Along The Trail 7-6-17

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Editor’s Note: ‘Along the Trail’ is a weekly column written by David Hewitt of Switzerland County; and covers all things dealing with the outdoors, from hunting and fishing to woodsmanship.

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Another “celebrity” hunter has recently been found guilty of a poaching violation.

This time, Bill Busbice, host of the Outdoor Channel’s Wildgame Nation and Arts and Entertainment’s show Country Bucks was caught shooting a elk calf and then trying to hide the carcass in a drainage ditch on his Wyoming ranch. After he had “accidentally” shot the young elk, he took a mature bull elk just moments later. Some of his cohorts retrieved the bull, but left the other animal in the field to waste.

It seems that regardless of the genre, the trend towards everyone’s 15 minutes of fame causes them to lose their minds and do stupid things. Just take a moment and think about all the ignorant things that so-called celebrities have done over the past few years. Once someone gets in front of a television camera or becomes a You Tube star, all common sense is lost.

For most people out there, a hunting violation might not seem like a big deal, but for those of us that enjoy hunting, those of us that are passionate about the outdoors, this is flat out stinks.

I have railed for years now about how the advent of the outdoor “industry” will do more harm than good when it comes to public perception of hunters, fisherman and outdoors folks and so far, idiots like Billy Busbice are proving me right.

Hunter make up a drop in the bucket of the country’s population. A few of us hunt, a few of us are anti-hunters and the rest are non-hunters. When a TV personality or well known person from the “industry” blatantly violates fish and game laws, it causes all hunters to have a black eye. In my opinion, Bill Busbice is not a hunter, he is a poacher and he was caught, red handed. But, the sad part is, for many in the non-hunting public, they will view instances like this one as a hunter violating the law and in the long run, view the hunting public negatively.

Busbice was convicted for his offense in the State of Wyoming and to the credit of the Outdoor Channel, they have suspended their association with him and his television show. I’m not sure of the status of his A&E program and to be honest, I didn’t watch either of them or any other hunting show to begin with. Fools like Mr. Busbice and others in the outdoor industry do not represent the rank and file outdoorsmen and women all across the country. The hunting celebrities and outdoor television channels exist for one reason and one reason only, money.

The over commercialization of the outdoors has cheapened the hunting and fishing experience and unfortunately, many of my friends and fellow hunters and outdoorsmen have bought into it. The same model that has pushed the commercialization of our outdoor sports is also responsible for creating folks like Bill Busbice and many others that claim to represent hunting and hunters. In actuality, they only represent themselves and their ever fatter wallets and even bigger egos.

– David Hewitt