Pack Out the Trash!
This might not be a tip as to how to bag an elk or how to use a call better but it is one that sure can help save our hunting grounds and hunting heritage. It is a simple rule, MAKE SURE WE CLEAN UP AFTER OURSELVES! Leave as little of an impact on the land as possible and keep the land as pristine as possible and as nature intended it to be.
I am sure many of you have pulled into your favorite spots and saw where someone left a pile of trash or tore up the area with 4 wheelers. Maybe it was not a hunter at all, but that does not matter because if we do not help solve the problem by cleaning/stopping it, we are part of the problem. It sickens me anytime I pull into hunting camp and see old plastic sheets tossed into the woods or a pile of ½ burnt can in a fire ring or just bags of trash left or tossed into the woods. I cannot tell you how many bags of someone else’s trash I have packed out, but by god when I left the area it was clean!
I know of two public shooting areas in Colorado that have been closed due in part to the disgusting amount of trash left behind. Since when is a TV, end table or a couch a target? Again I am sure many of the folks that made and left the mess where not hunters at all however, what is the first thing that comes to mind when someone talks about a range or shooting? That’s right hunters or hunting. This past July, a small Colorado town newspaper ran an article about all the trash being dumped at the toilets and not being packed out. The sad part is these folks dumped the trash right under the sign that read "No trash service; pack your own trash out". The area is a State Wildlife Area and is pretty good for fishing, deer, antelope, duck and dove hunting. I can only hope this practice stops or the possibility exists that areas like this could be closed.
I admit I am a little anal about this topic and it is one of my pet peeves. That being said, I make sure any camping, hunting or fishing spot I go to is left in better condition and cleaner than when I arrived. I have instilled this in my kids and grand kids as well. I have no problem talking to the wardens or law dogs if I see an issue. I have even talk with the folks but I do it as a friend not as an authority figure and never in a way that threaten them. I want this to be a positive experience not a negative situation for sure. I never had a negative outcome and most of the time the folks understand why I said something.
No we are not the trash police but I feel it is our duty to do all we can to support the laws and maintain the highest standards as a member of the hunting community. I would bet my pay check that the vast majority of true hunters feel this way so if you are doing your part, Thank You Very Much!
The attached photo is not mine but you get the idea!