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Old to new

The times, they are a-changin’ 

AS AN OLD-TIMER who had always prided myself on following the old-school ways of enjoying the great outdoors, I found it difficult to move into the digital outdoor arena. But the fact is, the new tools can be useful, whether it’s fishing and hunting apps, trail cameras or forward-facing sonar. 

Today’s options are many. Hiking apps enable you to share your experience with others, using images that you take along the way, and even showing exactly where you are on the trail. Forward-facing sonar, which has taken the fishing world by storm, shows the fish moving on your bait (or not) in real time. There is even an app that wirelessly updates your sonar unit and enables you to plot your day’s trip from the comfort of your recliner. There is some pretty cool stuff out there. 

Had I not chosen writing as my career, I might have never crossed over from the old to the new. However, with all the questions I receive about new technology, I needed to explore some of the modern-day accoutrements so I could write about them with more insight. Based on those experiences, I can now say that I’m all in with the new-school technologies. After just 10 minutes of fishing with forward-facing sonar, for example, I was sold. I bought one and had it installed on my boat within three days. 

I recall a profound statement my dad once made while we were fishing. As an avid bowhunter, I was against crossbows being allowed during archery season. I voiced this to my dad, who, by the way, was as old-school as they come. His response resonates with me to this day: “Son, if you can’t beat them, you best join them.” 

It would be many years before I would welcome the new into my outdoor endeavors, but his words made it easier. And as I get older and a few football injuries creep into my shoulder, I might be glad one day that crossbows are allowed during archery season. 

Like anything new, outdoor technologies have their critics. Many have taken a strong and outspoken position against them. I was one of them. I would say that if you enjoy the old-school way of doing things, by all means, continue. However, I’ll warn you: if you are against the new technologies and techniques, you’d best not try them out yourself, or you might find yourself eating crow. Ask me how I know.

KEN MCBROOM, an outdoors writer/photographer, created McBroom grew up in Lynchburg, Tennessee, and now lives in western Kentucky.

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