The roots of our sporting traditions reach deep back to the Old World, certainly. There is something uniquely American, though, about many aspects of the sporting life in the United States. Waterfowl decoys that date back thousands of years have been found in at least one cave in Nevada. Certainly the American Indian influence is a contributing factor to how war was conducted and how we hunted. The concept of associating big events with moons, for example, the Woodcock Moon, derives from Amerindian conventions. We saw in the last century a great resurgence in hunting with the bow and arrow. We also resurrected the crossbow. Our traditions are a great stew made of diverse ingredients, although the provenance of many are unknown. Firearms and shooting flying came from Europe but are also embedded–these days, perhaps, especially so—in the American way of life.
In America one can hunt grouse and woodcock in the northeast, then drive or fly thousands of miles to hunt desert quail. Then we can head north for day and a half and hunt prairie birds. All for the price of travel and the cost of a couple of out-of-state licenses. Where else in the world can this be so easily done? It would be hard to find in another part of the world an institution such as the rod and gun club, with its skeet, trap, and game dinners. These have long been mainstays of rural social life. I submit that they are uniquely American. Opening day for deer is still a formal or de facto holiday in much of geographical US. The association of grouse and woodcock hunting from Minnesota to the tip of Maine are associated with aspen trees and changing foliage. In the south and southwest, King Bob is still a bird of powerful tradition. From Kansas to Washington and over to Minnesota and back down the jaunty, rude pheasant was invited to stay and prosper and has factored into the social life of much of America.
These are but some aspects of our Treasured Heritage. It belongs to all of us. These are things about which I care deeply and about which I express myself through the pen, the lens and graphically, on stickers and occasional gear. I will be making available merchandise that is reflects our heritage and I will sometimes link to other items that I think will appeal to folks who visit here. Let us see where this takes us.