Hunting season is over but hunting and fishing season goes on year around. Hunting and Fishing means just that. Looking or searching for something that you pursue. Humans are Hunters and Gatherers. We are all, natural shoppers! Therefore, women are now entering the Hunting and Fishing world in greater numbers. Filling tags is like couponing! Wild game is “Organic”, “Free Range”, and Natural. With declining “sportsmen” populations, women are more than welcome to join the party!

Even if women do not hunt, they enjoy the harvest. The opportunity for men and women to celebrate hunting and fishing together is greater than ever. Knowing their husbands and kids’ outdoor friends, and partners, is important. This is when kids learn about safety, limits, and rules. Here is an idea to bring the sporting ranks closer together.

February and March are the perfect months to start up your annual Sportsmen’s Party! Everyone is looking for an excuse to get together and celebrate last year’s outdoor adventures. Hunting and fishing camps have become coed! They are no longer just bastions of male belching and farting. Women are welcome to join the club! Heck, even Boy Scouts is no longer just “Boys”. Our world is changing so let’s be proactive and embrace our Sporting Brethren, Family, and Sisterhood! No one is any more or less important.

Start off by making a fun title and select a date. Perhaps the “Annual Big Buck Bash”! Maybe the “Meat Masters Rod and Gun Festivus!”, Post-Holiday Hook Up!” Create some fun invitations and send them out. Admission fees mean your best wild game covered dish. Maybe a fancy brew or dinner. Great desserts are also welcome. Each guest also needs to bring a slide show, photo album, or memories of fun hunting and fishing adventures.

Friends are great at going to parties, they are just crappy at planning them. Someone needs to step up and plan the event. This is not usually the “Guys” best skill. Maybe the wonderful Huntresses and Fisherwomen need to step up to this role. Now I know that some of you are now thinking that Montana Grant is sexist. I have planned and presented these outdoor parties for years. The difference now is that the time has come to bring in more women and families.

Part of this plan is to educate, inspire, mentor, and introduce everyone to our sports and recreational time together. Families ski, camp, vacation, and adventure together. Fishing and hunting are just an extension of this. I have had outdoor friends that never introduced me to their wives! We would get together for a trip or camp each year and that was it. What a waste. Why is it that the only time I got to meet their spouse was at a funeral?

So many hunters and fishermen may argue that this precious outdoor time is my personal recharge and private time. Their next breath is about how they want to feed their families only healthy wild game. Time off from work, so called “sick days”, and “Free Time” is spent with filling the freezer for the family! Wouldn’t this task be easier and more fun if everyone shared in the effort?

 If it is about “Feeding the Family”, “Wild game and fish” are cheaper if you simply buy them at the store. The need to buy the boat, gear, guns, rods, tackle, RV’s, and… Need I say more.

 I also saw the commercial where the man is saying he loves his T-shirt that says, “I’d Rather be Fishing or Hunting!”  The woman responds that she wants a t-shirt that says, “I love when he goes Hunting Fishing!” That’s fine. There are no dedicated rules about how this is supposed to be. It is still better to have a t-shirt that says, “I enjoy Hunting or Fishing Together!”

Kids need to learn problem solving, taking risks, learning water and gun safety, survival, and the wonderful simple pleasures of being in areas where there are no cell services. After all, kids are the next generation of sportsmen and women. Hunting and fishing happen in places where it is always beautiful and fun. Mentors are different afield. What is the point in having kids if we don’t celebrate life and the great outdoors together? What’s better than sharing these memories, meals, stories, and adventures with all your family and friends? It is certainly better than keeping them to yourself.

Ok, so back to the party! Technology today allows all of us to load our selfies, videos, and pictures onto a Slide Show program. Add some narration or tunes, maybe some special effects, and ta dah, you have a fun 15 minute or so celebration of last years outdoor adventure. Family and friends now have a visual record to cherish. Once you make them, you have them forever! Kids are the best techies in many families. They can hook up the I-Pad to the monster tv and let the show begin! Give them the project.

Men are great Grillers. Heat up the “Traeger’s” and charcoal and let the Grill Masters be known! If you can’t cook, bring the deer bologna, jerky, or drinks. Women are wonderful cooks, let them bring out their best.

Think costumes! Maybe a hat theme or special camo idea. Everyone needs to wear their ugly outdoor sweater or fun wilderness costume. Heck, we have Ugly Christmas Sweater parties. This should be easy.

Maybe have a “Show and Tell “theme. Everyone brings one thing that has a fun story attached to it… We all have extra hunting and fishing gear. Wrap up the goodies and have a lottery pick party. Raffles are great fun and you get rid of stuff that you have had for years. Everyone comes with something and leaves with something.

Maybe have a special guest. Someone can dress up like Santa but maybe “Mother Nature”, Montana Grant, “Cutthroat Kelly”, “Buffalo Bull”, or… The fun is in making the traditions and memories. Maybe the special guest has a Big Ice Chest, or creel, full of special gifts!

Start the party early. You want everyone to enjoy the afternoon and evening, especially the kids. One thing is for sure. There will plenty of long-winded stories and fun. The grills can be on the deck, maybe have a big campfire going outside, or… What makes every party special is how personal and unique you can make them.

Old hunters and Fishermen only have so many seasons left in their lives. No one wants to go to their grave with knowledge, stories, jokes, or lessons that they have learned. Take pictures and videos at each annual party so you can begin next year with them. Its amazing how great it is to see family and friends that have crossed the “Rainbow Bridge” talking, moving, laughing, and celebrating life together. Many of us “Older Folks” did not have this technology or opportunity in the past. Now we do!

Party On!

Montana Grant

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