This blog post will reveal the mystery of what happened to the deer hunting craze of the 1920s that peaked in 1927. Why did this hunting fad disappear? What happened and when did it start of franchi momentum review?
Around April, 2015, after thirty-nine years as a professional hunter and one season on private land, Josh Fink left his job to focus on being an author. This shift in interests meant that he had nothing else to do but reflect on his earlier days as a hunter who hunted deer starting in 1969 with my Dad (Josh’s dad) until 1976 where I started working with him.
1. The Sibling Connection
In this blog series, there will be a chronological progression toward the mystery of why the deer hunting craze faded. The first step was looking back at what Josh was doing during the 1920s deer hunting craze and comparing it to where he was in 2015 when he decided to write about this subject. He noticed that he remembered certain things in a certain way but never realized how his thoughts about his hunting experiences had changed over time.
It may surprise you to learn that Josh and I were born in the same year. We are only seven months apart, but that made it easy for our parents to confuse us. At one family gathering, my Dad announced proudly “My sons don’t hunt deer.” When my Mom immediately responded with “That’s not true!” my Dad must have realized that he was confusing us both since Josh was already the father of five children by then. At the time, I didn’t start hunting deer until 1972 so I was in middle school at that time and focused on many other things like trying to look cool and putting together a rock band.
2. Why the 1920s Deer Hunting Craze Was Unique
It’s not like Josh Fink was an avid hunter in the same sense that someone who hunts a lot of deer is today. Though he started hunting deer in 1969, it wasn’t until 1976 that he hunted deer exclusively and then not on a daily basis. He would sometimes spend years between hunts depending upon his work schedule or if he had any other hobbies that were occupying his time. But when comparing the 1920s to when Josh was hunting, there are some significant differences in why people went out hunting deer during this era and then later on went away for unknown reasons.
For one thing, in the 1920s, hunting deer wasn’t a sport for wealthy elites. It was a way of life for many people. The younger generation especially could feel that it was something special.
In the 1920s, there were not as many video games or smartphones being sold as there are today that distract kids from doing their homework and other activities. With that being said; hunters were more involved in their hunting experiences thanks to the improvements in technology such as radio communications and small cameras. Being able to stay connected with the outside world had readily available information on what was happening at deer racks and it encouraged people to make long distance plans among hunters to see who they can see while they are out hunting deer together.
3. The End of an Era
By the late 1920s, the deer hunting craze was beginning to fade. It had a considerable shelf life that was rich in tradition and optimism about the future of deer hunting in America. Sadly, this phenomenon would never be repeated again. It had all the elements of a great story: it started strong, peaked with a fever-pitch climax and then faded away as quickly as it began.
But what happened to bring about such an abrupt end to this exciting phenomenon? What caused it to end for reasons that have never been understood by anyone?
4. The Deer Hunting Fever
To start explaining the “why” behind the deer hunting craze, the best place to start is in 1916 and the introduction of an amazing invention; the tree stand. This new invention would forever change deer hunting. Prior to 1916, deer hunters had no choice but to hunt from a ground blind or better known as a stalking blind. But in 1916, a man by the name of Ed Mayer invented and then patented a tree stand that was made out of wood that could be used over and over again. It didn’t take long for people to realize that they could be higher off of the ground and have more visibility while avoiding rain and snow.
In the 1920s, it became common practice to use tree stands in a way that they had never been used before. They were much more than a simple stand designed to wait for different animals on different days of the week. A tree stand could be customized in a way that would help enhance the hunter’s experience. Tents were even invented which meant that individuals could now get out of the rain, snow and cold without blacking out from being so cold.
By 1922, there was even a tree-stand manufacturer in Kentucky called “The Tree Stand Company.” It was based in Elizabethtown, KY and created only four stands during this era versus the hundreds of tree stands produced until today by companies like Highlander Outfitters.