Monday, January 12, 2009

Mike Hanback and Other Outdoor Celebrities

I’ve always felt that hunters and the outdoor community in general are some of the best folks out there. In all my life, my dealings with outdoors people have almost always been pleasant. With any group, of course, there are bad apples. Too often those bad apples in the outdoor community get all of the press and give the rest of us a bad name. I feel that it is my duty to highlight the good part of our community and today I want to focus on “hunting celebrities”.

I participate in various forums in my spare time and I enjoy learning from and conversing with fellow outdoorsman. However, sometimes I’ll read a “horror” story or two about dealing with a “hunting celebrity.” I can’t say that I have a tremendous amount of experience dealing with the hunting “upper crust”. I can say though that every single one of them that I have met or talked too, are some of the best people I’ve ever dealt with. When I meet or talk to someone in their position I expect them to sometimes be too busy to talk with me or fire back an email. Much to my surprise though despite the number of people seeking to speak with them they always seem to take the time to meet and speak with everyone. I understand that not everyone has had the great experiences that I have had but you have to put things in perspective. These people have such tremendous amount of drains on there time. They have to hunt, attend shows, deal with sponsors, deal with producers; editors etc, and still make time for their families and, of course, their fans. If I had to deal with all that they do and still have a smile on my face every time I met someone I’m not sure if I would do as well as most of them do.

As an example of how “hunting celebrities” differ from the norm… today I sent an email to Mike Hanback. At work, they have asked us to put in for our vacations. I’m trying to figure out when the best week(s) will be to take off and Mike seems to be a guru of the rut. Not expecting a quick response, or maybe a response at all, I sent an email asking Mike for advice. I was truly astonished when I got a reply from Mike himself in response to my question not five minutes after I sent it. It probably isn’t a big deal in the big scheme of things but with all of the negative press mainstream celebrities generate I thought it was a nice chance to show that the hunting community isn’t like that. Mike is a big enough “celebrity” that he doesn’t have to answer his own “fan mail” but it’s refreshing to see that he does and that he actually responds to it in a timely manner. Hunters and outdoors people are a great group and I think that it’s time the rest of the world recognizes this and gives us praise instead of criticism. That’s just my two cents for the day though.

I hope you all had as good a weekend as I did hanging out with the family and watching football. I get so caught up with hunting that I sometimes forget some of the other simple pleasures in life. Take care!

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