The Lessons of Experience

Eight years ago I had an experience while signing out for a hunting spot on Military land. As in most cases with this type of hunting, you are required to sign in and out for safety and accountability purposes. Where I was stationed ran a pretty good deer management program, and I was lucky enough to have been engaged in it to some extent.

It was about mid-season, and I had already taken 5-6 deer with my bow (ended the season with 9 total, all with bow). I had filled my freezer over, as well as some of my in-laws and friends. I had also donated some meat to the local soup kitchen which I found to be a truly rewarding feeling. Anyway, to the point.


As I was signing out to the same location I had shot all of the previous deer, the person working at range control says to me, “Why are you hunting that area? There are no deer there. You should try this other area.” This situation is not dissimilar to the one I see here in the outdoor community (or whatever you want to call it). Obviously this statement was made after hearing other hunters converse over where there were deer to be had. Having no experience at all in hunting, the range control worker, found it necessary to help me out with the “facts”. I was happy to be the only one hunting the area I was in that had no deer. The butcher was also quite pleased, as were the folks at the soup kitchen I’m sure.

My friend who has done multi-week snowshoe expeditions over the past 18 years doesn’t use a damper on his stove any more (for reasons other than stove performance). I wonder what he would say to me if I told him he would get better use of his stove, and it would run much more efficiently if he used the damper as directed by the manufacturer. I could do a quick google search and paraphrase some of the online sources to let him know that he is doing it all wrong and why. I’m sure the worker at the local wood stove store could give him some tips as well with regards to the use of his stove and damper. Let’s forget all of his experience on the trail heating his tent with the said wood stove, he obviously doesn’t know what he is doing. Though he doesn’t use the damper, and for different reasons, the stove still works. The point remains the same however.


This is what we are dealing with nowadays in the community, and its out of control. I do not condone down talking new comers or the less experienced when they are trying to learn. That actually drives me nuts. But the opposite is also true. Don’t be the range control worker, the google ninja, or the local wood stove employee that tries to knock the experienced just to make yourself look like some outdoor aficionado, specially when most of the information is not first hand experience.

I could have gone on of course and gave numerous examples of this, but I think you get the point.

4 thoughts on “The Lessons of Experience

  1. Gotta love the internexperts and the google-kings. Just ignore ’em, Derek. Don’t give in to the natural impulse to slap ’em upside the head, ’cause that’ll only get you sued or something modern-American like that.


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