The Magic Syndrome
By Bob Hood
Isn't it odd how so many people seem to always be looking for a little magic to gain success?
For a bass fisherman, it may be that so-called secret lure, the one that only hit the market a month ago and he is the only fortunate soul to learn of its existence. So he bought one ... not two, but one.
For a hunter, it may be a new buck scent that is supposed to smell like perfume to the deer. Of course it was so putrid that it rotted the upholstery on his pickup truck seat like battery acid when he accidentally spilled the stuff on it in the wee hours of the morn. All done, too, while less fortunate hunters were still asleep and dreaming about how to outsmart a deer using the old, conventional methods, such as using last year's scents.
It's a good thing that all outdoorsmen are not smitten by the "magic syndrome." Most campers, for example, still buy tents that blow down during the night even though other models less prone to provide such awakening entertainment are introduced every year.
The hiker is pretty well protected from the magic syndrome because there isn't much anyone can do to entice him to reach into his pocket book to purchase something new, unless, of course, someone came up with a boot that automatically massages his feet once he sits down.
Frog giggers, likewise, have no reason to search the outdoors stores for anything exciting and new. After all, gigging a frog is gigging a frog.
Archers are always watching the improvements in compound bows to find one that allows them to shoot their arrows faster. Unfortunately, no one yet has found a secret that will enable them to hit the bull's eyes every time they let the arrow fly. This is especially true when the bull's eye is an imaginary spot behind the shoulder of a deer that has just gotten a sniff of this year's newest buck scent.
When it comes time to lay down all the cards, it is the hunters and fishermen who most often reach for the ace-in-a-hole. No other outdoorsman can touch their fondness for gaining that one edge over another hunter or fisherman.
If you question that, then ask yourself why a fisherman who has just discovered a "secret lure" buys only one and then proudly shows it to his fishing buddy as soon as they are on the water and far away from any store that has one. It is because if he bought two, then he might have to share one of them with his fishing buddy, and that would take all the shine off owning a secret lure.
Why do fishermen and hunters monopolize the magic syndrome? I can tell you in one word - television.
I never have been a big fan of television shows that do not deal with the real things in life. After all, for example, if Batman and Robin are so smart, why do they wear their underwear outside their pants?
I do like really good hunting and fishing shows, however, but the recent surge in their numbers seems to have made the really good ones as scarce as magic fishing lures that really do work wonders.
Not a weekend goes by without a television hunting or fishing show unveiling a miracle lure or some type of deer or turkey hunting gadget. It is not that the new types of lures or gear don't work, because they do. After all, anything with a hook on it can catch a fish. But I've seen some that border on truth when they are proclaimed to be "the best."
There are a lot of outdoors television shows on these days which appear to go after gullible hunters and fishermen in particular, and that's one thing I've always liked about Jerrys Honey Hole show what you see is exactly what is taking place. No staged fish, no switching of lures to satisfy a sponsor. You see it just as it is, and that's something a lot of other shows can not claim truthfully.
On the other hand, many of the shows on TV today are entertaining, whether they are touting a magic lure or buck scent, and that's what a lot of hunters and fishermen want. So I guess they all have their rightful place in the world of outdoor recreation.
But please, spare me the magic. The only magic I have ever seen in any hunting or fishing trip I've ever made was the fact that I was able to crawl out of bed at 3:00 a.m., walk out into a blinding rain, sub-freezing temperatures, or 30 m.p.h. winds. And of course I was able to convince anyone that I was sane and really having a wonderful time.