If you spend enough time hunting you’re bound to run into these types of hunters.
The Overly-Traditional Trad Guy
Let me be clear: I have no problem with traditional archers. In fact, I have a lot of respect for anyone who is willing to play the “let’s see how many arrows it takes to drop this Pronghorn” game. But, we all know (or have seen) at least one person who is a little too traditional. You know the type – wears a fedora and a flannel shirt into the field but was born in 1996. You’re not fooling me, Tristen, I know you have TikTok downloaded onto your iPhone. If you’re going to act like the Second Coming of Fred Bear, I say you put your money where your leather quiver is and go all out. Trade your Prius in for a cart and mule, sell your cell phone and move into a dilapidated cabin somewhere in the backcountry. Otherwise, wear normal clothes like the rest of us and stop telling people you were “born in the wrong era.” Asshole.
Stan (noun): an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity.
A Stan, unable to think for him/herself, will blindly purchase the exact same weapons, gear and clothing their favorite hunting celebrity uses for no reason other than that’s what their favorite hunting celebrity uses. Stans are easy to spot because they’re little clones of whichever influencer they’ve decided to pledge allegiance to. Neon green strings, Sitka Range Pants and face paint? Dud Stan. You get it. I’m waiting for the BRO hat, BRO Sig Cross and BRO EXO pack Stan – THAT’S GONNA BE THE F**KIN’ UNICORN, BUDDY!
Stans pray for the day they run into their personal Christ-figure(s) on a hunt and are greeted with praise and free “swag” for being a loyal supporter (never gonna happen, pal). Look, if you want to be a Stan, be my guest. You’re free to spend your money however you want, just know you’re probably missing out on some cool shit from other companies. Perhaps the most painful part of being a Stan is learning your favorite celebrity switched brands and coming to grips with the fact everything you own is now a piece of garbage (I hear a lot of people have a sudden interest in New Balance).
The Battle Hunter
A lot of hunters, including myself, feel a little anxiety when they arrive at a location only to find 50 other trucks parked there. We’d all like a little peace and quiet – but, not the battle hunter! Full of Death Wish coffee and a hatred for children, this warrior is out to get what’s his, no matter the circumstances. Some of us, when spotting a father setting his son up for a shot on a deer, will let our emotions get the best of us and allow the moment to take place. But, battle hunters mutter the phrase “F**K THEM KIDS” and rip a 7-mag 650 yards across the prairie right into that deer’s heart.
“Gotta be quicker, bitch,” the battle hunter says. “These lessons are best learned young.”
Don’t get it twisted – battle hunting is a skill, and a valuable one at that. Late-season cow tags are often filled by channeling one’s inner Mad Max and finding out if a Silverado is really equipped for “finding new roads.” And, don’t mistake battle hunters for the careless and ignorant among us. They know what they’re doing, and chances are they do it better than you. Don’t get mad, reader. Get good at hunting over-crowded public lands.
The Guy who Just Needs to Get Away from his Family
For 355 days a year, this family-man does what family men do: work, bills, soccer practice, doctor’s appointments – rinse and repeat. He loves his family, even though his daughter is doing her best to get pregnant and his son wants to be Ariana Grande for Halloween. He’s caved on nearly everything for the last 17 years, but hunt camp is the one hill he’s prepared to die on. At hunt camp, he and four other broken men come together to drink a year’s worth of Coors Light in 10 days and reminisce about their college days and the collective five animals they’ve killed since graduation. The family man doesn’t give a damn about influencers, the newest gear or even killing an animal – he just needs some time to recharge and the opportunity to get shit-faced without being yelled at in the morning for it. By the time hunt camp is over, he’ll remember why he doesn’t hang out with Doug anymore, why Fireball and Rumchada is bad business and why he loves being home. God bless the family man.
The Road Warrior
Unless he’s killed something, you won’t find the Road Warrior in the woods. Despite living in Biden’s America and paying $4.50/gallon, this lazy sack of shit is determined to shoot the first basket-rack he sees from his driver’s side window. SMOKE HIS ASS, DALE! WE’RE RUNNING OUT OF ROAD BEERS! This strategy has paid off exactly one time for the Road Warrior, and that’s enough to keep him pounding the gravel year after year. Couldn’t he just get out and hike, you ask? No, because he left his Rocky’s in the camper and only has a pair of Crocs on. Despite being over three times the legal limit, he’ll still pull up to every game warden he sees and ask, “Hey, y’all seen any deer yet?” To be honest, I wish we had more Road Warriors. I think it’s a great way to hunt and eat a pimento cheese sandwich at the same time. Every Road Warrior drives a mid-2000’s quarter-ton shitbox.