time, frustration, and, money. Also as the title of my blog suggests I’d like to try and promote the idea, nay philosophy, to hunters new and old for the need to bring back a touch of refinement and tradition to modern hunting.
Modern hunting these days seems to be more and more about the latest camo, high-end gear, and bagging the biggest and best game. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, in fact I own my fair share of quality modern firearms and camo gear to hunt with. The gear has its purpose and when it comes to trophy animals it can definitely have a huge impact on your harvest. But while modern gear is comfortable, efficient, accurate, reliable, and, easy to use, the pursuit and use of it can, in my opinion, detract from the more visceral experience of the hunt itself, as well as be quite costly. Often I find myself wanting to simplify the process, to step back in time a little and enjoy the occasion of hunting without the pressure or costs of having the latest and greatest gear. I want to better enjoy the outdoors, the hunt, the game, the company of friends and some of life’s finer things in the process. It was from these ideals that the idea of The Broke Bespoke Hunter emerged.
To me the idea of a bespoke hunter brings to mind images of well-dressed ladies and gentlemen out for an afternoon fox or quail hunt in a lush English countryside. A special affair where one wanted to look good, socialize, enjoy nature and put that evenings food from on the hoof or wing, to on the table. Now while I’m far from poor, to be able to afford a real bespoke lifestyle is simply not attainable or practical. Take a moment now to open another window and Google “Chapuis” or “Orvis” to get an idea of what a high-end gun would cost to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. But while the high-end items will likely forever remain out of my grasp I propose that there is no reason that I can’t emulate the idea and image of bespoke using less expensive or used clothing and equipment.
So if you’ve slogged through these opening paragraphs and like what you’ve read so far and managed to put up with my horrible punctuation and sentence structure then I encourage you to follow me. I can’t guarantee you’ll enjoy everything I write but maybe you’ll learn something you didn’t already know or be inspired to go out and try hunting (because if I can do it anyone can). But what I really hope for you is that you’ll get a chuckle or two and maybe adopt the approach and mentality I think we should all be striving towards for hunting. We can all be Broke Bespoke Hunters.