We know them and we love them, but we sure do get sick of hearing some of these outdoor terms sometimes. We're not talking about the outdoor terms that everyone should know, but rather some of the more-overused words and phrases that have lost their effectiveness due to excessive repetition by some. We all pride ourselves on being up to date on our outdoor know-how, gear, and tactics, but we've singled out a few terms that experienced outdoors people seem to use more than necessary. It feels as if there should be some alternatives to some of these by now.
It's kind of like when Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning became famous for yelling "Omaha, Omaha" at the line of scrimmage before the play began. It happened so often that people rib him about it now. We're about at that point with these outdoor terms. They all have their place, and we don't want to see them disappear--just maybe get used a little less so we don't become sick and tired of them.
"This is a Giant"
We recently discussed this as an adjustment to pro fishing tournaments around the nation, since bass pros use "giant" so often to describe a big bass that they often haven't even landed yet. If we're being honest with ourselves, a lot of us would certainly describe a bass as being a "giant" if it was simply over 5 or 6 pounds. But most pro bass anglers catch bass that size so routinely that it is nothing to them.
Sure, we get the fact that it adds entertainment value to the broadcast, and we all love to see our favorite bass pro get excited. But if they say it and they pull it out of the water, and it's not a giant (think at least 10-plus pounds), then it's time to give it up. On the other hand, does anyone even say "lunker" anymore? Can we see that one come back?
There's more than one nickname for our favorite upland game bird, but we hear "Thunder Chicken" all too often. "Boss Tom" isn't so bad since it really does describe what a gobbler is all about, especially in the spring. It's not that we don't like to hear it, just that we always hear it. Even "Swamp Rooster" is more fun. So we've at least tried to add a few new ones to your glossary for future use. "Hammerhead" and "Old Mossback" come to mind; but personally, we're fond of "Mr. Waddles" and "Giblet Pie"
Pro Staff/Field Staff
This might ruffle a few feathers, but let us explain. There's no question a lot of hard-working folks ply their trade in the outdoor industry and have more than earned the esteemed titles of "pro staff/field staff." However, it also seems that a few people out there have hijacked the moniker to make themselves sound a little more important. For those whose hard work and desire have made a brand a household name, we salute you. But if you only have a few YouTube videos with your cousin, along with two T-shirts and a hat for sale (complete with a super cheesy "company" logo), maybe it's time to quit calling yourself one of these until you get a few real sponsorships.
In truth, this goes right alongside "Swamp Donkey" and "Stud" as the most overused nicknames for that big buck you've been seeing. We'll not take it too seriously since it is a fun name to give that hit-list buck. But other options are out there for deer names. Once you've found one that fits your target buck, go with it. If that name happens to be "Bullwinkle," just keep it to yourself. We're just saying we can probably be a little more creative on the buck names, everyone.
It seems as if everyone had a nickname for the northern pike growing up. It's arguable that "Water Wolf" is the most famous. But there might not be an outdoor term more overused than "Hammer Handle." In fact, many anglers use it to describe virtually any fish they catch that has a long, slender physique, and it just gets old. We get that the fish you just caught looks like your old straight-claw hammer back in the garage, but we don't want to see that either.
"Green Head" is another one that has stayed around for so long because it fits so well, and we really just list it here since you never hear anyone say, "drake mallard." If we're being honest, then virtually every single wild duck that we know and love to hunt has a name other than its own, and we love them all:
We've got to hand it to pronghorn antelope hunters around North America for coming up with one of the most famous names ever for a wild game animal. It does seem, however, that "Speed Goat" is the only name they have for it by other than "Sage Goat," which is practically the same thing. It's certainly true that this species is, in fact, quite fast. But the pronghorn antelope is not an official member of the goat family. For that matter, it's also not related to the antelopes found in Africa. They also don't really look anything like a goat, so we're not sure where this one came from.
Please check out my book "The Hunter's Way" from HarperCollins. Be sure to follow my webpage, or on Facebook and YouTube.
READ MORE: 43 HUNTING AND FISHING TERMS, AND THEIR (TONGUE-IN-CHEEK) MEANINGS
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