The Iroquois Indians relied on the knowledge past down to them from generations before on how to survive. The Lakota Indians prayed for the buffalo herds and hunters so their great tribes could survive. The Native Americans before us relied on skill, knowledge and more important luck.
Today, however, is a different story. If someone has the desire to go fishing or hunting, they can simply google all the information they need. They can even buy all permits and gear from a smart phone. The 21st century technology advances have improved the quality of hunting, fishing, and the outdoor lifestyle.
The smart phone has change so much in the last ten years for the outdoor community. Up to date radar, weather, and forecasts have kept a lot of camping, hunting, and fishing trips from being a washout. The hunter and fisherman also has increased communication skills because of smart phones.
Instead of waiting till the meeting at the local breakfast joint to hear the stories from other hunters and fishers, we can get instant reports of success or failure in the field. Not only does this make a hunter or fisher more efficient at chasing his prey, but provides more enjoyable experience.
Smart phones have also increased safety for all outdoorsman. Weather alerts of storms or flooding have helped many avoid tragedy while in the field. Smart phones also assist lost individuals find their way or be found by search and rescue personnel.
The smart phone is arguably one of the biggest technological advances in this century. Almost everyone has one and they are so versatile that the outdoor community has now started using them as tools.
The modern day mapping practices of our GPS system have upgraded the skill level of the modern day hunter or fisher. A hunter or fisher can from a smartphone, tablet, or computer research and pinpoint areas of interest to hunt or fish in crystal clear imagery. Programs like google earth transformed what used to be several days of scouting into a couple of hours of research.
A hunter or fisher can from home identify natural barriers, food sources, or coves in a lake before ever getting to the field. Fishermen also now, with advances in on board electronics, have excess to maps of what is below the surface.
Pinpointing the channels, structure, or holes in a lake can be the difference between getting a skunked and having the day outdoorsmen dream of. Advances in GPS and mapping give hunters and fishermen the opportunity to develop a repertoire of knowledge that once took years of trial and error to develop.
The times of changed form when this new technology was all rolled up into one trusty device called grandpa to now being at the fingertips of everyone with access to the internet.
The technological advances are not only good for the hunters and fishermen, but as well the game in chase. Conservation organizations have been able to improve the work they do because of technology. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has started experimenting with the internet and a paperless permit system.
Permits now can be displayed on a smart phone reducing waste and the need for a hunter to always carry a wallet while in the field. MDC also requires all hunters check game animals harvested online or by telephone by 10pm on the day of harvest. The online checking process requests certain measurements and information about the game animal harvested that the hunter can now submit him/herself.
Ten years ago hunters would have to drive to a checking station in their county in order to check an animal. This old system had required an increase in man power, natural resources, and time. Technology has eliminated these needs and allowed resources to be redirected back to conservation. With the information gathered Conservation Departments now make more effective agendas to protect key habitat spots and limit human effects on populations.
Technology is a growing thing. It will never stop changing or evolving. The technological advances of the 21st century have improved sportsmen’s pastimes. Grandpa always used say, “Wish you could have seen the glory days.” To answer this question, I have. The glory days are now. The world of knowledge is at our fingertips.
Hunting and fishing are growing sports because of this highly accessible technology environment. The future of the outdoor life style is unknown, but from what we’ve seen so far, it looks to be like a grand future.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville