“There are groups out there trying to protect wildlife from fishermen, hunters, and trappers, but the reality is they’re doing the wildlife a great disservice, and that’s the cold hard truth.”

Curt Phillips, Vietnam Veteran and 55-year veteran of the outdoors has been hunting, fishing, and trapping since he was a small child all over the United States and Canada.  Curt not only stood up for his country during the Vietnam War, but he stands for outdoorsmen and feels they are the true conservationists.  Over the years, Curt has watched groups in the United States stop, or attempt to stop the outdoor way of life.  Curt believes that today’s outdoorsmen are dedicated to preserving the outdoor sports for years to come.

“By not hunting deer, their populations will become uncontrollable. This ultimately leaves the deer slowly dying in an inhumane way by diseases or starvation.”

What changes in the outdoor sports do you see today compared to when you were growing up?

“It’s a lot harder to find private ground to hunt because of urban development.”  Curt is also seeing an unexpected change which involves money, and lots of it.  “Landowners now are leasing land for big money and not letting people hunt it for free.”

What advice would you give someone who is new to outdoor sports?

“Find someone who is really into hunting, fishing, or trapping and foster a friendship with that person.” Curt explains the importance of having the right equipment including the basics like warm clothing and the correct firearms and knives.  “Most good equipment isn’t cheap, but if you take care of it you won’t have to buy it again.”

What do you see for the future of our outdoor sports?

“I feel younger generations are losing interest.  It’s getting harder and harder to protect our hunting, fishing, and trapping rights.”  With this said Curt believes that the people involved in the outdoors today are extremely dedicated.  “I know this group will continue and live our outdoor way of life no matter what.”

Out of your 55+ years of outdoor experience, what is your most memorable moment?

I was deer hunting several years ago with my son Nick, who was only 10 years old at the time.  Nick and I were party hunting in Iowa on private ground with about 10 other hunters.  All the hunters including Nick and me, had our own corners of the private ground to hunt.

It was a sunny day.  Nick and I stopped to eat some lunch just outside a small patch of timber.  Eating lunch, I watched 4 deer trotting along the edge of the timber.  I took aim and shot the only buck in the group.  With the other 3 does standing there, I shot one of them too.  I was lucky, shooting both deer right in the neck and dropping them in their tracks.  As I was gutting the buck, Nick tugged on my shirt and said, “Dad, there’s more deer!”

Looking up in the direction Nick was pointing, I see 3 more does.  With blood covered hands, I picked up my shotgun, took aim, and dropped another doe.  “Nick, that’s three down, let’s gut these deer and find the other hunters so we have more tags.”  As I continue where I left off gutting the buck, Nick tugs on my shirt again and says, “Dad, more deer!”

Looking again in the direction Nick is pointing I see a buck and doe, just standing there.  Again, I picked up my now bloody shotgun, took aim, and shot the buck while the doe just stood there.  I took aim at the doe and…NOTHING – out of ammo.  I quickly put 3 slugs in my Browning A5 and the doe continued to stand there.  I took aim and down she went!  Looking down at Nick I asked him why he was smiling.  “Dad, you’re just like Daniel Boone, ain’t ya!”

With all my shooting the whole hunting party showed up.  Field dressing deer number two, I watched Nick stand in the group of hunters spinning, pointing, and saying, “and there’s one over there, and over there, and over there.”

I laughed so hard, but he was proud of his dad and it’s a moment Nick and I still relive to this day.

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Justin J. Lind

July 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors