TRCP’s “In the Arena” series highlights the individual voices of hunters and anglers who, as Theodore Roosevelt so famously said, strive valiantly in the worthy cause of conservation.
Hometown: Canton, Georgia
Occupation: Low voltage technician
Conservation credentials: Recently awarded the first-ever Corey Rockwell Bird Dog, Literary, & Conservation Development Award
Jared Ungar represents the bright future of grouse hunting and conservation awareness in America. As the Minority Outdoor Alliance’s first-ever scholarship honoree, Ungar will get the support he needs to train his first Brittany spaniel puppy, while developing an outdoor writing portfolio with the help of an industry mentor. We’re honored to give him a platform to share his experience along the way.
Here is his story.
My cousin John was the first person to take me out hunting when I was 13, but it wasn’t until almost 10 years later that I figured out bird hunting over a dog is what lights my fire. I realized it when I was sitting in a treestand waiting for a whitetail to cross my path—I couldn’t help but think, “I could be hunting birds with my dog Colt right now.”
For better or worse, that was the last time I went deer hunting.
The first bird I harvested with Colt gave me one of my most memorable outdoor adventures. I had just driven from Georgia to Pennsylvania to pick up Colt after he’d been away training for a few months. On my way back, I decided to visit a good friend, Tom, in New Jersey and we ended up spending the day at his hunting club with our Brittanys. It did not disappoint, and I can’t think of a better person to have shared that moment with.
If I could hunt or fish anywhere, I’d chase sharpies in Montana. In every video I’ve watched of sharptail hunters, it’s just clear that they’re having the most fun. And Montana has been a place I’ve wanted to experience for a long time. There is a feeling I get in the mountains—the landscape consumes me and my body feels just a little bit lighter. I’ve only experienced this when trying to comprehend the sheer size of the snowy caps that seem to be a world away and right on top of you at the same time.
The reason I try to be involved in conservation is not complicated: I get to enjoy the outdoor resources that so many people have worked hard to make sure that I have. And I have an obligation to pay that forward.
I think the biggest conservation challenge we’re facing is finding people who are interested enough to learn about hunting, fishing, and conservation. There needs to be enough of us to push policies that will benefit everyone who enjoys the outdoors.
As I grow in my writing, I hope that its reach will grow as well. And I hope that anyone reading will keep in mind that I’m just a bird hunter putting my thoughts on paper. Y’all are just as capable of making memories and sharing your adventures in the outdoors with dogs and friends.